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Published on March 8th, 2017 | By: April Gocha, PhD

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

Published on March 8th, 2017 | By: April Gocha, PhD

[Image above] Credit: NIST

 

NANOMATERIALS

 

Most complex nanoparticle crystal ever made by design

The most complex crystal designed and built from nanoparticles has been reported by researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Michigan. The new structures are composed of clusters of up to 42 particles, forming larger polyhedral, such as the great dodecahedron. These clusters connect into cage-like crystal structures called clathrates.

 

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

Sometimes, you have to go small to win big. That is the approach a team from Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand, took in using nanoparticles and a novel nanoconfinement system to develop a method to change hydrogen storage properties.

 

Nano ‘sandwich’ offers unique properties

Rice University researchers have modeled a nanoscale sandwich, the first in what they hope will become a molecular deli for materials scientists. Their recipe puts two slices of atom-thick graphene around nanoclusters of magnesium oxide that give the super-strong, conductive material expanded optoelectronic properties.

 

Nanotube-reinforced graphene can be shaped, is highly conductive

A chunk of conductive graphene foam reinforced by carbon nanotubes can support more than 3,000 times its own weight and easily bounce back to its original height, according to Rice University scientists. Better yet, it can be made in just about any shape and size, they reported, demonstrating a screw-shaped piece of the highly conductive foam.

 

Imprinted silicon nanowires could be the future for transistor-based biosensors

Korean researchers are improving the fabrication of transistor-based biosensors by using silicon nanowires on their surface. The team used a method called ‘nanoimprint lithography’ to fabricate silicon nanowires onto the surface of a ‘dual-gate field-effect transistor’ and compared its sensitivity and stability with conventional dual-gate field-effect transistors.

 

 

ENERGY

 

Solar panels get a face-lift with custom designs

Residential solar power could still use a boost, according to MIT spinout Sistine Solar. Sistine’s novel technology, SolarSkin, is a layer that can be imprinted with any image and embedded into a solar panel without interfering with the panel’s efficacy. Panels can be fitted with business logos, advertisements, or even a country’s flag.

 

Sustainable, high-energy density battery based on manganese dioxide

Researchers at The City College of New York-based CUNY Energy Institute announce the development of a novel low cost, rechargeable, high energy density battery that makes the widespread use of solar and wind power possible in the future.  It is based on manganese dioxide, an abundant, safe and non-toxic material.

 

Cathode material with high energy density for all-solid lithium-ion batteries

FDK Corporation and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. have jointly developed lithium cobalt pyrophosphate (Li2CoP2O7), which has high energy density, for the cathode material of all-solid lithium-ion batteries. This material enables the development of all-solid-state batteries with higher voltage and higher capacity.

 

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

Researchers find new clues for nuclear waste cleanup

 A Washington State University study of the chemistry of technetium-99 has improved understanding of the challenging nuclear waste and could lead to better cleanup methods. The researchers determined that the sodium forms of the element behave much differently than other alkalis, which possibly is related to its volatility and to why it may be so reactive with water.

 

Wastewater treatment integrates manganese dioxide and titanium dioxide nanoparticles

Masdar Institute researchers have developed an all-in-one wastewater treatment system to advance wastewater purification. The integrated unit is more efficient and less susceptible to fouling. The project was initiated in collaboration with MIT researchers to improve the quality of the system by coupling filters made of thin manganese dioxide and titanium dioxide nanoparticles.

 

 

OTHER RESEARCH

 

Graphene oxide microfluidics could trigger revolution in computer electronics manufacturing

Researchers from the University of Exeter have developed an innovative new method to engineer computer chips more easily and cheaper than conventional methods. The new research focused on developing a versatile, multi-functional technology to significantly enhance future computing capabilities using microfluidics technology containing graphene oxide flakes.

 

Silicon-on-insulator wafers are suitable substrates for gallium nitride crystals

In cooperation with Okmetic Oy and the Polish ITME, researchers at Aalto University have studied the application of silicon-on-insulator wafers, which are used as a platform for manufacturing different microelectronics components, as a substrate for producing gallium nitride crystals.

 

Protecting engineering materials from water impact

National Physical Laboratory scientists have designed and manufactured a rotating arm test system to evaluate the effectiveness of new materials that are resistant to water erosion. Water damage is monitored by measuring the progression of mass loss throughout the test and the wear mechanisms are assessed by optical and scanning electron microscopy.

 

Scientists develop spectacles for X-ray lasers

An international team of scientists has tailored special X-ray glasses to concentrate the beam of an X-ray laser stronger than ever before. The individually produced corrective lens eliminates the inevitable defects of an X-ray optics stack almost completely and concentrates three quarters of the X-ray beam to a spot with 250 nm diameter, closely approaching the theoretical limit.

 

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

Origami-inspired materials use folds in materials to embed powerful functionality. However, all that folding can be pretty labor intensive. Now, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are drawing material inspiration from another ancient Japanese paper craft—kirigami.

 

Materials that emit rainbows

An international research team has developed tricolor-changing mechanochromic luminescent materials, which change their color in response to a change in their environment, like pressure and temperature. The materials exhibit efficient thermally activated delayed fluorescence and allowed high performance organic light-emitting diodes devices.

 


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