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Published on February 15th, 2017 | By: April Gocha, PhD

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

Published on February 15th, 2017 | By: April Gocha, PhD

[Image above] Credit: NIST

 

NANOMATERIALS

 

Using atomic layer deposition to engineer atom-thick oxide semiconductors

A new study affiliated with UNIST has introduced a novel method for fabrication of world’s thinnest oxide semiconductor that is just one atom thick. This material is formed by directly growing a single-atom-thick ZnO layer on graphene, using atomic layer deposition.

 

Versatile 2-D material grown with topological electronic states

University of Pennsylvania researchers are now among the first to produce a single, three-atom-thick layer of a unique 2-D material called tungsten ditelluride. Unlike other 2-D materials, scientists believe tungsten ditelluride has what are called topological electronic states, meaning that it can have many different properties instead of just one.

 

Electrons play a key role in heat transport through 2-D tin sheets

A*STAR researchers have found that heat travels through atom-thin sheets of tin in a very unusual way. The team calculated phonon and electron thermal conduction in stanene at various temperatures and found that stanene has a much lower phonon thermal conduction than graphene.

 

Supercomputing, experiment combine for first look at magnetism of real nanoparticle

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers working with magnetic nanoparticles approached computational scientists to help solve a unique problem: to model magnetism at the atomic level using experimental data from a real nanoparticle.

 

Developing nanodiamond materials

By carefully designing modified diamonds at the nano-scale level, a Missouri University of Science and Technology researcher hopes to create multifunctional diamond-based materials. The researcher is characterizing and modifying 5-nm nanodiamond particles produced from expired military grade explosives so that they can be developed to perform specific tasks.

 

Flat lens to work across a continuous bandwidth allows new control of light

Last summer, Harvard researchers announced a new, flat lens that used an ultrathin array of nanopillars to bend and focus light as it passed. Now, the same team has developed the first flat lens that works within a continual bandwidth of colors that is close to that of an LED.

 

 

ENERGY

 

Toward all-solid lithium batteries with lithium sulfide solid electrolytes

A team at MIT has probed the mechanical properties of a sulfide-based solid electrolyte material to determine its mechanical performance when incorporated into batteries. By protecting the sample from any chemical interactions with air or moisture, the team obtained detailed measurements of the mechanical properties of the lithium-conducting sulfide.

 

Stanford engineers create a low-cost, pee-powered battery for storing renewable energy

A battery made with urea, commonly found in fertilizers and mammal urine, could provide a low-cost way of storing energy produced through solar power or other forms of renewable energy for consumption during off hours. Developed by Stanford scientists, the battery is nonflammable and contains electrodes made from abundant aluminum and graphite.

 

Research pinpoints promise of polycrystalline perovskites

A team of scientists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory determined that surface recombination limits the performance of polycrystalline perovskite solar cells. The scientists determined recombination in other parts of a methylammonium perovskite film isn’t as important as what’s happening on the surface, both the top and bottom.                                                                      

 

Battling corrosion to keep solar panels humming

People think of corrosion as rust on cars or oxidation that blackens silver, but it also harms critical electronics and connections in solar panels, lowering the amount of electricity produced. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are studying corrosion to help industry develop longer-lasting photovoltaic panels and increase reliability.

 

Researchers optimize assembly of carbon for lithium–sulfur batteries

A team of researchers at Hefei University of Technology demonstrated that pore size distribution substantially influences the performances of cathodes rather than specific surface area and total pore volume. Furthermore, an optimized assembly of micro/meso/macroporous carbon enables cathode present greatly improved electrochemical performances.

 

New, long-lasting flow battery could run for more than a decade with minimum upkeep

Harvard researchers have developed a new flow battery that stores energy in organic molecules dissolved in neutral pH water. This new chemistry allows for a non-toxic, non-corrosive battery with an exceptionally long lifetime and offers the potential to significantly decrease the costs of production.

 

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

How to recycle lithium batteries

New research describes a new way to extract the lithium and the cobalt that make up the bulk of the metal components of these batteries. The team’s hydrometallurgical method can recover both cobalt and lithium in their laboratory-scale tests from standard 48.8 Wh lithium batteries.

