Physical and Chemical Applications

Physical and Chemical Applications

ETA research in this area focuses on technologies for advanced materials, sensors and controls. This research includes:

  • Chemical analysis (femtosecond laser ablation)
  • Advanced sensors (laser ultrasonics)
  • Advanced materials and nanotechnology for clean energy
    • hydrogen storage
    • nanostructured organic light-emitting diodes
    • nanowires and nanoparticles
  • Photons to fuels (biosynthetic pathways for generating hydrocarbon biofuels in photosynthetic organisms)

Advanced Sensor Development

Sensor-based control of industrial processes can help companies:

  • Decrease production costs
  • Reduce waste of raw materials on manufacturing lines
  • Lower manufacturing downtime from equipment maintenance
  • Increase the energy efficiency of manufacturing processes
  • Detect equipment failure early, before it becomes a major liability
  • Improve the environment by minimizing waste products
  • Enhance the safety of workers by providing hazard warnings

Applied Materials

Advanced materials offer multiple benefits in a variety of applications:

  • Metal hydride nanomaterials hold promise as a foundation technology to store hydrogen as fuel
  • Nanostructured organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are a very energy-efficient potential source of light
  • Integrating nanowires and nanolasers into electronic circuits could make possible many applications, including photonics, (the use of light for superfast data processing and transmission), and the "lab on a chip," a microchip equipped with nano-sized light sources and sensors to perform instant and detailed analyses for chemistry, biology, and medical studies.
  • High-temperature superconductors for electrical transmission cable could substantially reduce losses during transmission

Laser Ablation and Laser Ultrasonics

This work focuses on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of laser-material interaction and developing new applications for laser technologies. Researchers are interested in understanding fundamental ablation mechanisms, including laser energy coupling to solid samples, plasma shielding, crater formation, fractionation effects, and gas dynamics of ablation plumes.