Darryl Smith knows how to make organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) more energy efficient than those available today. Current OLEDs have a transparent layer of electrically conductive material deposited on a substrate. Another layer of organic polymer, the one from which light is emitted, is deposited on the transparent layer. The third and final conducting layer is then deposited. Smith, a Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher, proved a method by which an intermediate chemical layer is applied between a conducting layer and the polymer layer of OLEDs, increasing the efficiency of current flow. He describes the single-molecule layer as a self-assembled polymer. The self-assembling layer has rows that line up in the same direction. Adding atoms at each end of the mono-molecule layer, the molecules "anchor" themselves to the conducting layer while maintaining polarity. The molecules' charged ends resemble the poles of a bar magnet. The thin layer shuttles electric charges between OLED's conducting and polymer layers. For more information, go to www.lanl.gov.
More and more robots are becoming more autonomous all the time. Now Lockheed Martin has completed a demo mission with two completely autonomous robotic vehicles performing resupply, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
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