Posts tagged with "engineering news"

Pirelli Elect

The Porsche Taycan is the first car to use Pirelli Elect tires.

With low rolling resistance to increase autonomy, decreased road noise, immediate grip that puts the power down for a quick getaway and a special structure to support the weight of a battery-powered vehicle, Pirelli Elect tires are changing the game.

They are developed specially with leading car manufacturers to meet specific technical requirements of and be compatible with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The Elect marking, which was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2019, is the distinguishing factor. It is available as original equipment for the most modern cars.

The new P Zero Elect was developed by Pirelli’s own engineers for the Porsche Taycan, and they capitalize on the already staggering performance.

Pirelli’s perfect fit philosophy was the baseline for the tire, and the compound, construction and tread pattern suit the Taycan to a tee.

Even with the power and low-down torque of the Taycan, the Pirelli tires give the driver autonomy, grip and reduced noise, enhancing drivability and perfecting safety.

All drivers of Taycan can now feel comfortable with tires designed with fully electric cars in mind. 

Pirelli has also created Elect versions of their Winter Sottozero 3, Scorpion Winter and P Zero Winter for all of the laws mandating winter tires in many different countries. The P Zero Winter is available in 19-inch and 20-inch sizes.

Winter tires are recommended for those who put in a lot of miles in the cold or simply want the best performance in harsh conditions.

When temperatures drop below 44 degrees, summer tires are unable to perform to their maximum capabilities. Winter tires are softer, allowing them to work even when temperatures drop below zero, providing secure braking.

To learn more, you can click right here.

A Trillion Turns of Light Nets Terahertz Polarized Bytes

American and Italian engineers have demonstrated the first nanophotonic platform capable of manipulating polarized light 1 trillion times per second. 

“Polarized light can be used to encode bits of information, and we’ve shown it’s possible to modulate such light at terahertz frequencies,” said Rice University’s Alessandro Alabastri, co-corresponding author of a study published this week in Nature Photonics.

 “This could potentially be used in wireless communications,” said Alabastri, who is also an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in Rice’s Brown School of Engineering. “The higher the operating frequency of a signal, the faster it can transmit data. One terahertz equals 1,000 gigahertz, which is about 25 times higher than the operating frequencies of commercially available optical polarization switches.”

This new found research was a collaboration between experimental and theoretical teams at Rice, the Polytechnic University of Milan and the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa. This collaboration started in the summer of 2017 when co-author of the study, Andrea Schirato was a visiting scholar in the Rice lab of physicists along with co-author Peter Nordlander. Schirato is a Politecnico-IIT joint graduate student under the supervision of co-corresponding author Giuseppe Della Valle and co-author Remo Proietti Zaccaria. 

Each of the researchers work in nanophotonics, a fast-growing field that uses ultrasmall, engineered structures to manipulate light. Their idea for ultrafast polarization control was to capitalize on tiny, fleeting variations in the generation of high-energy electrons in a plasmonic metasurface.

 Metasurfaces are ultrathin films or sheets that contain embedded nanoparticles that interact with light as it passes through the film. By varying the size, shape and makeup of the embedded nanoparticles and by arranging them in precise two-dimensional geometric patterns, engineers can craft metasurfaces that split or redirect specific wavelengths of light with precision.

“One thing that differentiates this from other approaches is our reliance on an intrinsically ultrafast broadband mechanism that’s taking place in the plasmonic nanoparticles,” Alabastri said. 

The Rice-Politecnico-IIT team designed a metasurface that contained rows of cross-shaped gold nanoparticles. Each plasmonic cross was about 100 nanometers wide and resonated with a specific frequency of light that gave rise to an enhanced localized electromagnetic field. Thanks to this plasmonic effect, the team’s metasurface was a platform for generating high-energy electrons.

“When one laser light pulse hits a plasmonic nanoparticle, it excites the free electrons within it, raising some to high-energy levels that are out of equilibrium,” Schirato said. “That means the electrons are ‘uncomfortable’ and eager to return to a more relaxed state. They return to an equilibrium in a very short time, less than one picosecond.”

