Measure of age in soil nitrogen could help precision agriculture

What’s good for crops is not always good for the environment. Nitrogen, a key nutrient for plants, can cause problems when it leaches into water supplies. University of Illinois engineers developed a model to calculate the age of nitrogen in corn and soybean fields, which could lead to improved fertilizer application techniques to promote crop … Read more

Chemical etching method helps transistors stand tall

Smaller and faster has been the trend for electronic devices since the inception of the computer chip, but flat transistors have gotten about as small as physically possible. For researchers pushing for even faster speeds and higher performance, the only way to go is up. University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to etch … Read more

University of Illinois researchers demonstrate tunable wetting and adhesion of graphene

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated doping-induced tunable wetting and adhesion of graphene, revealing new and unique opportunities for advanced coating materials and transducers. “Our study suggests for the first time that the doping-induced modulation of the charge carrier density in graphene influences its wettability and adhesion,” explained SungWoo Nam, an … Read more

The Chemical History of a Candle: Engineer Guy launches new book and YouTube series on Faraday lectures

In an era of so many scientific and technological breakthroughs—advances in genome editing, the discovery of Higgs boson or the “God particle,” the launching of deep space satellites—two award-winning University of Illinois scientists have teamed up to re-introduce people to a remarkable 19th century lecture series about the candle. Yes, the deceptively simple candle. “There … Read more

New photonic sensor opens the door to high-speed biodetection

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new technique for extremely high speed photonic sensing of the mechanical properties of freely flowing particles using an opto-mechano-fluidic resonator (OMFR). This research potentially opens up completely new mechanical “axes of measurement” on micro/nanoparticles and bioparticles. “It is known that diseases such as cancers … Read more

Rapid prototyping lends a hand in eagle surgery

A complicated orthopedic surgery performed recently at the College of Veterinary Medicine received assistance from the College of Engineering at the opposite end of the University of Illinois campus. On May 5, a young bald eagle in the care of the Wildlife Medical Clinic underwent a three-hour procedure to repair its left humerus, which had … Read more

Reclaimed water could help power plants run more efficiently, study finds

The water going down the drain could help keep the lights on, according to a new study showing that reclaimed water – municipal wastewater that has been treated or cleaned – could be more efficient for cooling power plants than water taken from the local environment. University of Illinois professor of civil and environmental engineering … Read more

Crowdsourcing algorithms aim to lift people from poverty

Crowdsourcing algorithms developed by a research team at the University of Illinois are helping lift people out of poverty—one perfectly placed job at a time. In collaboration with Samasource, researchers led by Lav Varshney, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and the Coordinated Science Lab at Illinois, have built algorithms that more efficiently … Read more

University of Illinois researchers create one-step graphene patterning method

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a one-step, facile method to pattern graphene by using stencil mask and oxygen plasma reactive-ion etching, and subsequent polymer-free direct transfer to flexible substrates. Graphene, a two-dimensional carbon allotrope, has received immense scientific and technological interest. Combining exceptional mechanical properties, superior carrier mobility, high thermal … Read more