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TU Graz researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

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Home > Press > TU Graz researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

The graph illustrates the stepwise synthesis of Silver-Zinc Oxide core-shell clusters. CREDIT
© IEP - TU Graz
The graph illustrates the stepwise synthesis of Silver-Zinc Oxide core-shell clusters. CREDIT
© IEP – TU Graz

Abstract:
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest portions of bulk material – form the basis for a whole range of new technological developments. Due to the laws of quantum mechanics, such particles measuring only a few millionths of a millimetre can behave completely differently in terms of conductivity, optics or robustness than the same material on a macroscopic scale. In addition, nanoparticles or nanoclusters have a very large catalytically effective surface area compared to their volume. For many applications this allows material savings while maintaining the same performance.

TU Graz researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications


Graz, Austria | Posted on July 31st, 2020

Further development of top-level research in Graz in the field of nanomaterials

Researchers at the Institute of Experimental Physics (IEP) at Graz University of Technology have developed a method for assembling nanomaterials as desired. They let superfluid helium droplets of an internal temperature of 0.4 Kelvin (i.e. minus 273 degrees Celsius) fly through a vacuum chamber and selectively introduce individual atoms or molecules into these droplets. “There, they coalesce into a new aggregate and can be deposited on different substrates,” explains experimental physicist Wolfgang Ernst from TU Graz. He has been working on this so-called helium-droplet synthesis for twenty-five years now, has successively developed it further during this time, and has produced continuous research at the highest international level, mostly performed in “Cluster Lab 3”, which has been set up specifically for this purpose at the IEP.

Reinforcement of catalytic properties

In Nano Research, Ernst and his team now report on the targeted formation of so-called core-shell clusters using helium-droplet synthesis. The clusters have a 3-nanometer core of silver and a 1.5-nanometer-thick shell of zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is a semiconductor that is used, for example, in radiation detectors for measuring electromagnetic radiation or in photocatalysts for breaking down organic pollutants. The special thing about the material combination is that the silver core provides a plasmonic resonance, i.e. it absorbs light and thus causes a high light field amplification. This puts electrons in an excited state in the surrounding zinc oxide, thereby forming electron-hole pairs – small portions of energy that can be used elsewhere for chemical reactions, such as catalysis processes directly on the cluster surface. “The combination of the two material properties increases the efficiency of photocatalysts immensely. In addition, it would be conceivable to use such a material in water splitting for hydrogen production,” says Ernst, naming a field of application.

Nanoparticles for laser and magnetic sensors

In addition to the silver-zinc oxide combination, the researchers produced other interesting core-shell clusters with a magnetic core of the elements iron, cobalt or nickel and a shell of gold. Gold also has a plasmonic effect and also protects the magnetic core from unwanted oxidation. These nanoclusters can be influenced and controlled both by lasers and by external magnetic fields and are suitable for sensor technologies, for example. For these material combinations, temperature-dependent stability measurements as well as theoretical calculations were carried out in collaboration with the IEP theory group led by Andreas Hauser and the team of Maria Pilar de Lara Castells (Institute of Fundamental Physics at the Spanish National Research Council CSIC, Madrid) and can explain the behaviour at phase transitions such as alloy formation that deviates from macroscopic material samples. The results were published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry.

Ernst now hopes that the findings from the experiments will be rapidly transferred into new catalysts “as soon as possible”.

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This research area is anchored in the Field of Expertise “Advanced Materials Science”, one of five strategic foci of TU Graz. The Cluster 3 laboratory was set up using funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with the support of the European Union and the State of Styria. The measurements for photoelectron spectroscopy of the particles could be carried out with the aid of a photoemission electron microscope in the framework of the structural funds of the higher education area of the Austrian Federal Government. The work was also supported by three projects of the Austrian Research Fund FWF.

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Contacts:
Wolfgang ERNST
Em.Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Phys. Dr.rer.nat.
Tel.: +43 316 873 8140; E-Mail:

Florian LACKNER
Univ.Ass. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.
Tel.: +43 316 873 8647; E-Mail:

Andreas HAUSER
Assoc.Prof. Mag. phil. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. phil Dr. techn.
Tel.: +43 316 873 8157; E-Mail:

At Institute of Fundamental Physics at the Spanish National Research Council CSIC, Madrid:
Maria Pilar de Lara Castells
E-Mail:

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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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