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Published on December 28th, 2016 | By: April Gocha, PhD

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

Published on December 28th, 2016 | By: April Gocha, PhD

[Image above] Credit: NIST

 

NANOMATERIALS

 

Electrifying news: Nano-modified aerospace composites from carbon nanotubes

New research demonstrates that by growing carbon nanotubes on the surface of the carbon fibers, it is possible to impart electrical and thermal conductivities. The research, conducted at the University of Surrey and the University of Bristol, shows off the potential of a carbon fiber reinforced plastic to be made multifunctional, while still maintaining its structural integrity.

 

Nanocubes simplify printing and imaging in color and infrared

Duke University researchers believe they have overcome a longstanding hurdle to producing cheaper, more robust ways to print and image across a range of colors extending into the infrared. The team revealed a manufacturing technique that promises to bring a simplified form of multispectral imaging into daily use.

 

Researchers use world’s smallest diamonds to make wires three atoms wide

Scientists at Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Lab have discovered a way to use diamondoids to assemble atoms into the thinnest possible electrical wires, just three atoms wide. By grabbing various types of atoms and putting them together LEGO-style, the new technique could potentially be used to build tiny wires for a wide range of applications.

 

Graphene able to transport huge currents on the nanoscale

An international research team demonstrated that the electrons in graphene are extremely mobile and react very quickly. Impacting xenon ions with a particularly high electric charge on a graphene film causes a large number of electrons to be torn away from the graphene in a very precise spot. However, the material was able to replace the electrons within some femtoseconds.

 

Sodium embedded carbon nanowalls could mean bright future for energy devices

Embedding sodium in carbon materials can tremendously improve electrodes—which could streamline solar cell and supercapacitor production. Scientists at Michigan Technological University have invented a method to take sodium-embedded carbon nanowalls out of theory and make the material into a real electrode.

 

 

ENERGY

 

Scientists build bacteria-powered battery on single sheet of paper

Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have created a bacteria-powered battery on a single sheet of paper that can power disposable electronics. The manufacturing technique reduces fabrication time and cost, and the design could revolutionize the use of bio-batteries as a power source in remote, dangerous and resource-limited areas.

 

No more burning batteries? Stanford scientists turn to AI to create safer lithium-ion batteries

Stanford University researchers have identified nearly two-dozen solid electrolytes that could someday replace the volatile liquids used in smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices. The results are based on techniques adapted from artificial intelligence and machine learning.

 

Battery research reaching out to higher voltages

For years, small rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have reliably supplied billions of portable devices with energy. But manufacturers of high-energy applications seek for new electrode materials and electrolytes. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich have now developed a new battery test cell allowing to investigate anionic and cationic reactions separately.

 

Scientists boost catalytic activity for key chemical reaction in fuel cells

Scientists have developed fuel cell catalysts that can undergo 50,000 voltage cycles with a negligible decay in catalytic activity and no apparent changes in their structure or elemental composition. The catalysts are “nanoplates” that contain an atomically ordered platinum and lead core surrounded by a thick uniform shell of four platinum layers.

 

Stability challenge in perovskite solar cell technology

Scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University are investigating the cause of rapid degradation of methylammonium lead iodide perovskite solar cells. Their research reveals that iodide-based perovskites will universally produce a gaseous form of iodine during operation—suggesting that the degradation of these perovskites may not be a fixable issue.

 

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

Technique could continuously assess aging of materials in a high-radiation environments

An analytical method developed by researchers at MIT could potentially allow for continuous monitoring of materials exposed to a high-radiation environment without the need to remove them from their environment. This could greatly speed up the testing process and reduce the preventive replacement of materials that are in fact safe and usable.

 

Carbon dots dash toward ‘green’ recycling role

Graphene quantum dots may offer a simple way to recycle waste carbon dioxide into valuable fuel rather than release it into the atmosphere or bury it underground, according to Rice University scientists. Nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots are an efficient electrocatalyst to make complex hydrocarbons from carbon dioxide.

 

 

BIOMEDICINE

 

Researchers build carbon nanotube chip that detects metastatic cancer cells in blood

A chip developed by mechanical engineers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute can trap and identify metastatic cancer cells in a small amount of blood drawn from a cancer patient. The WPI device uses antibodies attached to an array of carbon nanotubes at the bottom of a tiny well.

 

Biodegradable polymer coating for implants

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology researchers now present a polymer coating for medical implants that is degraded in the body together with its carrier. For the first time, the researchers present a chemical vapor deposition method to produce biodegradable polymers, opening up new potentials for biodegradable implants.

 

 

OTHER RESEARCH

 

A flexible multilayer transparent conductor free of reflection and scattering

Scientists at the Institute of Photonic Sciences have developed a room temperature processed multilayer transparent conductor optimizing the antireflection properties to obtain high optical transmissions and low losses, with large mechanical flexibility properties. The researchers applied an Al-doped ZnO overcoat and a TiO2 undercoat layer with precise thicknesses to a highly conductive Ag ultrathin film.

 

Ultrawide bandgap materials could develop transistors and diodes that outperform silicon

Sandia National Laboratories researchers have shown it’s possible to make transistors and diodes from advanced semiconductor materials that could perform much better than silicon. The breakthrough work takes a step toward more compact and efficient power electronics, which in turn could improve everything from consumer electronics to electrical grids.

 

Zinc oxide improves semiconductors and energy output of electronic devices

Research from the United Arab Emirates reveals unique use of zinc oxide to improve semiconductors and energy output in electronic devices. The research could have enormous benefits not only for marines in forward operating bases and sailors at sea, but also for increased capability and faster performance from consumer electronic devices.

 

Researchers develop new amplifier that could double the capacity of fiber-optic cables

More than 3.4 billion people are connected to the Internet, placing ever-increasing demand for bigger, better, and faster bandwidth. Lawrence Livermore National Lab researchers have taken an important step in addressing that need by developing a new type of optical fiber amplifier that could potentially double the information-carrying capacity of fiber-optic cables.

 

Ultra-high-speed optical fiber sensor enables detection of structural damage in real time

By embedding long optical fibers into a structure, strain and temperature distributions along the fibers can be detected. Researchers from Tokyo Institute of Technology and their collaborators recently succeeded in increasing the sampling rate of Brillouin optical correlation-domain reflectomet to 100 kHz, over 5000 times the previous rate, enabling real-time distributed measurement.

 

Duo whip up recipe for bulletproof ceramic windows

Bulletproof glass has long been a critical component in military vehicles and aircraft, but see-through ceramics—thinner, lighter and yet stronger—may soon take its place in Singapore’s arsenal. For five years, a pair of scientists toiled away at Kent Ridge. Now the researchers are seeing the fruits of their labor as the material goes into small-scale production while they wait for a patent to be granted.

 


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