Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > NIST Carbon Nanotube Chips Go Ballooning for Climate Science

Scientific balloon launched from New Mexico in September 2013 carrying an experimental instrument designed to collect and measure the energy of light emitted by the Sun, with the help of NIST chips coated with carbon nanotubes.
Credit: LASP
Scientific balloon launched from New Mexico in September 2013 carrying an experimental instrument designed to collect and measure the energy of light emitted by the Sun, with the help of NIST chips coated with carbon nanotubes.

Credit: LASP

Abstract:
A huge plastic balloon floated high in the skies over New Mexico on Sept. 29, 2013, carrying instruments to collect climate-related test data with the help of carbon nanotube chips made by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

NIST Carbon Nanotube Chips Go Ballooning for Climate Science

Boulder, CO | Posted on October 23rd, 2013

The onboard instrument was an experimental spectrometer designed to collect and measure visible and infrared wavelengths of light ranging from 350 to 2,300 nanometers. Simpler, lighter and less expensive than conventional counterparts, the spectrometer was tested to determine how accurately it can measure the relative energy of light emitted by the Sun and subsequently reflected or scattered by the Earth and Moon.

The flight was launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, N.M. The balloon travelled with the wind in the stratosphere for about eight-and-a-half hours before radio commands sent the payload parachuting back to Earth. The flight was the first of two intended to demonstrate experimental techniques and acquire sample measurements having possible future applications to Earth climate studies.

Researchers at NIST's Boulder, Colo., campus made the spectrometer's "slit," a high-precision chip that selected the entering light. The device was made under a recent agreement between NIST and the University of Colorado Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). The slit was then calibrated at NIST's Gaithersburg, Md., headquarters.

For nearly a decade, NIST Boulder researchers have been using carbon nanotubes, the darkest material on Earth, to make coatings for laser power detectors.* Nanotubes efficiently absorb nearly all light across a broad span of wavelengths, a useful feature for reducing internal scatter in the balloon imager. NIST also has facilities for, and expertise in, pairing nanotubes with micromachined silicon chips.**

For the balloon spectrometer, known as HySICS (HyperSpectral Imager for Climate Science), NIST made two types of custom chips that were stacked together in a sandwich. In the middle were aperture chips, coated with aluminum to block light transmission through the silicon, with small rectangular openings etched into the chip to allow light into the instrument.

A precision spectrometer must ensure that it only gathers light coming directly from its target, so the two outer layers of the sandwich were masking chips—larger openings etched at an angle and coated with tall, thin carbon nanotubes. These VANTAs ("vertically aligned nanotube arrays") act as superefficient sponges to absorb scattered or stray light across the entire spectral range of the Sun.

While the balloon was in flight, the spectrometer scanned the slit across the Sun to measure solar irradiance. Spectral filters were calibrated by scanning the slit across the Moon and making measurements with and without filters in the beam path. The spectrometer also imaged light emitted from the Earth using the Sun as a reference light source.

NIST's experimental slit was made as part of the LASP Instrument Incubator Project, which fosters the development and evaluation of innovative remote-sensing concepts. LASP scientists will analyze data from the balloon flight in the coming months. For more about the balloon experiment, see lasp.colorado.edu/home/blog/2013/10/01/lasp-balloon-launches-with-first-of-its-kind-test-instrument/.

####

About National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Laura Ost
303-497-4880

Copyright © National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

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.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

*See the 2010 NIST Tech Beat article, "Extreme Darkness: Carbon Nanotube Forest Covers NIST's Ultra-dark Detector," at:

**See the 2013 NIST Tech Beat article, "NIST's 'Nanotubes on a Chip' May Simplify Optical Power Measurements," at:

Related News Press

Laboratories

Sono-Tek Corporation Announces New Clean Room Rated Laboratory Facility in China July 18th, 2014

Fundamental Chemistry Findings Could Help Extend Moore’s Law: A Berkeley Lab-Intel collaboration outlines the chemistry of photoresist, enabling smaller features for future generations of microprocessors July 15th, 2014

Labs characterize carbon for batteries: Rice, Lawrence Livermore scientists calculate materials’ potential for use as electrodes July 14th, 2014

Ribosome Research in Atomic Detail Offers Potential Insights into Cancer, Anemia, Alzheimer’s: New movement during decoding occurs in humans, not in bacteria July 3rd, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Oregon chemists eye improved thin films with metal substitution: Solution-based inorganic process could drive more efficient electronics and solar devices July 21st, 2014

More than glitter: Scientists explain how gold nanoparticles easily penetrate cells, making them useful for delivering drugs July 21st, 2014

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Tiny laser sensor heightens bomb detection sensitivity July 19th, 2014

Nanotubes/Buckyballs

University of Houston researchers create new method to draw molecules from live cells: Technique using magnetic nanomaterials offers promise for diagnosis, gene therapy July 17th, 2014

3-D nanostructure could benefit nanoelectronics, gas storage: Rice U. researchers predict functional advantages of 3-D boron nitride July 15th, 2014

Researchers discover boron 'buckyball' July 14th, 2014

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Discoveries

Oregon chemists eye improved thin films with metal substitution: Solution-based inorganic process could drive more efficient electronics and solar devices July 21st, 2014

Steam from the sun: New spongelike structure converts solar energy into steam July 21st, 2014

More than glitter: Scientists explain how gold nanoparticles easily penetrate cells, making them useful for delivering drugs July 21st, 2014

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Environment

Researchers Use Various Zinc Oxide Nanostructures to Boost Efficiency of Water Purification Process July 13th, 2014

Using Sand to Improve Battery Performance: Researchers develop low cost, environmentally friendly way to produce sand-based lithium ion batteries that outperform standard by three times July 8th, 2014

Development of an interactive tool for the implementation of environmental legislation for nanoparticles manufacturers July 4th, 2014

Up in Flames: Evidence Confirms Combustion Theory: Berkeley Lab and University of Hawaii research outlines the story of soot, with implications for cleaner-burning fuels July 1st, 2014

Alliances/Partnerships/Distributorships

Haydale and Goodfellow Announce Major Distribution Agreement for Functionalised Graphene Materials July 21st, 2014

SentiMag® Now Available in Australia and New Zealand July 21st, 2014

Martini Tech Inc. becomes the exclusive distributor for Yoshioka Seiko Co. porous chucks for Europe and North America July 20th, 2014

National Space Society Calls For Less US Dependence On Russian Space Technology July 15th, 2014

New-Contracts/Sales/Customers

STFC takes delivery of the 100th Hitachi Tabletop SEM in the UK July 3rd, 2014

University of Maastricht Adds Complete Correlative Workflow from FEI to its Institute of Nanoscopy June 23rd, 2014

LatticeGear Sells First LatticeAx 300 Cleaving System to X-FAB: LatticeAx 300 provides fast, accurate cross-sectioning of samples for analysis — more accurately than manual methods and faster and less expensively than automated systems June 9th, 2014

UMass Amherst Purchases Nanonex Advanced 8" NIL Tool NX-2608BA May 28th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



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














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE