We first reported that UCF had broken the world’s shortest laser pulse record, and it seems UCF is on a roll! Assistant Professor Jayan Thomas has just developed a new material using nanotechnology that will help keep pilots safer from destructive lasers.

Here is an excerpt from UCFTODAY …

University of Central Florida assistant professor has developed a new material using nanotechnology, which could help keep pilots and sensitive equipment safe from destructive lasers.

UCF Assistant Professor Jayan Thomas, in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University Associate Professor Rongchao Jin chronicle their work in the July issue of the journal Nano Letters.

Thomas is working with gold nanoparticles and studying their properties when they are shrunk into a small size regime called nanoclusters. Nanoparticles are already microscopic in size, and a nanometer is about 1/80000 of the thickness of a single strand of  human hair. Nanoclusters are on the small end and nanocrystals are on the larger end of the nanoregime. Nano clusters are so small that the laws of physics that govern the world people touch and smell aren’t often observed.

“Nanoclusters occupy the intriguing quantum size regime between atoms and nanocrystals, and the synthesis of ultra-small, atomically precise metal nanoclusters is a challenging task,” Thomas said.

Thomas and his team found that nanoclusters developed by adding atoms in a sequential manner could provide interesting optical properties. It turns out that the gold nanoclusters exhibit qualities that may make them suitable for creating surfaces that would diffuse laser beams of high energy. They appear to be much more effective than its big sister, gold nanocrystal which is the (nano)material used by artists to make medieval church window paintings.

The full UCFTODAY article can be found here http://today.ucf.edu/breakthrough-in-nanotechnology/.