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Brazilian researchers develop an optical fiber made of gel derived from marine algae: Edible, biocompatible and biodegradable, these fibers have potential for various medical applications. The results are described in the journal Scientific Reports.

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Home > Press > Brazilian researchers develop an optical fiber made of gel derived from marine algae: Edible, biocompatible and biodegradable, these fibers have potential for various medical applications. The results are described in the journal Scientific Reports.

Edible, biocompatible and biodegradable, these fibers have potential for various medical applications. CREDIT
Eric Fujiwara
Edible, biocompatible and biodegradable, these fibers have potential for various medical applications. CREDIT
Eric Fujiwara

Abstract:
An optical fiber made of agar has been produced at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. This device is edible, biocompatible and biodegradable. It can be used in vivo for body structure imaging, localized light delivery in phototherapy or optogenetics (e.g., stimulating neurons with light to study neural circuits in a living brain), and localized drug delivery.

Brazilian researchers develop an optical fiber made of gel derived from marine algae: Edible, biocompatible and biodegradable, these fibers have potential for various medical applications. The results are described in the journal Scientific Reports.


São Paulo, Brasil | Posted on July 24th, 2020

Another possible application is the detection of microorganisms in specific organs, in which case the probe would be completely absorbed by the body after performing its function.

The research project, which was supported by São Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP, was led by Eric Fujiwara, a professor in UNICAMP’s School of Mechanical Engineering, and Cristiano Cordeiro, a professor in UNICAMP’s Gleb Wataghin Institute of Physics, in collaboration with Hiromasa Oku, a professor at Gunma University in Japan.

An article on the study is published) in Scientific Reports, an online journal owned by Springer Nature.

Agar, also called agar-agar, is a natural gelatin obtained from marine algae. Its composition consists of a mixture of two polysaccharides, agarose and agaropectin. “Our optical fiber is an agar cylinder with an external diameter of 2.5 millimeters [mm] and a regular inner arrangement of six 0.5 mm cylindrical airholes around a solid core. Light is confined owing to the difference between the refraction indices of the agar core and the airholes,” Fujiwara told.

“To produce the fiber, we poured food-grade agar into a mold with six internal rods placed lengthwise around the main axis,” he continued. “The gel distributes itself to fill the available space. After cooling, the rods are removed to form airholes, and the solidified waveguide is released from the mold. The refraction index and geometry of the fiber can be adapted by varying the composition of the agar solution and mold design, respectively.”

The researchers tested the fiber in different media, from air and water to ethanol and acetone, concluding that it is context-sensitive. “The fact that the gel undergoes structural changes in response to variations in temperature, humidity and pH makes the fiber suitable for optical sensing,” Fujiwara said.

Another promising application is its simultaneous use as an optical sensor and a growth medium for microorganisms. “In this case, the waveguide can be designed as a disposable sample unit containing the necessary nutrients. The immobilized cells in the device would be optically sensed, and the signal would be analyzed using a camera or spectrometer,” he said.

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About FUNDAÇÃO DE AMPARO À PESQUISA DO ESTADO DE SÃO PAULO
The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) is a public institution with the mission of supporting scientific research in all fields of knowledge by awarding scholarships, fellowships and grants to investigators linked with higher education and research institutions in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. FAPESP is aware that the very best research can only be done by working with the best researchers internationally. Therefore, it has established partnerships with funding agencies, higher education, private companies, and research organizations in other countries known for the quality of their research and has been encouraging scientists funded by its grants to further develop their international collaboration. You can learn more about FAPESP at http://www.fapesp.br/en and visit FAPESP news agency at http://www.agencia.fapesp.br/en to keep updated with the latest scientific breakthroughs FAPESP helps achieve through its many programs, awards and research centers. You may also subscribe to FAPESP news agency at http://agencia.fapesp.br/subscribe .

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SEMI Partners with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Offer Apprenticeship Program Aimed at Building the Electronics Talent Pipeline

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Home > Press > SEMI Partners with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Offer Apprenticeship Program Aimed at Building the Electronics Talent Pipeline

Abstract:
SEMI, the industry association serving the global electronics design and manufacturing supply chain, today launched a new collaborative apprenticeship program to make it easier for companies to offer training and for more workers to pursue careers in electronics. The competency-based SEMI Industry Approved Apprenticeship Program (IAAP) is designed to identify skills gaps and deliver targeted training that efficiently meets industry employers’ hiring needs.

