The RTNN congratulates Associate Director Maude Cuchiara for earning one of NC State’s Outstanding Extension and Engagement Awards. The award recognizes Maude’s extensive contributions to RTNN’s outreach mission over the past five years. During this time, she worked with RTNN colleagues to develop RTNN’s Coursera course, start the RTNN Student Ambassadors program, pilot outreach to libraries and museums in rural North Carolina, launch Take-out Science during the COVID-19 pandemic, and secure RET and REU site awards. Through these efforts, the RTNN has made a substantial impact on thousands of program participants around the world.
Researchers at NC State have developed a technique that uses nanoparticles, nanospheres and nanorods, to trigger shape changes in polymers. These differently shaped nanoparticles exhibit different surface plasmon resonances and will heat when exposed to specific wavelengths of light. When embedded in polymers, this causes the material to heat and change its shape. This work has the potential for use in soft robotics applications like biomedical implants. For more on this work, please see the NC State press release.
Authors: Sumeet R. Mishra and Joseph B. Tracy, North Carolina State University
Published: June 15, Applied Nano Materials
Abstract: Photothermal triggering of shape-memory polymers is an appealing noncontact mode of actuation for responsive materials and soft robotics. Wavelength-selective photothermal triggering of shape recovery is reported in thermoplastic polyurethane shape-memory polymers with embedded gold (Au) nanospheres and nanorods. Light-emitting diodes with wavelengths of 530 and 860 nm matched to the surface plasmon resonances drive selective shape recovery. Wavelength-selective shape recovery enables sequential actuation, as demonstrated in a wavelength-controlled stage with optically controlled height and tilt angle using legs of shape-memory-polymer films with embedded Au nanospheres and nanorods.
RTNN researchers at NC State University have published an article describing a new way to determine how atoms are arranged in materials. The work, “Use of Bayesian Inference in Crystallographic Structure Refinement via Full Diffraction Profile Analysis” published in Scientific Reports describes the application of Bayesian statistical methods to X-ray diffraction patterns. This method allows researchers to characterize and better estimate the variability in a material’s atomic structure. The technique is under development for use with spectra collected from other analytical tools like X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. This tool-set will inform the development of materials for a variety of novel applications.
RTNN congratulates Houston Dycus, Dr. Jim LeBeau, and Matt Cabral for their recent awards at the 2016 Microscopy & Microanalysis meeting. Dycus (left picture), LeBeau, and Cabral (right picture) are all in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at NC State. Dycus and LeBeau were awarded the best paper in the Microscopy and Microanalysis Journal (Materials Science Category) for their paper: “Accurate nanoscale crystallography in real-space using scanning transmission electron microscopy.” Dycus also received the best poster award for his work, “Resolving Atomic Scale Chemistry and Structure at NO and Ba Passivated SiC/SiO2 Interfaces.” Cabral won a Student Scholar award for his contribution entitled: “Direct Observation
of Local Chemistry and Local Cation Displacements in the Relaxor Ferroelectric PMN-PT.”