Chemical Engineering

Stanford research reveals new ways to study and control crystallization

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Research News

Stanford scientists help create a novel way to do time-lapse studies of crystallization that will lead to more flexible and effective electronic displays, circuits and pharmaceutical drugs.

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New Ways to Control Crystallization
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Stanford scientists' time-lapse studies will lead to improved electronic displays, circuits and drugs.

Sometimes engineers invent something before they fully comprehend why it works. To understand the "why," they must often create new tools and techniques in a virtuous cycle that improves the original invention while also advancing basic scientific knowledge.

Such was the case about two years ago, when Stanford engineers discovered how to make a more efficient type of "strained organic semiconductors" that carry currents faster, a big step toward producing flexible electronic devices that couldn't be built using rigid silicon chips.

Last modified Fri, 18 Apr, 2014 at 11:24

Stanford engineers make flexible carbon nanotube circuits more reliable and efficient

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Researchers invent a process to 'dope' carbon filaments with an additive to improve their electronic performance, paving the way for digital devices that bend.

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Improving Flexible Carbon Nanotubes
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Stanford engineers make flexible carbon nanotube circuits more reliable and efficient.

Engineers would love to create flexible electronic devices, such as e-readers that could be folded to fit into a pocket. One approach involves designing circuits based on electronic fibers known as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) instead of rigid silicon chips.

But reliability is essential. Most silicon chips are based on a type of circuit design that allows them to function flawlessly even when the device experiences power fluctuations. However, it is much more challenging to do so with CNT circuits.

Last modified Tue, 18 Mar, 2014 at 15:28

Newly discovered catalyst could lead to the low-cost, clean production of methanol, scientists say

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Research News

Scientists from Stanford, SLAC and Denmark have created a new nickel-gallium catalyst that could some day be used to convert hydrogen and carbon dioxide emissions into methanol, an important industrial chemical and potential fuel.

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Catalyst for Cheap, Clean Methanol
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New nickel-gallium catalyst could convert hydrogen and carbon dioxide emissions into methanol.

An international research team has discovered a potentially clean, low-cost way to convert carbon dioxide into methanol, a key ingredient in the production of plastics, adhesives and solvents, and a promising fuel for transportation.

Last modified Tue, 4 Mar, 2014 at 12:33

Stanford researchers identify cellular elastic that keeps nerves resilient

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Research News

A team of Stanford Bio-X scientists and engineers has found the secret to how nerves withstand the wear and tear of bending joints and moving tissues.

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How Nerves Stay Resilient
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Cellular elastic helps nerves withstand the wear and tear of bending joints and moving tissues.

Make a fist, and pity the nerve cells in your hand. Some are stretched taut across the outside of your fingers, and others are squished within your palm. Despite that, they continue to do their jobs, sending signals to detect touch or pain and controlling your muscles to release the fist or clench it tighter.

The question is how.

If nerves were like floppy strings, the constant bending and stretching could damage their delicate membranes and prevent them from sending signals to and from the spinal cord.

Last modified Wed, 26 Feb, 2014 at 10:00

Engineers teach old chemical new tricks to make cleaner fuels, fertilizers

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Research Profile

Researchers from Denmark and Stanford show how to produce industrial quantities of hydrogen without emitting carbon into the atmosphere.

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Making “Greener” Hydrogen
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Producing industrial hydrogen without carbon emissions.

University researchers from two continents have engineered an efficient and environmentally friendly catalyst for the production of molecular hydrogen (H2), a compound used extensively in modern industry to manufacture fertilizer and refine crude oil into gasoline.

Last modified Wed, 29 Jan, 2014 at 14:37

Stanford engineer shows how a modified form of graphene could be used to make an energy-efficient data storage device

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Research News

Chemical engineering researcher shows how to control the spin of electrons in a potential data storage application.

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Controlling Eectron Spin
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Controlling electron spin for data storage.

In the ongoing quest to store more data in smaller packages, a Stanford engineer has simulated how to use electric fields to control spin, a quantum property of the electrons, in a modified form of graphene.

Graphene is made from sheets of carbon atoms arranged in a lattice. Each sheet is just one atom thick. A recent paper by Elton Santos, a Stanford research fellow in chemical engineering, shows how modifying this material could create small, energy efficient storage devices with high capacities.

Last modified Thu, 19 Dec, 2013 at 15:39

Letter from the Dean

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Announcement

Stanford engineers have always tackled the biggest challenges, and the past academic year was no exception.

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New Directions

Stanford Engineering Dean Jim Plummer

Last modified Wed, 18 Dec, 2013 at 11:35

Stanford researchers take a step toward developing a ‘universal’ flu vaccine

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Research Profile

Stanford engineers are working to create a flu vaccine that could be produced more quickly and offer broader protection than what is available today.

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Advancements in Flu Protection
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Stanford engineers working to create a flu vaccine that could offer broader protection than what's available today.

Every year the approach of flu season sets off a medical guessing game with life or death consequences. There are many different strains of flu, and they vary from year to year. So each season authorities must make an educated guess and tell manufacturers which variants of the flu they should produce vaccines against.

Even when this system works, flu-related illnesses can kill 3,000 to 49,000 Americans annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A bad guess or the unexpected emergence of a virulent strain could send the death toll higher.

Last modified Fri, 20 Dec, 2013 at 10:17

Stanford Engineering Year in Review

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Press Release

Stanford engineers are driven to change the world, and 2013 was no exception. Stanford Engineering faculty and students blazed new trails in energy, nanotechnology, bioengineering, education and many other fields.

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New Directions
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Stanford engineers tackled some of the world's biggest challenges during the past academic year.

 

The Stanford School of Engineering has been at the forefront of innovation for nearly a century, turning big ideas into solutions that have improved people’s lives across the globe. Our mission is to seek solutions to important global problems and educate leaders who will make the world a better place by using the power of engineering principles, techniques and systems. 

Last modified Thu, 13 Mar, 2014 at 15:24

Merck Research Labs chief Peter Kim to join Stanford’s Department of Biochemistry

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Stanford alum will also be a member of the new Stanford Institute of Chemical Biology.

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Peter Kim to Join Biochemistry
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Merck Research Labs chief will be a professor and a member of the new Stanford Institute of Chemical Biology.

Peter S. Kim, who for the past decade has served as president of Merck Research Laboratories, will join the Stanford University School of Medicine faculty as a professor of biochemistry and will also be a member of the new Stanford Institute of Chemical Biology.

Last modified Fri, 13 Dec, 2013 at 12:14