Interesting materials reads

* [0807.0378] Nano Imprint Lithography on Silica Sol-gels: a simple route to sequential patterning — multiple layers of stamping for nanophotonic or microfluidic apps. I love microfluidics, what a crazy and fun area
* Scale production of nanotube circuits — I’m not sure what they’ve done but scale production is the key problem
* Qubits and branes share surprising features — way beyond me…
* Cornell researchers figure out how assemble metals in complex nanostructures — a cool new way to form bulk metals
* Controlling quantum state via voltage — interesting work on the way to useful quantum computers

Graduate Materials Science programs — distance learning

I started taking graduate matsci courses several years ago at the UW via the Edge program, and also took some on campus. I have found it hard to continue though as the UW materials science school doesn’t have a deep schedule, and they have decommitted from the distance learning effort. So I am shopping for other programs.

Columbia’s program — CVN – Columbia Video Network — seems to be among the most complete with a full schedule of courses. And they offer a full MS degree via online. And you can start as a non-matriculated student. Florida has a program as well. And so does USC, tho the courses offered is a smaller slate than Columbia’s.

Intriguing materials science notes

* Nanotechnology-based clean hydrogen for cars — uses a vapor deposition process to create small catalyst spheres
* New aluminum alloy used to create hydrogen — I don’t understand this one as well
* Changing fluid behaviour with nanoparticles — interesting camera lens, microfluidic applications
* Organic metal hybrids for storage and catalyst use
* Solar cell directly splits water for hydrogen — learning from the plant world

Absolute Black TVs

Pioneer’s Kuro Plasma Will Deliver Absolute Black — Contrast Ratio Is ‘Officially Irrelevant’ | Gadget Lab from — I’d like this, I hate the grayish emissions from most of my screens.

Too bad for them that their black has already been trumped — new “blackest” material — “You could think of a material that basically collects all the light that falls into it” — oh my gosh we are manufacturing black holes now, I knew this nanotech stuff was dangerous.

Recent materials stuff that intrigued me

* The Quest for a New Class of Superconductors — exploration of materials for higher temp superconductivity — basically trying to find materials that conduct without involving phonons
* Silicon nanowire battery with much greater energy density. One example of how messing with the nanostructure of materials can have remarkable impacts
* Materials with no thermal expansion
* Nanorods as measurement devices — measuring cell ph
* extra strong metallic foams — another instance of how messing with nano structure can have remarkable macro effects
* Turning diamonds into conducters
* High performance carbon nanotube fibers.

Distance Learning — graduate engineering

Been tough to keep up with my coursework at UW this year — they just don’t have a deep distance learning curriculum, particularly in materials science, my interest area. Scanning the web for new options:

* Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering — Florida seems to have a prominent program but sigh, the gators.
* Auburn as well
* Purdue
* Texas A&M

Of course if I want to go self-paced and just learn material without worrying about a degree there is always MIT Open Courseware though at a graduate level the materials are often very thin — someones lecture notes.

Interesting matsci stuff this week

* Perfect lens could reverse Casimir force (July 2007) – News – — a way to eliminate sticking forces at the nano/mems level. pretty fascinating.
* Motor proteins (AAAS membership required) — “The biological cell is equipped with a variety of molecular machines that perform complex mechanical tasks such as cell division or intracellular transport. One can envision employing these biological motors in artificial environments. We review the progress that has been made in using motor proteins for powering or manipulating nanoscale components. In particular, kinesin and myosin biomotors that move along linear biofilaments have been widely explored as active components. Currently realized applications are merely proof-of-principle demonstrations. Yet, the sheer availability of an entire ready-to-use toolbox of nanosized biological motors is a great opportunity that calls for exploration.”