A new route to a quantum internet
Aug. 31, 2023
Written by Scott Lyon, Office of Engineering Communications

While today’s classical data signals can get amplified across a city or an ocean, quantum signals cannot. They must be repeated in intervals — that is, stopped, copied and passed on by specialized machines called quantum repeaters. Many experts believe these quantum repeaters will play a key role in future communication networks, allowing…

Like facial recognition for atoms, image distinguishes elements by electron orbitals
July 17, 2023
Written by John Sullivan, Office of Engineering Communications

Orchestrating an array of advanced microscopes, researchers at Princeton and the University of Texas have created images of molecules with such clarity that it is possible to distinguish iron from cobalt by the orbital shapes of electrons buzzing around them.

Chemists have long used abstract shapes to describe electron orbitals in…

Engineers reveal the secrets behind green graphene
July 12, 2023
Written by Colton Poore, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

When Ange Nzihou, an expert in converting society's waste into valuable products, visited Princeton in 2022, he brought with him a technique to transform waste biomass into graphene, a material with many uses from batteries to solar cells. He knew his approach using a nontoxic iron catalyst offered advantages over existing methods relying on…

Engineers look to an old source to empower the future of computer vision
July 10, 2023
Written by Adam Hadhazy for Engineering Communications

Artificial intelligence seems perfect for creating massive sets of images needed to train autonomous cars and other machines to see their environment, but current generative AI systems have shortcomings that can limit their use. Now, engineers at Princeton have developed a software system to overcome those limits and quickly create image sets…

Lasers pave the way to better use of cement
June 7, 2023
Written by Adam Hadhazy, Office of Engineering Communications

Engineers at Princeton University are deploying lasers to precisely evaluate a major drawback of 3D-printed cement — the material’s resistance to fracture. The researchers hope that progress in this area could lead to a wider use of additive manufacturing in cement-based structures. The long-term goal is to develop better materials using…

Teaching trucks to see
April 25, 2023
Written by Daniel Oberhaus

For the past year and a half, a small fleet of semi-trucks has been roaming the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico. To the untrained eye, these trucks run by Torc Robotics, an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck, look perfectly ordinary, no different from the thousands of others that pass through this transportation hub every day. But look…

Surface steers signals for next-gen networks
April 20, 2023
Written by Molly Sharlach, Office of Engineering Communications

5G communications’ superfast download speeds rely on the high frequencies that drive the transmissions. But the highest frequencies come with a tradeoff.

Frequencies at the upper end of the 5G spectrum hold the greatest amount of data and could be critical to high-resolution augmented and virtual reality, video streaming, video…

Using drones and lasers, researchers pinpoint greenhouse gas leaks
April 17, 2023
Written by Colton Poore, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

As evidence mounts that gas drilling and sewer systems leak far more greenhouse gases than previously believed, a team of Princeton researchers has developed a method to pinpoint leaks both big and small for speedy repair.

Their laser-based sensing approach, detailed in a paper 

Insights into energy loss open doors for up-and-coming solar tech
Nov. 18, 2022
Written by Colton Poore, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

Organic solar cells are an emerging technology with a lot of promise. Unlike the ubiquitous silicon solar panel, they have the potential to be lightweight, flexible, and present a variety of colors, making them particularly attractive for urban or façade applications. However, continued advancements in device performance have been sluggish as…

The best place to store energy for the electric grid? You might be standing on it
Sept. 6, 2022
Written by Sharon Waters for the Office of Engineering Communications

For parts of the U.S., the best place to store massive amounts energy for the electric grid could be right beneath our feet.

Geothermal energy, which relies on hot rock far below the earth’s surface, has long been used as a source of heating and electricity generation. But recent advances in drilling technology have opened up new…