Podcasts

Welcome to the XSEDE podcast page! Below are a few audio-recorded feature news segments about XSEDE science success stories.

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Tiny Zaps, Big Results: Laser–Materials Research with Guest Leonid Zhigilei

The "small talk" of researchers in nanotechnology is extremely small. Their interest is in the physical phenomena occurring with things one-billionth of a meter in size, a million times shorter than the length of an ant, and up to 100,000 times thinner than a human hair. But the benefits to society of the science, engineering, and technology they're doing at such tiny scales are huge.

In fact, more than 800 everyday commercial products rely on nanoscale materials and processes, according to the National Nanotechnology Initiative (nano.gov). A central aspect of nanotechnology is that it allows essential structures of materials to be tailored to achieve specific properties that improve a variety of applications in medicine, energy, information technology, and many other areas.

One method of nanotechnology research involves the use of short laser pulses at minuscule fractions of a second to produce structural changes in thin, localized surface regions of various materials, such as gold, silver, or silicon.

Leonid Zhigilei, who heads the Computational Materials Research Group at the University of Virginia, says via telephone in this podcast that what attracted him to this type of research is the ability of lasers to excite and change materials in ways not possible with any other technique.

DIrect link to story: https://www.nics.tennessee.edu/zhigilei-laser-nanotechnology