Experiments were performed by study co-first author Margherita Maiuri at Politecnico’s ultrafast spectroscopy laboratories and they were confirmed by the team’s theoretical predictions. She used an ultrashort pulse of light from one laser to excite the crosses, allowing them to modulate the polarization of light in a second pulse that arrived less than a picosecond after the first.

Despite the symmetric arrangement of crosses in the metasurface, the nonequilibrium state has asymmetric properties that disappear when the system returns to equilibrium. To exploit this ultrafast phenomenon for polarization control, the researchers used a two-laser setup.

“The key point is that we could achieve the control of light with light itself, exploiting ultrafast electronic mechanisms peculiar of plasmonic metasurfaces,” Alabastri said. “By properly designing our nanostructures, we have demonstrated a novel approach that will potentially allow us to optically transmit broadband information encoded in the polarization of light with unprecedented speed.”

Purdue University Engineers New Nickel Material

Hybrid technique aims to produce stronger, corrosion-resistant nickel for auto, medical, manufacturing industries

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Nickel is a widely used metal in the manufacturing industry for both industrial and advanced material processes. Now, Purdue University innovators have created a hybrid technique to fabricate a new form of nickel that may help the future production of lifesaving medical devices, high-tech devices and vehicles with strong corrosion-resistant protection.

The Purdue technique involves a process where high-yield electrodeposition is applied on certain conductive substrates. The Purdue team’s work is published in the December edition of Nanoscale. One of the biggest challenges for manufacturers with nickel is dealing with the places within the metals where the crystalline grains intersect, which are known as the boundary areas. These conventional grain boundaries can strengthen metals for high- strength demand.

However, they often act as stress concentrators and they are vulnerable sites for electron scattering and corrosion attack. As a result, conventional boundaries often decrease ductility, corrosion resistance and electrical conductivity.

Another specific type of boundary, much less common in metals such as nickel due to its high-stacking fault energy, is called a twin boundary. The unique nickel in a single-crystal-like form contains high-density ultrafine twin structure but few conventional grain boundaries.

This particular nickel has been shown by the Purdue researchers to promote strength, ductility and improve corrosion resistance. Those properties are important for manufacturers across several industries – including automotive, gas, oil and micro-electro-mechanical devices.

“We developed a hybrid technique to create nickel coatings with twin boundaries that are strong and corrosion-resistant,” said Xinghang Zhang, a professor of materials engineering in Purdue’s College of Engineering “We want our work to inspire others to invent new materials with fresh minds.”

The solution of the researchers at Purdue is to use a single crystal substrate as a growth template in conjunction with a designed electrochemical recipe to promote the formation of twin boundaries and inhibit the formation of conventional grain boundaries. The high-density twin boundaries contribute a high mechanical strength exceeding 2 GPa, a low corrosion current density of 6.91 × 10^−8 A cm^−2, and high polarization resistance of 516 kΩ.

“Our technology enables the manufacturing of nanotwinned nickel coatings with high-density twin boundaries and few conventional grain boundaries, which leads to superb mechanical, electrical properties and high corrosive resistance, suggesting good durability for applications at extreme environments,” said Qiang Li, a research fellow in materials engineering and member of the research team. “Template and specific electrochemical recipes suggest new paths for boundary engineering and the hybrid technique can be potentially adopted for large-scale industrial productions.”

Potential applications for this Purdue technology include the semiconductor and automotive industries, which require metallic materials with advanced electric and mechanical properties for manufacturing. The nanotwinned nickel can be applied as corrosion-resistant coatings for the automobile, gas and oil industries.

The new nickel hybrid technique can be potentially integrated to the micro- electro-mechanical system industry after careful engineering designs. MEMS medical devices are used in critical care departments and other hospital areas to monitor patients.

The relevant pressure sensors and other functional small-scale components in MEMS require the use of materials with superior mechanical and structural stability and chemical reliability.

The team worked with the Purdue Research Foundation, Office of Technology Commercialization to patent the technology. They are looking for partners. For more information on licensing and other opportunities, contact D.H.R. Sarma from OTC at dhrsarma@prf.org 

The research has been funded by the Department of Energy’s. The Purdue team worked with scientists from Sandia National Laboratories on the technology.

About Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university’s academic activities through commercializing, licensing and protecting Purdue intellectual property. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Visit the Office of Technology Commercialization for more information.