SEMI Partners with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Offer Apprenticeship Program Aimed at Building the Electronics Talent Pipeline


Milpitas, CA | Posted on August 11th, 2020

SEMI developed the IAAP in partnership with GLOBALFOUNDRIES® (GF®), the largest pure-play semiconductor foundry in the U.S. and the world’s leading specialty foundry. Designed to be scaled to meet industry demand for technicians, the program leverages SEMI’s Unified Competency Model (UCM), which was formed with industry input as a new skills standard and is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (USDOL-ETA). The UCM is posted on DOL-ETA’s Competency Model Clearinghouse.
“GLOBALFOUNDRIES has long been committed to building educational partnerships that benefit both our employees and the region, particularly in developing a highly skilled workforce to ensure our industry and the U.S. remains at the forefront of innovation for years to come,” said Ron Sampson, senior vice president and general manager of U.S. Fab Operations at GF. “Through SEMI’s new Industry Approved Apprenticeship Program, we look forward to helping our employees advance their careers, while playing an important role in workforce training and boosting the semiconductor manufacturing talent pool.”

“The IAAP is designed to help the microelectronics industry and advanced manufacturers overcome the talent shortage by enabling companies to fill skills gaps more effectively and at lower cost,” said Mike Russo, vice president of Industry Advancement and Government Programs at SEMI. “SEMI will continue to work to ensure the IAAP lays a path for employers to pursue government-registered apprenticeship programs and qualify for reimbursement of related training expenses.”

Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) will offer the apprenticeship program courses, the first certified under the SEMI Certs program, online. The course curriculum is aligned with UCM to ensure course curriculum supports the development of skills required by the electronics industry.

“We are excited to be a partner in this pilot program that is expected to graduate approximately 50 apprentices by the end of this year and more than 100 apprentices by the end of 2021,” said Roger Ramsammy, president of Hudson Valley Community College. “Hudson Valley’s participation in the SEMI Certs program has ensured our courses are aligned with industry requirements and that participants receive college credits to help them pursue related degrees and support career laddering. In addition, we hope the program will ultimately be a New York State Registered Apprenticeship Program, providing access to tuition reimbursement for Required Technical Training.”

Along with GLOBALFOUNDRIES and HVCC, SEMI partnered with SUNY Polytechnic Institute, the Manufacturing Association of Central New York (MACNY) and the Center for Economic Growth (CEG), a nonprofit economic and business development organization that serves as the primary point of contact for businesses interested in growing in or moving to New York’s eight-county capital region, to develop the apprenticeship program.

The apprentice program marks a milestone in the evolution of SEMI Works™, the first U.S. electronics workforce development program developed under a partnership with the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF-ATE) Program, the USDOL-ETA and academic partner SUNY Polytechnic Institute in New York.

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About SEMI
SEMI® connects more than 2,400 member companies and 1.3 million professionals worldwide to advance the technology and business of electronics design and manufacturing. SEMI members are responsible for the innovations in materials, design, equipment, software, devices, and services that enable smarter, faster, more powerful, and more affordable electronic products. Electronic System Design Alliance (ESD Alliance), FlexTech, the Fab Owners Alliance (FOA) and the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group (MSIG) are SEMI Strategic Technology Communities, defined communities within SEMI focused on specific technologies. Visit www.semi.org to learn more, contact one of our worldwide offices, and connect with SEMI on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Materials science researchers develop first electrically injected laser: The diode laser uses semiconducting material germanium tin and could improve micro-processing speed and efficiency at much lower costs

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Home > Press > Materials science researchers develop first electrically injected laser: The diode laser uses semiconducting material germanium tin and could improve micro-processing speed and efficiency at much lower costs

Fisher Yu, University of Arkansas CREDIT
University of Arkansas
Fisher Yu, University of Arkansas CREDIT
University of Arkansas

Abstract:
Materials science researchers, led by electrical engineering professor Shui-Qing “Fisher” Yu, have demonstrated the first electrically injected laser made with germanium tin.

Materials science researchers develop first electrically injected laser: The diode laser uses semiconducting material germanium tin and could improve micro-processing speed and efficiency at much lower costs


Fayetteville, AR | Posted on August 11th, 2020

Used as a semiconducting material for circuits on electronic devices, the diode laser could improve micro-processing speed and efficiency at much lower costs.

