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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 14, 2024
  2. A radio frequency (RF) reflectometry technique is presented to measure device capacitances using a probe station. This technique is used to characterize micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) variable capacitor devices that can be connected to create pull-up and pull-down networks used in digital gates for reversible computing. Adiabatic reversible computing is a promising approach to energy-efficient computing that can dramatically reduce heat dissipation by switching circuits at speeds below their RC time constants, introducing a trade-off between energy and speed. The variable capacitors in this study will be measured using single port RF reflectometry achieved with a custom-made RF probe. The RF probe consists of a micromanipulator with an on-board matching network and is calibrated by measuring a capacitive bank that shows a clearly visible frequency shift with the increase in capacitance. The RF probe worked well when measuring static capacitors with no parasitic resistance; however, the frequency shift is masked when measuring the MEMS variable capacitors due to their high in-series parasitic resistance (around 80 kΩ). Therefore, RF reflectometry has the potential to measure MEMS variable capacitors in the range of 0–30 fF when not masked by a high in-series parasitic resistance, creating a fast and versatile method for characterizing variable capacitors that can be used in energy-efficient computing.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
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  5. This paper presents a recent development on the fundamental limits of substructure dielectric resonator antennas (DRAs). Specifically, the substructure DRAs are found to have higher resonance frequencies than the superstructure DRA, and a bounding relation on Q factor is also obtained. Numerical examples based on a ring DRA and a cylindrical DRA is examined here to demonstrate the bounding relations. 
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  6. Biological supramolecular assemblies, such as phospholipid bilayer membranes, have been used to demonstrate signal processing via short-term synaptic plasticity (STP) in the form of paired pulse facilitation and depression, emulating the brain’s efficiency and flexible cognitive capabilities. However, STP memory in lipid bilayers is volatile and cannot be stored or accessed over relevant periods of time, a key requirement for learning. Using droplet interface bilayers (DIBs) composed of lipids, water and hexadecane, and an electrical stimulation training protocol featuring repetitive sinusoidal voltage cycling, we show that DIBs displaying memcapacitive properties can also exhibit persistent synaptic plasticity in the form of long-term potentiation (LTP) associated with capacitive energy storage in the phospholipid bilayer. The time scales for the physical changes associated with the LTP range between minutes and hours, and are substantially longer than previous STP studies, where stored energy dissipated after only a few seconds. STP behavior is the result of reversible changes in bilayer area and thickness. On the other hand, LTP is the result of additional molecular and structural changes to the zwitterionic lipid headgroups and the dielectric properties of the lipid bilayer that result from the buildup of an increasingly asymmetric charge distribution at the bilayer interfaces. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 13, 2023
  7. The detection of the fullerenes C60 and C70 in the interstellar medium (ISM) has transformed our understanding of chemical complexity in space. These discoveries also raise the possibility for the presence of even larger molecules in astrophysical environments. Here we report in situ heating of analog silicon carbide (SiC) presolar grains using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These heating experiments are designed to simulate the temperature conditions occurring in post-AGB stellar envelopes. Our experimental findings reveal that heating the analog SiC grains to the point of decomposition initially yields hemispherical C60-sized nanostructures, with five- and six-membered rings, which transform into multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) if held isothermally >2 min. These MWCNTs are certainly larger than any of the currently observed interstellar fullerene species, both in overall size and number of C atoms. These experimental simulations suggest that such MWCNTs are likely to form in post-AGB circumstellar material, where the structures, along with the smaller fullerenes, are subsequently injected into the ISM. 
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