Gecko-Inspired Adhesive Withstands Extreme Temperatures

Researchers have developed a new dry adhesive that bonds in temperatures ranging from -320°F to 1,832°F, a quality that could make the product ideal for space exploration where shade can be frigid and exposure to the sun blazing hot. It features vertically aligned carbon nanotubes with tops bundled into nodes that scientists say replicates the microscopic hairs on the foot of the wall-walking gecko.

LCLS X-ray Laser Reveals Ultrafast Riboswitch in Action

Scientists have used the powerful X-ray laser at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), located at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, to take the first ever snapshots of an ultrafast riboswitch, a gene regulator that can switch individual genes on and off. According to the research team, the study, reported in Nature,unlocks both the game-changing potential of X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) for studying RNA and the ability to create a powerful weapon to fight disease.

ASC 2016 Highlights Progress in Superconductivity

Over 1,600 researchers and engineers from 36 countries gathered in Denver September 4-9 for ASC 2016, attending plenaries, poster sessions and meetings under the watchful gaze of the Colorado Convention Center’s Blue Bear. Celebrating its 50th year, the conference covered a wide range of topics, from superconducting electronics detectors and magnets to a consideration of power applications and advances in materials. Nearly 1,700 abstracts were submitted, according to the program committee, most in large scale categories.

Cryogenic Treatment

Cryogenic treatment is the process of cooling materials to cryogenic temperatures temporarily to improve their material properties at room temperature. This is distinct from cooling materials down to cryogenic temperatures to take advantage of phenomena such as superconductivity that only occur at cryogenic temperatures. Cryogenic treatment, sometimes also referred to as deep cryogenic treatment, is … Continue reading Cryogenic Treatment

2016 ASC Best Student Paper Contest

The Applied Superconductivity Conference's Best Student Paper Contest recognizes outstanding presentations made at ASC by full-time students. The ability to describe one’s research, by succinctly capturing key results and ideas in written form as well as by presenting and defending the work in front of an audience of experts, is an extremely useful skill for professional researchers. The contest format was created to encourage students to perform high quality research and present their work in a competitive environment.

After 50 Years of ASC and Magnet Conductors, What’s Next?

Past and present superconducting magnet technology suggests that cheap, strong, available-by-the-ton Nb-Ti alloy conductors will always be used unless it’s absolutely necessary to use another superconducting material. In this decade “absolutely necessary” has taken on a clearer definition, thanks to ITER, the upgrade of LHC, 1 GHz NMR magnets, the desire for >30 T frontier-science user magnets, as well as superconducting magnet systems operating at well above the ~5 K limit of Nb-based superconductors.

Laser Powered Cryocooling Drops to 91 K

Over the last couple of decades researchers around the world have been working on optical refrigeration, a new solid-state cooling scheme based on light-matter interactions, and a team of researchers from the University of New Mexico (UNM) and ThermoDynamic Films, LLC (TDF) is currently working to harness the physics of optical refrigeration to develop practical solid-state cryocoolers.

Testing JWST’s MIRI Cooler Compressor Assembly

The James Webb Space Telescope’s (JWST) Mid InfraRed Instrument (MIRI) cooler subsystem features a closed cycle helium Joule-Thomson (JT) cryocooler pre-cooled by a three-stage pulse tube cryocooler. In this paper, researchers from Northrop Grumman discuss tests conducted on the CCA, a flight model sub-assembly that compresses and precools MIRI's helium working fluid.