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Nanocone Metasurface For Omni-Directional Detector And Photovoltaics

Reducing reflection from surfaces is very important for improving the efficiency of solar cells and photodetectors, producing improved optical displays with less glare as well as coatings for high power optical applications. Without anti-reflection (AR), semiconductor surfaces reflect 30-40% of incident light and glass reflects 10-20% even at normal incidence and >70% with large incident angles.  Traditional methods for achieving anti-reflection are through thin film AR coating. The traditional AR coating is designed to be a quarter-wavelength in thickness (typically 50-100 nm) and has refractive index equal to the geometric mean of the two refractive indices of the media between which antireflection is desired. Antireflection is achieved using destructive interference and is necessarily a narrow-band and narrow-angle effect. The anti-reflective performance deteriorates as incidence angle increases and is particularly severe beyond 40-50 degrees. This is a major issue in the presence of diffuse light, which is the case in any realistic environment.  Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a novel  Nanocone Metasurface that is able to address what AR coating is unable to do at high incident angles. This method significantly augments the properties of a traditional thin film AR coating. A nanocone array is made of silicon nitride sitting on a thin silicon nitride layer. This underlying layer is similar to a traditional thin film AR coating. Underneath the nanocone metasurface is a indium gallium phosphide absorber. The nanocone metasurface serves as an omni-directional anti-reflection coating thereby collecting light from all directions.

A Plastic Synapse Based on Self-Heating-Enhanced Charge-Trapping in High-K Gate Dielectrics of Advanced-Node Transistors

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science have developed a novel way of implementing plastic synapses for neuromorphic systems applications by using charge-trapping advanced-node transistors.

Combined Greywater-Storm Water System With Forecast Integration

Water is a scarce resource in some part of the United States, and recent droughts in the Midwest and the South have elevated the issue of water scarcity to a national level. Existing water sources will face increasing strain due to population growth and climate change, and financial and regulatory barriers will prevent the development of new sources. One method to alleviate water scarcity is storm water capture. Storm water can be used for non-potable applications such as irrigation, laundry, and toilet flushing to significantly reduce domestic municipal water consumption. However, in arid regions of the US, rain comes in short, intense storms only a few months out of the year, and the duration and intensity of these storms require large storage tank volumes for storm water capture to be financially feasible.    One solution is to integrate storm water capture with greywater capture. Greywater is a reliable source of water for domestic reuse, and includes water from washbasins, laundry, and showers (kitchen sinks and water for toilet flushing are considered blackwater). Combining greywater-storm water in the same collection system allows for a much smaller storage tank. A UC Berkeley researcher, along with other researchers, have developed aforecast-integrated automated control system for combined greywater-storm water storage and reuse. A simple and reliable approach for managing greywater and storm water collection at a household or community level is provided, allowing for the near-continuous monitoring and adjustment of water quantity and quality in a combined greywater-storm water storage tank based on monitored feedback/output from individual, tank-specific sensors and/or sensors located elsewhere in the water collection system.   

Battery Energy Storage Control System

UCLA researchers have developed a battery energy storage system capable of both shifting power consumption pattern and shaping power consumption profile with minimal delay.

Hyperloop Design

Valerie Leblond and Heather Roberge from the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA have created designs of stations, pods, and user experiences that will seamlessly integrate the hyperloop in today’s metropolitan areas.

Protein-Coated Microparticles For Protein Standardization In Single-Cell Assays

Single-cell analysis offers powerful capabilities of identification of rare sub-populations of cells, understanding heterogeneity of cancerous tumors, and tracking cell differentiation and reprogramming. Despite great potentials for uncovering new biological systems and targeting diseases with precision medicine, single-cell approaches are composed of complex device processes that can cause bias in measurement.  In deep sequencing, technical variation in single cell expression data occurs during capture and pre-amplification steps. Similarly, in single-cell protein assays, technical variability can obscure functionally relevant variance.    To better control protein measurement quality in single-cell assays, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley developed a novel method to loading and release protein standard. This method utilizes the surface of modified and functionalized microparticles as vehicles to capture target proteins with desired concentrations. Chelation-assisted click chemistry is applied to demonstrate that protein standards with different molecular masses can be loaded and bounded in a single-cell protein assay. Microparticles are introduced into single-cell devices by either passive gravity, magnetic attraction, or other physicochemical forces. These protein standards from microparticles provide a reference to measure protein mass sizes from individual cells and a quality control for any biases in device fabrication, cell lysis, protein solubility, protein capture, and protein readouts (i.e. antibody probing).   

Stroboscopic Universal Structure-Energy Flow Correlation Scattering Microscopy

Flexible semiconductors are far less costly, resource and energy intensive than conventional silicon production. Yet, as an unintended consequence of semiconductor printing, the films produced contain structural heterogeneities, or defects, which can limit their capacity to shuttle energy, or, information, over device-relevant scales. To be able to fully embrace this new, greener process, it is essential to elucidate which physical material properties most influence energy flow and which defects are most deleterious to efficient energy transport so that they can be targeted for elimination at the materials processing stage. Although some rather complex approaches have recently been used to track energy flow, the applicability of each one depends on specifics of the semiconductor properties (bandgap, excitonic vs charge carrier form of excitation, strong absorption or emission). Existing techniques cannot therefore be applied to a broad range of materials, and often necessitate adapting samples to fit the specific requirements of the technique. A broadly applicable approach is therefore needed to non-invasively and simultaneously reveal and correlate material morphology and energy flow patterns across many scales.    Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a new high-sensitivity, non-invasive, label-free, time-resolved optical scattering microscope able to map the flow of energy in any semiconductor, and correlate it in situ to the semiconductor morphology. This device has been shown as a far simpler approach to spatio-temporally characterize the flow of energy in either charge or exciton form, irrespective of the electronic properties of the material, and with few-nm precision. Furthermore, built into this approach is the unprecedented capability to perform in situ correlation to the underlying physical structure of the material. 

Development of an Antidote for Cyanide and Sulfide Poisoning

Cyanide is a rapidly acting poison, which, along with carbon monoxide, is the major cause of death from smoke inhalation. For treating a large number of casulaties in the field, the best mode of treatment would be intramuscular injection of antidote, preferably by an autoinjector. The two treatments currently approved for cyanide poisoning— hydroxocobalamin (Cyanokit) and the combination of sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate (Nithiodote)—must be administered by intravenous injection. Thus, no agent currently exists for rapidly treating a large number of cyanide poisoned persons. Another rapidly acting poison similar to cyanide, is hydrogen sulfide. People are exposed to hydrogen sulfide gas in a variety of occupations, most notably wastewater processing, and agriculture and petroleum industries. Up to 30% of oil workers have been exposed to sufficient amounts of hydrogen sulfide to have symptoms, and fatalities are not uncommon. No specific treatment currently exists for sulfide poisoning, and treatment consists of general supportive care.