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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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WSU News

WSU physicists write with light, turn crystal into an electrical circuit

Matt McCluskey
Matt McCluskey

Washington State University physicists have found a way to write an electrical circuit into a crystal, opening up the possibility of transparent, three-dimensional electronics that, like an Etch A Sketch, can be erased and reconfigured.

The work, to appear in the on-line journal Scientific Reports, serves as a proof of concept for a phenomenon that WSU researchers first discovered by accident four years ago.

“It opens up a new type of electronics where you can define a circuit optically and then erase it and define a new one,” said Matt McCluskey, a WSU professor of physics and materials science. “It’s exciting that it’s reconfigurable. It’s also transparent. There are certain applications where it would be neat to have a circuit that is on a window or something like that, where it actually is invisible electronics.”

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Quantum tractor beam could tug atoms, molecules

Philip Marston

The wavelike properties of quantum matter could lead to a scaled-down version of Star Trek technology. A new kind of tractor beam could use a beam of particles to reel in atoms or molecules, physicists propose in the May 5 Physical Review Letters.

“The idea is very reasonable,” says Philip Marston of Washington State University in Pullman. Although the results are still theoretical, “I think somebody will probably find some way to demonstrate this in the lab,” Marston says.

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