A team of researchers led by Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn at the University of Colorado developed a sharply focused, ultraviolet or extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) light source that can be used to measure and manipulate objects at the nano-scale. Size has been a major hurdle to developing, or even seeing, the tiny components because the objects can be smaller than the waves of light illuminating them. EUV light, which has a wavelength of only tens of nanometers, can pulse in shorter bursts than any other system currently available. To create this short-wavelength light, Kapteyn and associates use a laser at visible wavelengths, and then convert the light to much shorter wavelengths using high harmonic generation (HHG)–combining photons to generate much higher-energy photons with a correspondingly shorter wavelength. Kapteyn expects the light source to be used for developing and testing EUV lithography equipment. For more information, contact: Josh Chamot from the National Science Foundation at jchamot@ nsf.gov or phone, (703) 292-8070.
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
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