In tests, the laser operated in pulsed conditions up to 100 kelvins, or 279 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

“Our results are a major advance for group-IV-based lasers,” Yu said. “They could serve as the promising route for laser integration on silicon and a major step toward significantly improving circuits for electronics devices.”

The research is sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the findings have been published in Optica, the journal of The Optical Society. Yiyin Zhou, a U of A doctoral student in the microelectronics-photonics program authored the article. Zhou and Yu worked with colleagues at several institutions, including Arizona State University, the University of Massachusetts Boston, Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. The researchers also collaborated with Arktonics, an Arkansas semiconductor equipment manufacturer.

The alloy germanium tin is a promising semiconducting material that can be easily integrated into electronic circuits, such as those found in computer chips and sensors. The material could lead to the development of low-cost, lightweight, compact and low power-consuming electronic components that use light for information transmission and sensing.

Yu has worked with germanium tin for many years. Researchers in his laboratory have demonstrated the material’s efficacy as a powerful semiconducting alloy. After reporting the fabrication of a first-generation, “optically pumped” laser, meaning the material was injected with light, Yu and researchers in his laboratory continue to refine the material.

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Fisher Yu
479-575-7265

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Advance in programmable synthetic materials: Reading sequence of metal atoms in MOFs allows encoding of multiple chemical functions

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Home > Press > Advance in programmable synthetic materials: Reading sequence of metal atoms in MOFs allows encoding of multiple chemical functions

Rods of multivariate MOFs (left) can be programmed with different metal atoms (colored balls) to do a series of chemical tasks, such as controlled drug release, or to encode information like the ones and zeros in a digital computer. CREDIT
UC Berkeley image by Omar Yaghi and Zhe Ji
Rods of multivariate MOFs (left) can be programmed with different metal atoms (colored balls) to do a series of chemical tasks, such as controlled drug release, or to encode information like the ones and zeros in a digital computer. CREDIT
UC Berkeley image by Omar Yaghi and Zhe Ji

Abstract:
Artificial molecules could one day form the information unit of a new type of computer or be the basis for programmable substances. The information would be encoded in the spatial arrangement of the individual atoms – similar to how the sequence of base pairs determines the information content of DNA, or sequences of zeros and ones form the memory of computers.

Advance in programmable synthetic materials: Reading sequence of metal atoms in MOFs allows encoding of multiple chemical functions


Berkeley, CA | Posted on August 11th, 2020

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have taken a step towards this vision. They showed that atom probe tomography can be used to read a complex spatial arrangement of metal ions in multivariate metal-organic frameworks.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are crystalline porous networks of multi-metal nodes linked together by organic units to form a well-defined structure. To encode information using a sequence of metals, it is essential to be first able to read the metal arrangement. However, reading the arrangement was extremely challenging. Recently, the interest in characterizing metal sequences is growing because of the extensive information such multivariate structures would be able to offer.

Fundamentally, there was no method to read the metal sequence in MOFs. In the current study, the research team has successfully done so by using atom probe tomography (APT), in which the Bochum-based materials scientist Tong Li is an expert. The researchers chose MOF-74, made by the Yaghi group in 2005, as an object of interest. They designed the MOFs with mixed combinations of cobalt, cadmium, lead, and manganese, and then decrypted their spatial structure using APT.

Li, professor and head of the Atomic-Scale Characterisation research group at the Institute for Materials at RUB, describes the method together with Dr. Zhe Ji and Professor Omar Yaghi from UC Berkeley in the journal Science, published online on August 7, 2020.

Just as sophisticated as biology

In the future, MOFs could form the basis of programmable chemical molecules: for instance, an MOF could be programmed to introduce an active pharmaceutical ingredient into the body to target infected cells and then break down the active ingredient into harmless substances once it is no longer needed. Or MOFs could be programmed to release different drugs at different times.

“This is very powerful, because you are basically coding the behavior of molecules leaving the pores,” Yaghi said.

They could also be used to capture CO2 and, at the same time, convert the CO2 into a useful raw material for the chemical industry.

“In the long term, such structures with programmed atomic sequences can completely change our way of thinking about material synthesis,” write the authors. “The synthetic world could reach a whole new level of precision and sophistication that has previously been reserved for biology.”

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The work was supported by the Center of Excellence for Nanomaterials and Clean Energy Applications at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

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Contacts:
Robert Sanders
510-915-3097

@UCBerkeley

Copyright © University of California, Berkeley

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Source: http://www.nanotech-now.com/news.cgi?story_id=56293

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