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All News tagged "engineering"

MXene film

Containing Our 'Electromagnetic Pollution'

If you’ve ever heard your engine rev through your radio while listening to an AM station in your car, or had your television make a buzzing sound when your cell phone is near it, then you’ve experienced electromagnetic interference. This phenomenon, caused by radio waves, can originate from anything that creates, carries or uses an electric current, including television and internet cables, and, of course cell phones and computers. A group of researchers at Drexel University and the Korea Institute of Science & Technology is working on cleaning up this electromagnetic pollution by containing the emissions with a thin coating of a nanomaterial called MXene.

bulk photovoltaic effect

Making a Solar Energy Conversion Breakthrough With Help From a Ferroelectrics Pioneer

Designers of solar cells may soon be setting their sights higher, as a discovery by a team of researchers has revealed a class of materials that could be better at converting sunlight into energy than those currently being used in solar arrays. Their research shows how a material can be used to extract power from a small portion of the sunlight spectrum with a conversion efficiency that is above its theoretical maximum — a value called the Shockley-Queisser limit. This finding, which could lead to more power-efficient solar cells, was seeded in a near-half-century old discovery by Russian physicist Vladimir M. Fridkin, PhD, a visiting professor of physics at Drexel University, who is also known as one of the innovators behind the photocopier. 
salt

Adding Some Salt to the Recipe For Energy Storage Materials

A team of researchers from Drexel University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) and Tsinghua University recently discovered a way to improve the recipe and make the resulting materials bigger and better and soaking up energy — the secret? Just add salt. 

Drexel faculty (from left) Longjian Liu, Carol Collier and Franco Montalto were among the eight participants who traveled to Paris, France to represent Drexel at the 2015 COP21 conference.

Drexel Talks Climate Change

Drexel’s participation in the annual United Nations Conference on Climate Change in December empowered eight Drexel faculty, staff and students. Each came away with a different, rewarding experience that they’ll share at a public event next month.

bacteria-driven microrobot

Drexel Research Helps Bacteria-Powered Microrobots Plot a Course

A team of engineers at Drexel University recently published research on a method for using electric fields to help tiny bio-robots propelled by flagellated bacteria navigate around obstacles in a fluid environment. These microrobots could one day be used for building microscopic devices or even delivering medication at the cellular level.

carbon film supercapacitors

Research Reveals Carbon Films Can Give Microchips Energy Storage Capability

After more than half a decade of speculation, fabrication, modeling and testing, an international team of researchers led by Drexel University’s Yury Gogotsi, PhD, and Patrice Simon, PhD, of Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France, have confirmed that their process for making carbon films and micro-supercapacitors will allow microchips and their power sources to become one and the same.

crystalsome

The Future of Medicine Could Be Found In This Tiny Crystal Ball

A Drexel University materials scientist has discovered a way to grow a crystal ball in a lab. Not the kind that soothsayers use to predict the future, but a microscopic version that could be used to encapsulate medication in a way that would allow it to deliver its curative payload more effectively inside the body.

pond scum

Cleaning Wastewater With Pond Scum

A blob of algae scooped from a fountain on South Street almost two years ago, has seeded a crop of the green stuff that Drexel University researchers claim is more effective at treating wastewater than many of the processes employed in municipal facilities today. The algae is a functional ingredient of a bioreactor system designed by Drexel environmental engineers to remove several chemicals from wastewater at once — shortcutting a process that normally takes multiple steps, expensive ingredients, and a great deal of time.

ultraviolet light

A Molecular Light Switch?...Just Add Water

A bit of stray moisture during an experiment tipped off scientists about the strange behavior of a complex oxide material they were studying—shedding light on its potential for improving chemical sensors, computing and information storage. In the presence of a water molecule on its surface, the layered material emits ultraviolet light from its interior. A team of researchers from Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California at Berkeley, and Temple University recently published its discovery that it is possible to control UV light production via a chemical reaction that functions like flipping a light switch.
office

Do You Think Before You Breathe? Drexel Survey Finds Broad Misperceptions About Impact of Cleaner Indoor Air

Do you know how easy it is to improve the quality of the air you breathe every day?  Or how much indoor air quality affects your health and productivity?  If you’re not sure, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey by a group of Drexel University environmental and architectural engineering researchers, there is quite a bit of confusion about the costs and benefits of indoor air quality improvement—even among building owners, designers, managers and tenants.

Boron nitride aerogel

Drexel Materials Scientists Aid Australian Institution in Developing Super-Absorbent Material That Can Soak Up Oil Spills

In hopes of limiting the disastrous environmental effects of massive oil spills, Materials scientists from Drexel University and Deakin University, in Australia, have teamed up to manufacture and test a new material, called a boron nitride nanosheet, that can absorb up to 33 times its weight in oils and organic solvents—a trait that could make it an important technology for quickly mitigating these costly accidents. 
Philadelphia power plant

A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment Plots a Course for Philadelphia to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Researchers from the A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment issued a 97-page report to the City of Philadelphia that plots a detailed course for how the city can reduce its emission of greenhouse gasses—with the goal of an 80 percent reduction by the year 2050. Among its suggestions are retrofitting hospitals, grocery stores, schools and retail stores with better windows and insulation; drawing electricity from low-carbon sources like nuclear, wind and solar power; and encouraging the use of electric vehicles, public transportation, walking and cycling.