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In this issue:
New Research Helps Overcome Barrier for Organic Electronics
Super Computing 2009: Fountain of Information
InfoPortal Benchmarking Workshop Today
SLAC Organizational Culture Survey: It's for Lab Users Too
SLAC Green Note: Using (20 Percent) Less Water

SLAC Today

Thursday - November 12, 2009

New Research Helps Overcome Barrier for Organic Electronics

(Photo - organic semiconductor crystals)
Engineered organic semiconductor crystals such as these are used to study the effects of current flow in thin film transistors that could be useful in digital displays and flexible electronics. (Image: Stanford news service.)

A multi-institutional research team has determined why some transistors made of organic crystals don't perform well, yielding ideas about how to make them work better.

Providing insight into a frustrating inconsistency in the performance of electronics made with organic materials, researchers have shown that the alignment of boundaries between individual crystals can make a 70-fold difference in how easily current can move through transistors. The research, which could help engineers design better digital displays and other devices, was published online November 8 in the journal Nature Materials.

Organic semiconductors have a lot to offer: they are cheap and flexible, and production is much simpler than for traditional silicon chips. But performance from transistor to transistor varies much more than can be allowed for commercially viable electronic devices.

"You can make a single device that has high 'charge mobility,' but you really need to make thousands of them," said Alberto Salleo, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University and a senior co-author of the paper. "Most research groups report a high variation in that mobility. What we did here is try to understand what causes the variation."

The team made a systematic study of a likely culprit: the "grain" boundaries between crystals. They examined current flow for well- versus poorly-aligned crystals, using direct electrical measurements, theoretical calculations by co-author John Northrup at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, and X-ray analysis headed by co-author Michael Toney at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource at SLAC.  Read more in Stanford Report...

(Photo - SLAC SC09 exhibit)
The exhibit, ready for shipping to Portland: Distilling Science from Floods of Data. (Photo courtesy Tofigh Azemoon.)

Super Computing 2009: Fountain of Information

Water cascades over a reflective ball on the end of a six-foot tower, pooling in a basin before flowing down a thin ramp and into a smaller tank. As part of an enormous SLAC and Stanford display for the Super Computing 2009 Conference in Portland, Oregon, this outpouring represents the flow of data analyzed by tens of thousands of computers during a modern physics experiment.

"We wanted to make an analogy of data reduction with waterfalls," said coordinator Tofigh Azemoon, who last week finished constructing the giant exhibit at SLAC before shipping it to Oregon.

To achieve its data analogy, the exhibit features water rushing between ever-smaller fountains, representing the distillation of information through successive stages of analysis.

Modern-day physics experiments produce a flood of data—as many as 1000 terabytes per second—that require massive computation to filter relevant scientific information. The full flow of data from an experiment such as ATLAS, BaBar, the Linac Coherent Light Source or Large Synoptic Survey Telescope would quickly fill all storage space at SLAC, overwhelming researchers.


InfoPortal Benchmarking Workshop Today

Interested in how other laboratories manage and deliver administrative information to staff? Come to Kavli Auditorium from 9 a.m. to noon today to hear how it's done at Brookhaven, Idaho and Oak Ridge National Laboratories. Talks will address how these labs manage policies and procedures, records, content, processes and other types of information staff need to get their jobs done efficiently and effectively.

SLAC Organizational Culture Survey:
It's for Lab Users Too

SLAC users, the lab management would like to hear from you. The SLAC Organizational Culture Survey includes a special category for SLAC users in question two. Please take a few minutes to fill out the series of multiple-choice and two free-response questions. The survey will be available online through November 20. Your feedback is welcome, and your answers will be kept confidential. Thank you for your participation.

(Image - ISEMS leaves)

SLAC Green Note: Using
(20 Percent) Less Water

Shorter showers and low-water landscaping can help California cities meet Tuesday's new water conservation law, which aims for 20 percent reduction in urban water use by 2020. So can household investments from low-flow shower heads to high-efficiency clothes washers, and some water districts offer rebates or even free fixtures for saving water.

Customers of Cal Water, which serves parts of Menlo Park, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and more, can request free Conservation Kits that include high-efficiency shower heads, faucet aerators, hose nozzles and toilet leak detection tablets. Some Cal Water districts also offer rebates on low-water appliances. Similarly, the Santa Clara Valley Water District is offering limited-time rebates on water-saving washing machines, toilets and water softeners; and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has rebates for residential (and commercial) toilets and clothes washers.

If you're not served by any of these suppliers, try a Google search for your water district to find out whether similar programs are available in your area.


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