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

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

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

[Image above] Credit: NIST

 

NANOMATERIALS

 

How nanoscale patterning can decrease metal fatigue

Fatigue due to repetitive strain is the leading cause of failure in metal components and structures, but new research shows how crystalline structures called nanotwins can slow the accumulation of fatigue-related damage.

 

Synthetic nanomaterial acts like an insect cloaking device

Synthetic microspheres with nanoscale holes can absorb light from all directions across a wide range of frequencies, making them a candidate for antireflective coatings, according to a team of engineers. The synthetic spheres also explain how the leaf hopper insect uses similar particles to hide from predators in its environment.

 

Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University engineers. Rice materials scientists first built atom-level computer models of pillared graphene to discover their strength and electrical properties as well as their thermal conductivity.

 

Documented transformation of graphite into hexagonal diamond

A new study by Washington State University researchers answers longstanding questions about the formation of a rare type of diamond during major meteorite strikes. The team has for the first time observed and recorded the creation of hexagonal diamond in highly oriented pyrolytic graphite under shock compression, revealing crucial details about how it is formed.

 

Engineers develop filters that use nanoparticles to prevent slime build-up

Researchers have a new way of making membranes that allows them to add in a host of new abilities via functional nanoparticles that adhere to the surface of the mesh. They tested this method by adding antifouling particle that could prevent biofilm build-up.

 

Graphene enables high-speed electronics on flexible materials

A flexible detector for terahertz frequencies has been developed using graphene transistors on plastic substrates. It is the first of its kind, and can extend the use of terahertz technology to applications that will require flexible electronics.

 

3-D-printed device builds better nanofibers

MIT researchers describe a new device for producing nanofiber meshes, which matches the production rate and power efficiency of its best-performing predecessor—but significantly reduces variation in the fibers’ diameters, an important consideration in most applications.

 

 

ENERGY

 

Researchers demonstrate technique to fabricate safer and more compact batteries

Researchers have demonstrated a new way to produce more efficient solid-state batteries, which may lead to safer and more compact batteries. The team used atomic layer deposition to fabricate a full, 3-D solid-state battery that is compact and can be recharged quickly.

 

New studies on disordered cathodes may provide much-needed jolt to lithium batteries

Scientists have come up with a set of rules for making new disordered materials, a process that had previously been driven by trial-and-error. They also found a way to incorporate fluorine, which makes the material both more stable and have higher capacity.

 

Microscopic defects make batteries better

High-performance electrodes for lithium-ion batteries can be improved by paying closer attention to their defects. Rice University scientists found that a common cathode material for lithium-ion batteries, olivine lithium iron phosphate, releases or takes in lithium ions through a much larger surface area than previously thought.

 

Scientists elevate quantum dot solar cell world record to 13.4%

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory established a new world efficiency record for quantum dot solar cells, at 13.4%. The latest development comes from a completely different quantum dot material—cesium lead triiodide, a halide perovskite material.

 

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

Discarded cigarette butts: The next high performing hydrogen storage material?

Discarded cigarette butts are a major waste disposal and environmental pollution hazard. But chemists at the University of Nottingham have discovered that cigarette butt-derived carbons have ultra-high surface area and unprecedented hydrogen storage capacity.

 

Low-cost graphene-based sensor detects contaminants in water

Scientists have invented a graphene-based sensing platform for real-time, low-cost detection of various water contaminants. The sensor works by placing semiconducting graphene-based nanosheets between an electrode gap.

 

Metal-organic frameworks could revolutionize nuclear waste reprocessing and save money

Seeking a better way to capture radioactive iodides in spent nuclear reactor fuel, Rutgers–New Brunswick scientists have developed an extremely efficient “molecular trap” that can be recycled and reused. The trap is made of a highly porous metal-organic framework.

 

Devices made from 2-D materials separate salts in seawater

Researchers at the National Graphene Institute at University of Manchester have assembled 2-D materials into devices with the smallest possible man-made holes for water desalination. The tiny slits, just 0.1 nm in size, have allowed study of how ions pass through the membrane.

 

 

OTHER RESEARCH

 

Novel technique reveals intricate beauty of a cracked glass

By replacing hard glass with soft but brittle gels, researchers have slowed down the cracks that precipitate fracture to mere meters per second, and unraveled the complex physical processes that take place during fracture in microscopic detail and in real time.

 

Amorphous metallic glass for high-sensitivity MEMS microphones

Advanced microphones using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are capable of supporting new user interactions with “smart” devices. The key to achieving the high sensitivity desired for these microphones is tied to the “admittance” or “compliance” of its membrane components.

 

Rolling the dice on perovskite interfaces

Osaka University-led researchers have found a way to model perovskite oxide interfaces with great precision and accuracy using a new computerized approach to picking out the correct structure from X-ray data.

 

Deep-depletion: A new concept for MOSFETs

Diamond is largely recognized as the ideal material in wide bandgap development, but realizing its full potential in field-effect transistors has been challenging. Researchers incorporate a new approach by using the deep-depletion regime of bulk-boron-doped diamond MOSFETs.

 

Researchers demonstrate how to control liquid crystal patterns

University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that not only could patterns on liquid crystals be controlled at nanoscales, but the changes could be visible without microscopes. The work could potentially pave the way to new biosensors and energy-efficient harvesting devices.

 

Metal-silicone microstructures could enable new flexible optical and electrical devices

For the first time, researchers have used a single-step, laser-based method to produce small, precise hybrid microstructures of silver and flexible silicone. This laser processing technology could one day enable smart factories that use one production line to mass-produce customized devices.

 

New SOFT e-textiles could offer advanced protection for soldiers and emergency personnel

New technology that harnesses electronic signals in a smart fabric could lead to advanced hazardous-material gear that protects against toxic chemicals, according to research from Dartmouth College.

 


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