Engineering articlesFireproofing homes dramatically reduces the spread of forest fires
Why do some forest fires spread rapidly over large areas, destroying and damaging many homes, while others are contained with minimal damage?
Molecules line up to make the tiniest of wires
As technology shrinks, the computer industry is facing the complex challenge of finding ways to manufacture the minuscule components necessary.
'Thin-layer' solar cells may bring cheaper 'green' power
Scientists are researching new ways of harnessing the sun's rays which could eventually make it cheaper for people to use solar energy to power their homes.
Ground-breaking antilandmine radar
Researchers in The Netherlands are developing a radar system that might one day see through solid earth and could be used to clear conflict zones of landmines, safely and at low cost.
Researchers help to make cars smarter
Cars already automatically lock doors when they sense motion and turn on warning lights if they detect potential engine problems. But they are about to get smarter.
New instrument covertly detects signals from illicit chemicals
A new award-winning innovation developed at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory can covertly detect chemical plumes at great distances and may help thwart future chemical or nuclear-based terrorist attacks. The technology has a number of other uses, as well, from detecting environmental pollution to determining the extent of tissue damage in burn victims without physical contact.
New technique producing small things in large quantities
Although relatively new to the market, liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions soon may be obsolete, thanks to a new technique created by University of Houston professors.
Drawing nanoscale features the fast and easy way
Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new technique for nanolithography that is extremely fast and capable of being used in a range of environments including air (outside a vacuum) and liquids.
Scientists use the dark web to snag extremists and terrorists online
Terrorists and extremists have set up shop on the Internet, using it to recruit new members, spread propaganda and plan attacks across the world. The size and scope of these dark corners of the Web are vast and disturbing. But in a non-descript building in Tucson, a team of computational scientists are using the cutting-edge technology and novel new approaches to track their moves online, providing an invaluable tool in the global war on terror.
New dna-based technique for assembly of nano- and micro-sized particles
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new method for controlling the self-assembly of nanometer and micrometer-sized particles. The method, based on designed DNA shells that coat a particle's surface, can be used to manipulate the structure - and therefore the properties and potential uses - of numerous materials that may be of interest to industry.
Lighter gas reduces damage to optics in extreme ultraviolet lithography
Researchers at the University of Illinois have discovered a way to generate light and reduce damage in a leading candidate for next-generation microelectronics lithography. The technique could help pack more power into smaller computer chips.
Image-search tool speaks hundreds of languages
From the fall of the Tower of Babel to the Esperanto global language movement, many humans have dreamed of sharing a common tongue. Despite the Internet's promise of global communication, language barriers remain. Even pictures on the Web get lost in translation.
Engineers design electronic computer memory in nanoscale form that retrieves data 1,000 times faster
Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have developed nanowires capable of storing computer data for 100,000 years and retrieving that data a thousand times faster than existing portable memory devices such as Flash memory and micro-drives, all using less power and space than current memory technologies.
Microsensor measures water and air pollutants
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a miniature sensor that uses polymer membranes deposited on a tiny silicon disk to measure pollutants present in aqueous or gaseous environments. An array of these sensors with different surface coatings could be used during field-testing to rapidly detect many different chemicals.
Pellets of power designed to deliver hydrogen for tomorrow's vehicles
Hydrogen may prove to be the fuel of the future in powering the efficient, eco-friendly fuel cell vehicles of tomorrow. Developing a method to safely store, dispense and easily "refuel" the vehicle's storage material with hydrogen has baffled researchers for years. However, a new and attractive storage medium being developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists may provide the "power of pellets" to fuel future transportation needs.
Hyper initiative places international focus on hydrogen research
The Department of Energy's domestic FreedomCAR and Fuels presidential initiative has now gone global, and researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are playing a key role in that worldwide effort.
Researchers set new record for brightness of quantum dots
By placing quantum dots on a specially designed photonic crystal, researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated enhanced fluorescence intensity by a factor of up to 108. Potential applications include high-brightness light-emitting diodes, optical switches and personalized, high-sensitivity biosensors.
Scientists make two giant steps in advancement of quantum computing
Two major steps toward putting quantum computers into real practice — sending a photon signal on demand from a qubit onto wires and transmitting the signal to a second, distant qubit — have been brought about by a team of scientists at Yale.
21st-century pack mule
Researchers in the MIT Media Lab's Biomechatronics Group have created a device to lighten the burden for soldiers and others who carry heavy packs and equipment.
Scientists get first look at nanotubes inside living animals
Rice University scientists have captured the first optical images of carbon nanotubes inside a living organism. Using fruit flies, the researchers confirmed that a technique developed at Rice -- near-infrared fluorescent imaging -- was capable of detecting DNA-sized nanotubes inside living fruit flies.