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IN THE SPOTLIGHT:

The California NanoSystems Institute is proud to see the launch of Carbonics Inc.'s first product, ZEBRA carbon-on-silicon technology for radio frequency (RF) components and devices.

Carbonics is a venture-backed startup that is focused on developing and commercializing a carbon-on-wafer single chip solution that vastly improves the power consumption and performance of wireless products—including next-generation smartphone and communication devices.

The ZEBRA product is the first available platform solution for realizing next-generation semiconductor devices technologies using the novel material of semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNT).

For more information please check out the article from Business Wire
December 19, 2016 - CNSI grad students show them fun side of science

By: Meghan Steele Horan

Graduate student volunteers and staff from the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA recently showed more than 300 high school students from Bell Gardens High School that there’s a fun side to science at “Ask a Scientist,” an event that the high school hosts annually.

High school students flocked to the school auditorium to participate in hands-on demonstrations and pose questions about science, nanotechnology, research and available opportunities for internships and programs.

The school partnered with CNSI to bring concepts of nanotechnology and science to students from this underserved, predominantly Latino community who typically do not have access to science or scientists outside the classroom, said high school officials. "This event is special because it allows our students to see what’s out there in the science world," said Juan Herrera, school principal. "These types of opportunities give our students the background, the knowledge, and the motivation to want to become scientists."

One fun experiment that the Bell Gardens students observed involved superhydrophobic surfaces, based on a phenomenon where a surface repels water due to properties at the molecular and near-molecular level. Swimsuits made from fabrics with these properties were used in the Beijing Olympics, so that water flowing over the suit could be directed in such a way that helped the swimmer go faster — acting like the skin of a shark.

"One of the volunteers who majors in organic chemistry showed us a Speedo [swimsuit] that uses shark technology where the water slides right off, making the Olympic swimmer swim way faster,” said Daniela Morales, a senior at Bell Gardens.

Students eagerly chatted with the CNSI students and staff. "One volunteer went into detail about how you can use nanotechnology for solar energy," said senior Alex Gonzalez. “We had a conversation about solar panels and the differences between batteries and solar energy itself. … UCLA has a lot of outreach opportunities for students. This event was really eye-opening.” Morales noted that some of the UCLA scientists that were at the event were also Latino. "I never thought I would be here," said the student. "It’s interesting to know that there are people that come from similar backgrounds as ours that are in the STEM field."

This event was not only beneficial for the students, but for the volunteers as well. Morgan Howe, a CNSI volunteer and a UCLA graduate student studying organic chemistry, said she enjoys teaching people and students about science.

"I chose to be involved in this event in particular because I like helping to teach science — and not just in the classroom. It was an opportunity to get people excited who wouldn’t normally be excited about science," Howe said.

December 15, 2016 - A simple, inexpensive attachment could help to expand testing to regions with limited resources

By: Matthew Chin

Read more here.
December 15, 2016 - CNSI Volunteers teach families about nanotechnology through fun demonstrations in native language

By: Meghan Steele Horan



Every year, Cal State University (CSU) hosts tens of thousands of Spanish-speaking students and their families to take part in Feria de Educación, or “Education Fair” providing educational and college preparatory services, learning opportunities, and fun-filled family activities to the Latino community.

On Oct. 15, CSU Northridge was overflowed with children, students, and family members eager to visit various booths and participate in events such as a children’s book giveaway and a visualization activity where kids dressed up in the uniform of a profession they aspire to, including doctors and astronauts.

For the first time, volunteer scientists, graduate students, and staff from the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI) engaged and interacted with students and their families, introducing various science concepts and nanotechnology through hands-on kid-friendly demonstrations.

Many of these students and their families are from underserved communities, especially in regards to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. “It’s so important for STEM to reach underserved communities because we see time and time again how diverse communities and workplaces function better. When you have more points of view looking at a problem, you can get more solutions,” said Rita Blaik, CNSI Education Manager. “So we are trying to do our part to inspire a rich and diverse set of next-generation scientists. Giving local underserved communities access to unique and quality science education is also important to our mission and the University of California’s mission of public service, and the Latino community is a big part of the LA public.”

While children and students were more responsive and engaged with English, having Spanish-speaking volunteers was key in explaining the science and nanotechnology concepts to adults. “I would see people walk along the periphery of our stand, hesitant to approach our big group.” said Erick Harr, a UCLA chemistry graduate student volunteering at CNSI’s booth. “Adults became engaged very easily when approached by a Spanish speaker. They would immediately perk up and give the discussion their full attention. I was thrilled with the huge turnout we got and with all the energy everyone at the fair brought with them!”

Various nanotechnology demonstrations were on display, including a self-assembly sphere. “How are you built?” volunteers asked event patrons. “How are the molecules inside you put together?” Adults and children alike took in the questions posed to them, allowing them to think critically while rolling a sphere containing 3D printed pieces that spontaneously self-assemble into a dodecahedron, or a 12 sided object. When agitated, the pieces self-assemble due to the balance of attractive and repulsive forces based on the orientation of each magnet- serving as an analogy to attractive and repulsive forces of molecules inside the body.

Other nanotechnology demos included super hydrophobic materials such as magic sand, swim suits, and Teflon, which repel water due to nanoparticle coatings as well as biopolymers or expanding gels that take in water. A video of the event can be viewed on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/teve09WmsU8

Feria de Educación is a partnership between the CSU Latino Initiative and Univision, which is the nation’s leading Spanish-language media company.

CNSI is committed to public outreach through educational programs and events, reaching k-12 and college students, teachers, families, and adults both in and out of a laboratory setting.
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