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August 2009
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Marquette moving ahead on new College of Engineering facility

Marquette University's board of trustees on Thursday approved moving ahead on the first phase of a $100 million College of Engineering facility.

The school plans to break ground on a five-story, 100,000-square-foot building - the first of two buildings - in spring and begin occupying it in August 2011. The building will be on the campus at the southwest corner of W. Wisconsin Ave. and N. 16th St.

A second, 150,000-square-foot building eventually will be connected to the five-story building.

The timeline for construction of the second building depends on how quickly $32 million of remaining funding is raised.

"The university has more than $68 million of the projected $100 million cost of the total projects pledged and will continue aggressive fund raising in order to complete the entire project as soon as possible," Marquette President Robert A. Wild said.

The school has $25 million of that $68 million in hand, with another $10 million scheduled to come in during the next two years, he said.

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Engineers produce 'how-to' guide for controlling the structure of nanoparticles

Engineers produce 'how-to' guide for controlling the structure of nanoparticles

Engineers produce 'how-to' guide for controlling the structure of nanoparticles

Tiny objects known as nanoparticles are often heralded as holding great potential for future applications in electronics, medicine and other areas. The properties of nanoparticles depend on their size and structure. Now researchers from North Carolina State University have learned how to consistently create hollow, solid and amorphous nanoparticles of nickel phosphide, which has potential uses in the development of solar cells and as catalysts for removing sulfur from fuel. Their work can now serve as a "how-to" guide for other researchers to controllably create hollow, solid and amorphous nanoparticles – in order to determine what special properties they may have.

The study provides a step-by-step analysis of how to create solid or hollow nanoparticles that are all made of the same material. "It's been known that these structures could be made," says Dr. Joe Tracy, an assistant professor of material science engineering at NC State and co-author of the paper, "but this research provides us with a comprehensive understanding of nanostructural control during nanoparticle formation, showing how to consistently obtain different structures in the lab." The study also shows how to create solid nanoparticles that are amorphous, meaning they do not have a crystalline structure.

Tracy explains that there is a great deal of interest in the formation of hollow nanoparticles and amorphous nanoparticles. But for many kinds of nanoparticles, there had previously been no clear understanding of how to control the formation of these structures. As a result of the new study, Tracy says, "nanoparticles with desired structures can be made more consistently, making it easier for researchers to determine their electronic, optical and catalytic properties." For example, amorphous nanoparticles may be of use in future electronic applications or for nanostructure fabrication. Tracy stresses that while the NC State researchers were able to show how to create hollow nanoparticles and amorphous nanoparticles, they were not able to create nanoparticles that were both hollow and amorphous.

The study could also have implications for many additional types of nanoparticles, not just nickel phosphide. Tracy says that the findings "could provide important insights for further studies to control the structures of many other kinds of nanoparticles, with a wide array of potential applications." These could include metal oxide, sulfide, selenide and phosphide nanoparticles.

Specifically, the researchers found that they could control whether nickel phosphide nanoparticles would be hollow or solid by adjusting the ratio of phosphorus to nickel reactants when they synthesized the nanoparticles. The researchers found that they could create amorphous solid nanoparticles by controlling the temperature.

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The study, "Nickel Phosphide Nanoparticles with Hollow, Solid, and Amorphous Structures," was co-authored by Tracy, NC State post-doctoral researcher Junwei Wang and NC State Ph.D. student Aaron Johnston-Peck. The research was funded by NC State and the National Science Foundation, and was published online by Chemistry of Materials.

Engineers produce 'how-to' guide for controlling the structure of nanoparticlesContact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University


Therapeutic Nanoparticles Give New Meaning to Sugar-Coating Medicine

A research team at NIST studying sugar-coated nanoparticles for use as a possible cancer therapy has uncovered a delicate balancing act that makes the particles more effective than conventional thinking says they should be. Just like individuals in a crowd respecting other people's personal space, the particles work because they get close together, but not too close.

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New Nanochemistry Technique Encases Single Molecules in Microdroplets

Inventing a useful new tool for creating chemical reactions between single molecules, scientists at NIST have employed microfluidics to make microdroplets that each contain a single molecules of interest. By combining this new microfluidic with techniques to merge multiple droplets, the research may ultimately lead to new information on the structure and function of important organic materials such as proteins, enzymes, and DNA.

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Promega meeting to draw 600 forensic experts

More than 600 forensic experts from around the world will gather in Las Vegas in October to attend a symposium put on by Madison-based Promega Corp.

The company's 20th International Symposium on Human Identification will highlight advances in DNA technology and explore controversial issues related to the expanded use of DNA typing. An "interesting cases" session that features cases that benefitted from DNA analysis, including a cold case solved after 30 years with evidence from the victim's fingernails and a case where a sniffer dog led police to the wrong suspect.

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Research teams successfully operate multiple biomedical robots from numerous locations

Using a new software protocol called the Interoperable Telesurgical Protocol, nine research teams from universities and research institutes around the world recently collaborated on the first successful demonstration of multiple biomedical robots operated from different locations in the US, Europe and Asia. SRI International operated its M7 surgical robot for this demonstration.

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New AFOSR Magnetron May Help Defeat Enemy Electronics

9/16/2009 - ARLINGTON, Va. -- Researchers funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) at the University of Michigan invented a new type of magnetron that may be used to defeat enemy electronics. A magnetron is a type of vacuum tube used as the frequency source in microwave ovens, radar systems and other high-power microwave circuits.

According to Dr. Ron Gilgenbach, an AFOSR-sponsored researcher at the University of Michigan, a new class of magnetrons was invented that holds the potential for more compact Department of Defense microwave sources with faster start-up, as well as higher peak and average power.

"This invention should make it possible to develop more compact magnetrons that operate at higher power and higher frequencies," said Gilgenbach. "Higher power magnetrons could be utilized to jam and defeat enemy electronics."

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