Modelling negative thermal expansion

Scientists have devised a model to minimise thermal expansion on a structures such as bridges and fuel cells. By having at least one component that has a different thermal expansion coefficient from the rest, researchers can display thermal expansion.

New ‘flat’ optical fible

Researchers at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at Southampton, UK, have developed a novel ‘flat’ optical fibre to provide a simple and inexpensive approach to creating flexible optical devices. They hope it will facilitate mechanical flexibility and enable light to be manipulated for remote sensing or long-haul communications.
Array of superlenses

Metamaterials for magnifying superlenses

Advances in the field of magnifying superlenses have been reported by two separate US research teams. Conventional lenses are limited by the diffraction limit of light, which prevents high resolution imaging of features smaller than its wavelengths. The new superlenses are made from metamaterials designed to capture the evanescent waves that exist close to the surface of an object.

Single-phase bulk solids heat management

Scientists at the IBM T J Watson Research Center and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, both in the USA, are exploring the optical and thermal electric properties of new composite materials that harness the properties of multiple semiconductors in one superlatice material using different nanocrystal combinations to be used in the recovery of waste heat.

De Montfort Medal recognises early-career research scientists

Yi Zhang, a PhD student from the Materials Science and Metallurgy department at the University of Cambridge, UK, won the De Montfort Medal, top prize in a poster competition which recognises Britain’s Top Early-Career Research Scientists, Engineers and Technologists. Zhang has helped divise a method for enhancing the plasticity of metalic glasses.