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Published on December 20th, 2017 | By: April Gocha

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

Published on December 20th, 2017 | By: April Gocha

[Images above] Credit: NIST

 

NANOMATERIALS

 

New technique to reveal defect densities in graphene layers

A researcher at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid has been involved in the development of a method that determines the density of defects in 2-D nanomaterials due to measurements of spatial coherence of light that strike them.

 

Engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure

Experts at manipulating matter at the nanoscale have made an important breakthrough in physics and materials science. They have engineered “artificial graphene” by recreating, for the first time, the electronic structure of graphene in a semiconductor device.

 

Fast flowing heat in graphene heterostructures

Scientists have recently succeeded in observing and following, in real-time, the way in which heat transport occurs in van der Waals stacks, which consist of graphene encapsulated by the dielectric 2-D material hexagonal boron nitride.

 

Hybrid electrolyte enhances supercapacitance in vertical graphene nanosheets

Combining the characteristics of aqueous and organic electrolytes into a hybrid version increases VGN performance in supercapacitors, while KOH activation improves nanostructure and charge storage capacity.

 

Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Researchers at NIST and their colleagues have demonstrated that nanometer-scale pores etched into layers of graphene can provide a simple model for the complex operation of ion channels.

 

 

ENERGY

 

Battery research could triple range of electric vehicles

Research at the University of Waterloo could lead to development of batteries that triple the range of electric vehicles. The breakthrough involves use of negative electrodes made of lithium metal, a material with the potential to dramatically increase battery storage capacity.

 

A lithium-ion battery inspired by safety glass

Researchers have modified the design of lithium-ion batteries to include slits along the electrodes, a feature which may mitigate the risk of battery failure. The prototype could allow manufacturers to scale down the housing materials, improving overall energy density and cost.

 

Batteries: Catching radical molecules before they disappear

It has been difficult to generate relatively stable radicals because they react and change in the blink of an eye, but researchers from the Center for Self-Assembly and Complexity within the Institute for Basic Science succeeded in synthesizing four new kinds of stabilized radicals.

 

Superior hydrogen catalyst just grows that way

Research led by Sandia National Laboratories and the University of California, Merced aim at bringing down the cost of hydrogen fuel cells by using a dirt-cheap compound to create an uneven surface that resembles a plant’s leaves.

 

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

Researchers have demonstrated prototype windows that switch from reflective to clear with the simple addition of a liquid. The new switchable windows are easy to manufacture and could one day keep parked cars cool in the sun or make office buildings more energy efficient.

 

Laser-boron fusion now ‘leading contender’ for energy

Scientists argue that the path to hydrogen-boron fusion is now viable, and may be closer to realization than other approaches, such as the deuterium-tritium fusion approach currently being pursued.

 

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

Turning carbon dioxide into fuel and useful chemicals

MIT researchers have developed a new system that could potentially be used for converting power plant emissions of carbon dioxide into useful fuels for cars, trucks, and planes, as well as into chemical feedstocks for a wide variety of products.

 

Asphalt-based filter now advanced to sequester greenhouse gas at wellhead

Adding a bit of water to asphalt-derived porous carbon greatly improves its ability to sequester carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, at natural gas wellheads, report scientists. The filter is highly selective for carbon dioxide while letting methane pass through.

 

North Sea water and recycled metal combined to help reduce global warming

Scientists have used sea water collected from Whitby in North Yorkshire, and scrap metal to develop a technology that could help capture more than 850 million tons of unwanted carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

 

Algae could feed and fuel planet with aid of new high-tech tool

Vast quantities of medicines and renewable fuels could be produced by algae using a new gene-editing technique. Scientists have devised a method that could lead to cheap, environmentally friendly ways of making products for use in the cosmetics, plastics and food industries.

 

 

MANUFACTURING

 

How 3-D printed metals can be both strong and ductile

A new technique by which to 3-D print metals, involving a widely used stainless steel, has been show to achieve exception levels of both strength and ductility, when compared to counterparts from more conventional processes.

 

New 3-D printer is 10 times faster than commercial counterparts

MIT engineers have developed a desktop 3-D printer that performs up to 10 times faster than existing commercial counterparts. Whereas most common printers may fabricate a few Lego-sized bricks in one hour, the new design can print similarly sized objects in a few minutes.

 

New technique 3-D prints programmed cells into living devices for first time

Engineers have devised a 3-D printing technique that uses a new kind of ink made from genetically programmed living cells. When mixed with a slurry of hydrogel and nutrients, the cells can be printed, layer by layer, to form 3-D, interactive structures and devices.

 

New synthetic protocol to form 3-D porous organic network

A team of Korean researchers affiliated with UNIST recently announced the principle of producing porous organic materials in the blink of an eye. This is similar to the mechanism of chemical reaction in explosives in which pulling the trigger causes the detonator to explode.

 

Volumetric 3-D printing promises nearly instant builds

By using laser-generated, hologram-like 3-D images flashed into photosensitive resin, researchers have discovered they can build complex 3-D parts in a fraction of the time of traditional layer-by-layer printing.

 

 

OTHER RESEARCH

 

Scientists pioneer new way to analyze ancient artwork

Scientists from UCLA and the National Gallery of Art have used a combination of three advanced imaging techniques to produce a highly detailed analysis of a second century Egyptian painting.

 

Gecko adhesion technology moves closer to industrial uses

A Georgia Institute of Technology researcher is looking into how gecko-adhesion technology could be applied in a high-precision industrial setting, such as in robot arms used in manufacturing computer chips.

 

Terahertz laser pulses used to reveal ultrafast coupling of atomic-scale patterns

In quantum materials, periodic stripe patterns can be formed by electrons coupled with lattice distortions. To capture the fast dynamics of such atomic-scale stripes, scientists used femtosecond-scale laser pulses at terahertz frequencies and found some unexpected behavior.

 

Seeing through walls of unknown materials

Researchers have devised a way to see through walls without any advance knowledge of what the walls are made out of. Besides applications in the realm of security, the approach could lead to inexpensive devices to help construction workers easily locate conduits, pipes, and wires.

 

New silicon structure opens the gate to quantum computers

In a major step toward making a quantum computer using everyday materials, a team led by researchers at Princeton University has constructed a key piece of silicon hardware capable of controlling quantum behavior between two electrons with extremely high precision.

 

Stripes may help solve riddle of superconductivity

Caltech scientists have shown that high-temperature superconducting materials order themselves into a striped pattern of charges just before they become superconducting. Precise numerical simulations allowed them to rule out all the other candidate patterns of charges.

 


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