 

Study helps explain why uranium persists in groundwater at former mining sites

A recent study led by scientists at SLAC National Accelerator Lab helps describe how contaminant cycles through the environment at former uranium mining sites and why it can be difficult to remove. Contrary to assumptions that have been used for modeling uranium behavior, researchers found the contaminant binds to organic matter in sediments.

 

Three new uranium minerals from Utah

An alumnus of Michigan Technological University has found three new uranyl minerals discovered growing on the walls of old uranium mines in southern Utah: leesite, leószilárdite and redcanyonite.

 

 

MANUFACTURING

 

Research team helps Boeing set up nondestructive evaluation laboratory

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology recently worked with Boeing to establish a new nondestructive evaluation laboratory that uses millimeter wave technology to improve the detection of potential flaws in coatings, surfaces and materials.

 

Automatically darkening windows in a wide range of colors

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute and their colleagues have developed a new manufacturing method for electrochromic glass panes. While previous glass was only available in blue, a new process makes it possible to manufacture other glass colors for the first time. And compared to previous models, switching is nearly ten times faster.

 

Looking inside materials the smart way

Aircraft, trains and power plants have to be inspected regularly. Detecting damage too late could pose safety risks and often results in expensive downtimes. Now, researchers are using the 3-D SmartInspect sensor and inspection system to transfer established testing routines into tomorrow’s digital world.

 

Green roll-to-roll PCB process aims to cut carbon and costs

Roll-to-roll manufacturing processes for printed circuit boards are already showing promise for lowering the cost and environmental impact of high-volume electronic products. But a new roll-to-roll system, developed by the Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan promises to simplify the process while further reducing the carbon footprint involved.

 

New software for increasingly flexible factory processes

Industrial manufacturing usually follows rigidly programmed processes, in which individual work steps and machines are tightly scheduled. At the Hannover Messe Preview, Fraunhofer developers will be presenting new software that allows each individual component to tell the machine what has to be done.

 

New design tools bring large-area LED products on the market with speed, quality and lower costs

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland researchers have develops novel LED light sources based on large, flexible, and transparent substrates in collaboration with Finnish companies. An easy-to-customize LED foil suitable for mass production enables introduction of large area lighting and display technologies.

 

 

OTHER RESEARCH

 

Model accurately predicts electronic properties of transition-metal dichalcogenides

Researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and colleagues used a simple model to determine the band alignment in 2-D transition-metal dichalcogenides. The team measured the energy of the bandgap in three TMDs, molybdenum disulfide, tungsten disulfide, and tungsten diselenide, using ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy.

 

1000 times more efficient nano-LED opens door to faster microchips

Optical connections are obvious successors for electronic data connections for microchips, but optical data transmission requires an adequate nanoscale light source. Scientists at Eindhoven University of Technology now have created a light source that has the right characteristics: a nano-LED that is 1000 times more efficient than its predecessors and is capable of handling gigabits per second data speeds.

 

Germanium outperforms silicon in energy efficient transistors with n- und p- conduction

A team of scientists from Dresden University of Technology have demonstrated the first transistor based on germanium that can be programmed between electron- (n) and hole- (p) conduction. Transistors based on germanium can be operated at low supply voltages and reduced power consumption, due to the low band gap compared to silicon.

 

Atomic-level sensors measure electric field within working semiconductor device

Researchers have developed a method for sensing the electric field generated in semiconductor devices during operation. The technique is demonstrated for a diamond device, with nitrogen-vacancy centers acting as local electric-field probes, subject to bias voltages up to 150 V.

 

Machine learning method accurately predicts metallic defects

For the first time, researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab have built and trained machine learning algorithms to predict defect behavior in certain intermetallic compounds with high accuracy. This method will accelerate research of new advanced alloys and lightweight new materials for applications spanning automotive to aerospace and much more.

 

Record-breaking material contracts when heated

Researchers have discovered a negative thermal expansion material that shrinks by a record-breaking amount when heated—volume of reduced ruthenate material shrank by 6.7%. Microstructural effects resulting from highly anisotropic thermal expansion of the crystal grains are believed to trigger this colossal bulk negative thermal expansion.

 

Novel quantum state in strange insulating materials

Researchers from Brown University have shown how a unique form of magnetism arises in an odd class of materials called Mott insulators. The findings are a step toward a better understanding the quantum states of these materials, which have generated much interest among scientists in recent years.

 


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