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Published on February 28th, 2018 | By: April Gocha

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

Published on February 28th, 2018 | By: April Gocha

[Images above] Credit: NIST

 

NANOMATERIALS

 

Scalable 2-D materials advance future-gen electronics

A pair of papers provide the basis for growing wafer-scale 2-D crystals for future electronic devices. Researchers developed a multistep process to make single crystal atomically-thin films of tungsten diselenide across large-area sapphire substrates.

 

Researchers create first superatomic 2-D semiconductor

Researchers have fabricated the first superatomic 2-D semiconductor, a material whose basic units aren’t atoms but superatoms. The researchers expect that the new material is just the first member of a new family of 2-D semiconductors.

 

Zero gravity graphene promises success in space

Researchers from the Cambridge Graphene Centre tested graphene in microgravity conditions for the first time while aboard a parabolic flight. The experiments they conducted were designed to test graphene’s potential in cooling systems for satellites.

 

Optical properties of 2-D materials have potential to advance infrared technology

University of Arkansas researchers have studied the optical characteristics of a special type of material made of a single layer of phosphorus atoms for the benefit of detecting and interacting with infrared light.

 

 

ENERGY

 

Using a laser to wirelessly charge a smartphone safely across a room

Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time developed a method to safely charge a smartphone wirelessly using a laser. To accomplish this, the team mounted a thin power cell to the back of a smartphone, which charges the smartphone using laser power.

 

A new approach towards highly efficient and air-stable perovskite solar cells

Researchers developed a method known as co-precipitation to make a thin film comprising nanoporous nickel oxide as the hole transporting layer for a perovskite solar cell that uses the unique composition of FAPbI3 and or MAPbBr3 as the perovskite layer.

 

First nanoscale look at how lithium ions navigate molecular maze to reach battery electrode

Scientists have taken the first close look at what happens within a few nanometers of a battery electrode. The results suggest that changing the concentration of lithium ions in the electrolyte might make it easier for the ions to get in and out of the electrode. 

 

More than a well-balanced breakfast: Scientists use egg whites for clean energy production

Eggs may soon fuel more than people in the morning. Researchers from the Osaka City University in Japan have developed a way to potentially use egg whites as a substrate to produce a carbon-free fuel.

 

Sensor tech for commercial lithium-ions finds they can be charged 5 times faster

Researchers at the University of Warwick have developed a new direct, precise test of lithium-ion batteries’ internal temperatures and their electrodes potentials and found that the batteries can be safely charged up to five times faster than the current charging limits.

 

Supercapacitor technology moves closer to becoming alternative for traditional batteries

Lithium-ion batteries could be under threat after the development of polymer materials by the Universities of Surrey and Bristol, along with Superdielectrics Ltd., that could challenge the dominance of these traditional batteries.  

 

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

Brightly-colored bacteria could be used to ‘grow’ paints and coatings

Researchers have unlocked the genetic code behind some of the brightest and most vibrant colors in nature. The article is the first study of the genetics of structural color and paves the way for genetic research in a variety of structurally colored organisms.

 

New recyclable resin makes wind turbines much more sustainable

It generally requires a great deal of time and energy to cure the type of resin that makes the 150-foot-wide fiberglass turbines strong and durable. A new recyclable resin that cures at room temperature creates its own heat and cures without creating flaws in the fiberglass.

 

Maximizing the environmental benefits of autonomous vehicles

Added weight, electricity demand, and aerodynamic drag of the sensors and computers used in autonomous vehicles are significant contributors to their lifetime energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study.

 

New sustainable production method could advance plastics and pharmaceuticals

Engineers at The University of Texas at Austin has developed a new, cost-effective method for synthetically producing a biorenewable platform chemical called triacetic acid lactone that can be used to produce innovative new drugs and sustainable plastics at an industrial scale.

 

Consumer and industrial products now a dominant urban air pollution source

Chemical products that contain compounds refined from petroleum, like household cleaners, pesticides, paints and perfumes, now rival motor vehicle emissions as the top source of urban air pollution, according to a surprising new study.

 

 

MANUFACTURING

 

IBM reveals novel energy-saving optical receiver with record data transmission

Based on complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor technology, a group of researchers have demonstrated a novel optical receiver that can achieve an aggregate bandwidth of 160 Gb/s through four optical fibers, the fastest data transmission speed to date.

 

Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing

Engineers at Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Oregon State University are developing a new method of processing nanomaterials that could lead to faster and cheaper manufacturing of flexible thin film devices from touchscreens to window coatings.

 

Researchers devise a new, inexpensive way to fabricate microneedles

A Tufts research team has devised a method to make microneedles without cleanrooms, using readily available materials and equipment. The team creates molds using a laser cutting technique that would allow for the fabrication of different-size microneedles.

 

Augmented reality takes 3-D printing to next level

Cornell researchers are using augmented reality to allow designers to design in physical space while a robotic arm rapidly prints the work. A designer wears an AR headset with hand controllers, and then a robotic arm prints the new feature from a completed design.

 

 

OTHER RESEARCH

 

Breaking local symmetry—why water freezes but silica forms a glass

Recently, researchers at The University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science uncovered vital clues as to why water and silica diverge so starkly when they become cold. Their simulations reveal influence of the local symmetric arrangement of liquid atoms on crystallization.

 

Missing link to novel superconductivity revealed at Ames Laboratory

Scientists at Ames Laboratory have discovered a state of magnetism that may help understand the relationship between magnetism and unconventional superconductivity. The research provides new possibilities for attaining superconducting states in iron-based materials.

 

Powerful LED-based train headlight optimized for energy savings

Researchers have designed a new LED-based train headlight that uses a tenth of the energy required for conventional headlights. If operated 8 hours every day, the electricity savings of the new design would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

Scientists at the University of Washington have successfully combined two different imaging methods—a type of lens designed for nanoscale interaction with lightwaves, along with robust computational processing—to create full-color images.

 

Smart and comfortable new textiles for high-tech clothing

Researchers have developed new nonwoven materials that are electrically conductive as well as flexible and breathable. This paves the way for comfortable high-tech clothes that convert sunlight to warmth, supply wearable electronic devices with electricity and more.

 


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