Growing tomorrow’s semiconductor chips in the materials garden

terrones holds a sampl

In some ways, Mauricio Terrones is a gardener. An Evan Pugh University Professor and The Penn State Verne M. Willaman Professor of Physics, Terrones does not grow flowers or vegetables, but instead, one- or few-atom-thick two-dimensional (2D) materials. Specifically, creating materials with specific properties. The first 2D material ever created was graphene, and Terrones was a pioneer in developing 2D materials beyond graphene such as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and Tungsten disulfide (WS2). These are layered 2D materials, monolayered, bi-layered, tri-layered or more.

Improved, self-healing medical sensor responds to temperature, adapts to skin

image of a sensor

By Sarah Small

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For wearable electronics to live up to their promise for health care monitoring, they need to do at least two things: transform from rigid to soft to accommodate changing structural needs, and heal their own normal wear-and-tear. With the help of liquid metal and specialized polymers, researchers have developed sensors that can do both.  

Standalone sensor system uses human movement to monitor health and environment

Person blowing on a sensor

By Ashley WennersHerron

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For mere dollars, a Penn State-led international collaboration has fabricated a self-powered, standalone sensor system capable of monitoring gas molecules in the environment or in human breath. The system combines nanogenerators with micro-supercapacitors to harvest and story energy generated by human movement. 

Researcher to image lab earthquake formation, precursory signals with ultrasound

An individual sits at a desk holding two rocks attached to lab instruments.

By Mariah R. Lucas

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Earthquakes are notoriously hard to predict, and scientists currently rely on seismic hazard maps to predict the likelihood of an earthquake to strike a particular region. Jacques Rivière, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics (ESM) and of acoustics, received a five-year, $750,000 Early Career Award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to advance the use of ultrasound sensors to image lab-based earthquakes and better understand the precursory events that lead to them.