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26 Current news of University of Pennsylvania

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Ultrathin and ultralight 'nanocardboard'

08-Nov-2018

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure Now, a team of Penn Engineers has ...

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Engineers give optical switches the 'contrast' of electronic transistors

02-Feb-2018

Current computer systems represent bits of information, the 1's and 0's of binary code, with electricity. Circuit elements, such as transistors, operate on these electric signals, producing outputs that are dependent on their inputs. As fast and powerful as computers have become, Ritesh Agarwal, ...

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How to control liquid crystal patterns

03-Nov-2017

When Lisa Tran set out to investigate patterns in liquid crystals, she didn't know what to expect. When she first looked through the microscope, she saw dancing iridescent spheres with fingerprint-like patterns etched into them that spiraled and flattened as the solution they were floated in ...

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Smart materials used in ultrasound behave similar to water, Penn chemists report

19-Jun-2017

A team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania is gaining new insight into the smart materials used in ultrasound technology. While forming the most thorough model to date of how these materials work, they have found striking similarities with the behavior of water. The research was led ...

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Penn researchers push the limits of organic synthesis

09-Mar-2017

A dendritic molecule is one that grows by branching in several directions from its center core. At each branching point, the molecule branches again into a new generation. These molecules can be used for a broad range of biomedical applications, including gene and drug delivery. In 1983, Nobel ...

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Overcoming a hurdle in growing a revolutionary optical metamaterial

23-Feb-2017

When John Crocker, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science was a graduate student, his advisor gathered together everyone in his lab to "throw down the gauntlet" on a new challenge in the field. Someone had ...

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Chemists establish fundamentals of ferroelectric materials

07-Jul-2016

Ferromagnetic materials, like compass needles, are useful because their magnetic polarization makes them rotate to align with magnetic fields. Ferroelectric materials behave in a similar way but with electric, rather than magnetic, fields. That external electric fields can reorient the electric ...

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Researchers move one step closer to sustainable hydrogen production

05-Apr-2016

Splitting water into its hydrogen and oxygen parts may sound like science fiction, but it's the end goal of chemists and chemical engineers like Christopher Murray of the University of Pennsylvania and Matteo Cargnello of Stanford University. They work in a field called photocatalysis, which, at ...

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Penn engineers show how 'perfect' materials begin to fail

10-Jun-2015

Crystalline materials have atoms that are neatly lined up in a repeating pattern. When they break, that failure tends to start at a defect, or a place where the pattern is disrupted. But how do defect-free materials break?Until recently, the question was purely theoretical; making a defect-free ...

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Penn researchers show commonalities in how different glassy materials fail

11-Dec-2014

Glass is mysterious. It is a broad class of materials that extends well beyond the everyday window pane, but one thing that these disparate glasses seem to have in common is that they have nothing in common when it comes to their internal structures, especially in contrast with highly ordered and ...

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