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Transformation of graphite into hexagonal diamond documented by WSU researchers

Yogendra Gupta

Scientists have puzzled over the exact pressure and other conditions needed to make hexagonal diamond since its discovery in an Arizona meteorite fragment half a century ago.

Now, a team of WSU researchers has for the first time observed and recorded the creation of hexagonal diamond in highly oriented pyrolytic graphite under shock compression, revealing crucial details about how it is formed. The discovery could help planetary scientists use the presence of hexagonal diamond at meteorite craters to estimate the severity of impacts.

“The transformation to hexagonal diamond occurs at a significantly lower stress than previously believed,” said WSU Regents Professor Yogendra Gupta, director of the Institute for Shock Physics and a co-author of the study. “This result has important implications regarding the estimates of thermodynamic conditions at the terrestrial sites of meteor impacts.”

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New device could turn heat energy into a viable fuel source

Yi Gu

A new device being developed by Washington State University physicist Yi Gu could one day turn the heat generated by a wide array of electronics into a usable fuel source.

The device is a multicomponent, multilayered composite material called a van der Waals Schottky diode. It converts heat into electricity up to three times more efficiently than silicon — a semiconductor material widely used in the electronics industry. While still in an early stage of development, the new diode could eventually provide an extra source of power for everything from smartphones to automobiles.

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A New World of Microscopes

Matt McCluskey
Matt McCluskey

Four years removed from a frustrating “out of focus” problem with his confocal microscope, Washington State University (WSU) physicist Matthew McCluskey finds himself in the unexpected position of founder and chief technology officer of his own startup company, Klar Scientific.

Klar Scientific specializes in the development of optical instruments for materials characterization—some of which arise from McCluskey’s improvisation while working on semiconductor characterization in his lab at WSU.

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Laboratory Equipment

 

Could crystal-based electronics enable medtech innovation?

Matt McCluskey
Matt McCluskey

New crystal-based electronics – in which a laser etches electronic circuitry into a crystal – could enable better electrical interfaces between implantable medical devices and biological tissue, according to the lead researcher behind the technology.

“Electrical conductivity affects how cells adhere to a substrate. By optically defining highly conductive regions on the crystal, cells could be manipulated and perhaps used in bioelectronic devices,” Matt McCluskey, a Washington State University professor of physics and materials science, told MDO.

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Medical Design & Outsourcing

 

WSU scientists help detect gravitational waves for third time

Sukanta Bose

Three billion years ago in a distant galaxy, two massive black holes slammed together, merged into one and sent space–time vibrations, known as gravitational waves, shooting out into the universe.

The waves passed through Earth and were detected early this year by an international team of scientists, including WSU physicists Sukanta Bose, Bernard Hall and Nairwita Mazumder.

The newfound black hole, first reported in the journal Physical Review Letters in June, has a mass about 49 times that of the sun. The collision that produced it released more power in an instant than is radiated by all the stars and galaxies in the universe at any moment.

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