UNL Scientists Make Groundbreaking Engineering Discovery

UNL Scientists Make Groundbreaking Engineering DiscoveryDid you know that some of the most cutting-edge scientific and manufacturing research in the entire world is happening right now in Nebraska?

The manufacturing, engineering, and technology industries were all stunned on January 8th when two researchers announced that they had created the world’s fastest thin-film organic transistors, an achievement that had previously eluded scores of international scientists and engineers.

Zhenan Bao, professor of chemical engineering at Stanford, and Jinsong Huang, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, led research teams to engineer transistors that functioned five times faster than previous examples.

Transistors such as these are used in high-resolution television displays and powerful computer screens– and importantly, in the age of green development and awareness, organic transistors mean that these speedy, advanced electronics will be biodegradable!

TG Daily reports that “additional progresses to this experimental procedure could lead to the formation of inexpensive, high-performance electronics built on transparent substrates such as glass, and eventually, clear and flexible plastics.”

Bao and Huang announced that they were able to achieve greater speed by varying the elementary process of manufacturing the transistors. Although it’s still experimental and still a work in progress, it’s exciting to see the part Nebraskans that are playing in green initiatives at a basic manufacturing level.

The research teams also included Yongbo Yuan, a postdoctoral associate at UNL’s Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience, and two other graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from Stanford. Stanford Engineering reports that the work was funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the National Science Foundation.

If you’re a student at UNL or considering a career in manufacturing, engineering, science, or technology, you should feel comfortable knowing that you’re at an institution leading the world in manufacturing technology.

UNL assistant professor Dr. Huang has worked in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UNL since 2009, after receiving his Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from UCLA in 2007. UNL also awarded him the faculty research award for the department in 2011, a sign of exciting developments to come from Dr. Huang.

That’s the exciting aspect of working in manufacturing and engineering—the research projects you can undertake, and the collaborations that can develop can truly change the face of technology. A tiny object (say, for example, an organic transistor…) could affect the evolution of the television you’re watching the Husker game on in a few years.

New technology is always evolving, and it’s great to see Nebraska contributing to the advancement of the industry!

Photo credit: Red Orbit