Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


Home > Press > DOE grant funds innovative nanotechnology research at UNL

Jeff Shield (left), Ralph Skomski (center) and David Sellmyer (right)
Jeff Shield (left), Ralph Skomski (center) and David Sellmyer (right)

Nanoscientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have received a prestigious grant to develop new magnetic materials that could help reduce global warming and the nation's dependence on foreign resources.

DOE grant funds innovative nanotechnology research at UNL

Lincoln, NE | Posted on December 24th, 2009

Researchers in UNL's Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience, who are nationally known experts in magnetic nanotechnology, are part of a collaboration led by the University of Delaware to develop better ways to power hybrid cars, wind turbines and computer discs, among many other applications. This team, which includes several universities, a federal laboratory and a company, recently received a three-year, nearly $4.5 million Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy grant from the U.S. Department of Energy funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. UNL's share of the grant is $675,000.

"There's huge interest in energy research in this country now," said physics professor David Sellmyer, director of the center and the leader of this research at UNL. "Our country definitely needs to get better at creating energy for all kinds of power applications."

Many clean energy and computing technologies rely on lightweight permanent magnets and magnetic materials made from rare earth metals, such as neodymium. Despite the name, rare earth ores are common in the earth's crust. Nearly all of the world's supply of rare earth metals comes from China, which has more than half of the ore deposits. Demand for these metals is skyrocketing, and China is restricting exports. The extraction process used in China also creates environmental problems.

Sellmyer and his UNL colleagues, physicist Ralph Skomski and materials engineer Jeff Shield, are developing materials with stronger magnetic properties that do not contain rare earth metals. Stronger magnets produce more energy for powering wind turbines and hydroelectric generators. They also reduce the size and power consumption of everything from hybrid and electric cars to computer memory storage devices. Lighter-weight vehicles increase gas efficiency and reduce exhaust emissions.

To better manipulate the magnetic properties of materials, the researchers are using nanotechnology to build material at the atomic scale. The ability to precisely position every atom in a nanoparticle allows full control of the material's magnetic properties.

Collaborators at the University of Delaware, Northeastern University, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and the Electron Energy Corp. also are developing new magnetic nanomaterialsa, concentrating on techniques that use smaller concentrations of rare-earth metals or composite materials.

Sellmyer said the UNL center's undertaking is the kind of high-risk, high-reward project the Department of Energy is looking for.

"The best magnets that we've got now were discovered in 1985 or so," he said. "We've made advances, but nothing that's a big quantum leap. And that's what we want: a home run rather than a single."

The Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience, founded in 1988 and funded largely by grants from the National Science Foundation and the departments of Energy and Defense, brings together experts from chemistry, engineering and physics to study and create new materials and structures for a wide range of applications.

"We're one of the top magnetism groups in the country," Sellmyer said. The fact that just 1 percent of all Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy proposals were funded demonstrates UNL's preeminence in the field.

"This is a big source of funding that should greatly improve our chances of success in a short amount of time," he said.


For more information, please click here

David Sellmyer
Professor, Physics & Astronomy

Copyright © University of Nebraska-Lincoln

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press


SUNY Poly Welcomes DPS as the Global Engineering Firm Opens Its U.S. Advanced Technology Group Headquarters at Cutting-Edge ZEN Building November 20th, 2015

Pioneering research boosts graphene revolution November 17th, 2015

University of Leeds Expands Structural Biology with Purchase of Multiple Titan Krios TEMs from FEI November 10th, 2015

Iran Signs MoU to Export Nanodevices to China November 9th, 2015


'Material universe' yields surprising new particle November 28th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Discover New Catalyst to Remove Pharmaceutical Compounds from Wastewater November 28th, 2015

RAMAN Spectrometry Makes Characterization of Various Nanostructures Possible November 28th, 2015

Nanoparticles Boost Impact Resistance of Special Type of Polymer November 28th, 2015


Iranian Scientists Discover New Catalyst to Remove Pharmaceutical Compounds from Wastewater November 28th, 2015

Researchers find new, inexpensive way to clean water from oil sands production November 24th, 2015

UCLA nanoscientists develop safer, faster way to remove pollutants from water November 23rd, 2015

Sea traffic pollutes our lungs more than previously thought November 21st, 2015


Stanford technology makes metal wires on solar cells nearly invisible to light November 27th, 2015

Tandem solar cells are simply better: Higher efficiency thanks to perovskite magic crystal November 24th, 2015

ORNL microscopy captures real-time view of evolving fuel cell catalysts November 21st, 2015

NREL research identifies increased potential for perovskites as a material for solar cells November 21st, 2015


ORNL microscopy captures real-time view of evolving fuel cell catalysts November 21st, 2015

Increasing Impact Resistance of Polypropylene by Nanoparticles November 20th, 2015

CE & Mobile, ADAS Makers Look to MEMS/Sensors Industry for Enhanced User Experiences at MEMS Executive Congress US 2015 --Smartphone, wearables, ADAS, VR Companies Engage with MEMS/Sensors Suppliers at MEMS & Sensors Industry Groupís annual executive event November 6th, 2015

On the road to ANG vehicles: Berkeley Lab researchers find a better way to store natural gas as a transportation fuel October 27th, 2015


'Material universe' yields surprising new particle November 28th, 2015

Stanford technology makes metal wires on solar cells nearly invisible to light November 27th, 2015

New 'self-healing' gel makes electronics more flexible November 25th, 2015

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Receives Quality Award from INOVA Semiconductors GmbH November 20th, 2015

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

New EU project designed to link diagnosis and treatment of diseases over the long term: Joint research project aims at the improvement of companion diagnostics and therapy of tumor diseases November 23rd, 2015

EuroCPS, a Horizon 2020 Project, Announces Next Round Of Support for Innovative Companies and their CPS projects November 20th, 2015

Leti and Partners in Silicon Photonics Supply-Chain Project Announce Developments on Three Mature Platforms: PLAT4M Project Focused on Speeding Industrialization of the Technology November 18th, 2015

FEI and ICON Analytical Demonstrate the Power of TEM for Materials and Life Sciences Research: FEIís Talos scanning transmission electron microscope will be available for demos and workshops at the Indian Institute of Science from 23 November to 15 December 2015 November 17th, 2015

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

Car Brands
Buy website traffic