Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 53

lenges in human health, security, and
automation and new strides in fundamental
scientific exploration and discovery.
Research areas include AI/
machine learning, autonomous systems,
intelligent computing systems,
neuromorphic computing, data modeling,
and computer vision.
ECE is home to world leaders in
metamaterials and metasurfaces. Fac -
ulty members demonstrated the
world's first negative refractive index
metamaterial in 2000 and in 2006, a
Duke ECE engineer invented a metamaterial
" invisibility cloak " that renders
objects undetectable at microwave
frequencies.
Structuring materials and particles
at the tiniest of scales can imbue
them with unique optical, electronic,
or mechanical properties. Engi -
neers in Duke ECE are making materials
stimuli-responsive, antimicrobial,
and superhydrophilic, for ex -
ample. They are also working to create
self-assembling electronic de -
vices and printed biosensors and are
exploring the potential of electronic
materials and films to enable nextWith
the ability to sense changes in pH, temperature, and oil, the DraBot completely soft robot could
be the prototype for future environmental sentinels.
generation solar cells, infrared photodetectors, photo-electrochemical
cells, and superconductors.
Technologies - Engineers developed the world's first fully
recyclable printed electronics. The completely recyclable, fully
functional transistor made of three carbon-based inks can be
easily printed onto paper or other flexible, environmentally
friendly surfaces. Carbon nanotubes and graphene inks are
used for the semiconductors and conductors, respectively.
A versatile microfluidic lab-on-a-chip uses sound waves to
create tunnels in oil to touchlessly manipulate and transport
droplets. The technology could form the basis of a small-scale,
programmable, rewritable biomedical chip that is completely
reusable to enable on-site diagnostics or laboratory research.
Duke and Michigan State University engineers developed a
supercapacitor that remains fully functional even when
stretched to eight times its original size. It does not exhibit any
wear and tear from being stretched repeatedly and loses only a
few percentage points of energy performance after 10,000
cycles of charging and discharging. It could be part of a powerindependent,
stretchable, flexible electronic system for applications
such as wearable electronics or biomedical devices.
Electrical engineers devised a fully print-in-place technique
for electronics that is gentle enough to work on delicate surfaces
including paper and human skin. The advance could
enable technologies such as high-adhesion, embedded electronic
tattoos and bandages with patient-specific biosensors.
The thin film sticks to skin much like a temporary tattoo and
early versions were made to contain heart and brain activity
monitors and muscle stimulators.
Engineers at Duke are leading a nationwide effort to develop
a " super camera " that captures just about every type of
information that light can carry such as polarization, depth,
Tech Briefs, July 2021
Cov
phase, coherence, and incidence angle. The new camera will
also use edge computing and hardware acceleration technologies
to process the vast amount of information it captures within
the device in real time.
Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical
Engineering & Materials Science
Duke Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science (MEMS)
is designing the future of mechanical systems and materials,
focusing on clean and abundant energy, reliable autonomous
technology, and biomechanical devices and biomaterials to
improve human health.
Aerodynamics & Aeroelasticity: Working at the intersection of
fluid mechanics, structural mechanics, and dynamics, Duke
MEMS faculty are investigating a range of aerospace problems.
Using computational and experimental methods, researchers
are studying the physics involved to aid in the development of
improved airframes and turbomachinery that are safer and
more efficient.
Autonomous Systems: Duke MEMS researchers are at work on
new control, optimization, learning, and artificial intelligence
(AI) methods for autonomous dynamic systems that can make
independent intelligent decisions and learn in uncertain,
unstructured, and unpredictable environments. Researchers
design autonomous systems that span robotics, cyber-physical
systems, the Internet of Things, and medicine.
Biomechanics & Biomaterials: Duke MEMS faculty are exploring
an array of biological phenomena to unlock discoveries
leading to new bio-inspired materials. Focus areas include
acoustofluidics and microfluidics, biomaterials and soft matter,
biomechanical engineering, medical device development, and
nanoscience and nanomedicine.
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021

Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 1
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 3
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov3
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov4
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