WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Researchers have taken a step toward practical applications for "hyperbolic metamaterials," ultra-thin crystalline films that could bring optical advances including powerful microscopes, quantum computers and high-performance solar cells. New developments are reminiscent of advances that ushered in silicon chip technology, said Alexandra Boltasseva, a Purdue University associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.
A Detector Shines in Search for Dark Matter
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Results of the XENON100 experiment are a bright spot in the search for dark matter. The team of international scientists involved in the project demonstrated the sensitivity of their detector and recorded results that challenge several dark matter models and a longstanding claim of dark matter detection. Papers detailing the results will be published in upcoming issues of the journals Science and Physical Review Letters.
Challenge to Classic Theory of 'Organic' Solar Cells Could Improve Efficiency
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - New research findings contradict a fundamental assumption about the functioning of "organic" solar cells made of low-cost plastics, suggesting a new strategy for creating inexpensive solar technology. Commercialization of organic solar cells has been hindered by inefficiencies, but the findings point toward a potential path to create a new class of solar technology able to compete with standard silicon cells.
Biology, Not Just Physics, Controls Release of Scent Compounds from Plants
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University research suggests active biological mechanisms transport scent and taste compounds known as volatiles from plant cells to the atmosphere, a finding that could overturn the textbook model of volatile emission as a process that occurs solely by diffusion.
Engineering a Better 'Do: Purdue Researchers Are Learning How
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Using heat to style curly hair poses a nagging problem: applying too much causes permanent damage resulting in limp fibers devoid of natural curve. Researchers are now working to learn precisely how much heat to apply and how frequently to use heat treatment for a given hair type without destroying it.
Twin Discoveries, 'Eerie' Effect May Lead to Manufacturing Advances
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The discovery of a previously unknown type of metal deformation - sinuous flow - and a method to suppress it could lead to more efficient machining and other manufacturing advances by reducing the force and energy required to process metals.
Advanced Composites May Borrow Designs from Deep-sea Shrimp
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - New research is revealing details about how the exoskeleton of a certain type of deep-sea shrimp allows the animal to survive scalding hot waters in hydrothermal vents thousands of feet under water.
Farming Is Driving Force Drying Soil in Northern China
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- An important agricultural region in China is drying out, and increased farming may be more to blame than rising temperatures and less rain, according to a study spanning 30 years of data. A research team led by Purdue University and China Agricultural University analyzed soil moisture during the growing season in Northern China and found that it has decreased by 6 percent since 1983.
Study Finds Vitamin a Directs Immune Cells to the Intestines
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A key set of immune cells that protect the body from infection would be lost without directions provided by vitamin A, according to a recent study. A team of researchers from Purdue University found retinoic acid, a metabolite that comes from digested vitamin A, is necessary for two of the three types of innate immune cells that reside in the intestine to find their proper place.