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Dzenis team makes breakthroughs studying high-performance fibers

Yuris DzenisYuris Dzenis and colleagues have made some new discoveries while studying the failure of high-performance fibers found in body armor and aerospace engineering. The team devised a way to analyze the failures of the polymer fibers that avoided the perturbations that invalidated measurements captured by other techniques. The study was recently featured on the cover of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. (5/20/20)

‘Strange effect’ raises possibility of smaller, smarter optical filters

Xia HongXia Hong and colleagues have discovered a ‘strange trick’ while studying how the optical behavior of single-layer molybdenum disulfide responded when it was placed atop a ferroelectric material called lead zirconate titanate, or PZT. Instead of observing second-harmonic generation uniformly across the surface, the team noticed that certain segments were boosting the phenomenon even as others dampened it. This discovery could spur the development of smaller, more versatile optical filters that are especially adept at playing with a trick of the light. Among the co-authors were two other NCMN faculty: Yongfeng Lu and Evgeny Tsymbal. (4/29/20)

Nejati team experimenting with organic LEGOs

Siamak NejatiA team led by Siamak Nejati, including researchers from the Colorado School of Mines, Harbin Institute of Technology, and the University of Pennsylvania, have discovered a way to synthesize a special type of organic solids, known as porphyrin-based covalent organic frameworks (POR-COFs). COFs are porous, lightweight and durable; the researchers compare them to LEGO bricks for their ability to be assembled in defined ways and relatively quickly to form a variety of larger structures. (4/14/20)

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