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Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, July 2011
Date:7/13/2011

To arrange for an interview with a researcher, please contact the Communications and External Relations staff member identified at the end of each tip. For more information on ORNL and its research and development activities, please refer to one of our Media Contacts. If you have a general media-related question or comment, you can send it to news@ornl.gov.

MATERIALS Moving toward nanorobots . . .

Nanoscale robots that can flow through blood or repair complex electronics may yet be a possibility with the help of a new strategy developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Although devices such as computer processors can effectively handle electrical signals at the length scale of 10 nanometers, achieving motion at the nanoscale has remained elusive. "If we want to conquer the nanoscale, we need efficient ways to convert electrical signals to mechanical signals on comparable length scales," said ORNL's Sergei Kalinin, co-author of a paper published in Nano Letters. The paper outlines an approach for nanoscale motion that takes advantage of the metal insulator transition in vanadium dioxide. In the work led by ORNL's Alexander Tselev, the researchers elicited mechanical motion in their system by applying current to vanadium dioxide nanowires to observe the interplay between current flow, phase transformations and mechanical motion. [Contact: Morgan McCorkle; 865-574-7308; mccorkleml@ornl.gov]

ENERGY Boost for industry . . .

Eliminating barriers to energy efficiency of U.S. industry is the focus of a new report commissioned by the Department of Energy and performed by Georgia Institute of Technology and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. As the consumer of about one-third of the nation's energy, the industrial sector presents a significant opportunity to save energy, according to the report, "Making Industry Part of the Climate Solution
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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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