Basic science

Video: Turning brittle materials flexible by reducing thickness

By Lisa McDonald / September 22, 2021

Glass and ice are two materials known for being brittle. However, when glass is produced very thin—on the scale of micrometers—it can bend quite a bit without failure. Now researchers in China showed this same principle applies to ice as well.

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Reducing the need for trial and error—systematic selection of inorganic binders for refractories

By Lisa McDonald / September 17, 2021

The binder used in refractory production requires careful consideration because it can influence the refractory’s final mechanical and chemical properties. Researchers in Germany advanced a selective and systematic method for choosing an inorganic binder.

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Neural network speeds up identification of piezoelectric properties

By Lisa McDonald / August 17, 2021

Modeling is a good way to evaluate the performance of new piezoelectric materials without conducting costly experiments. Two researchers from University of the Republic in Uruguay explored using a neural network to speed up the modeling process.

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Unlocking thermogravimetric analysis in the fight against ‘fake’ graphene

By Lisa McDonald / August 10, 2021

Developing new ways to characterize graphene is essential to developing more rigorous quality standards. Researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia explored using thermogravimetric analysis to evaluate graphene quality.

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Securing the future of energy: Glass-based sealants for solid oxide fuel cells

By Lisa McDonald / August 3, 2021

Solid oxide fuel cells hold great potential among fuel cell technologies due to their high heat and power efficiency, long-term stability, fuel flexibility, and relatively low cost. Glass and glass-ceramics are of great interest as sealants in SOFCs, and today’s CTT looks at a few recent studies on glass-based sealants.

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A guide to synthesizing magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles

By Lisa McDonald / July 20, 2021

Magnetite (Fe3O4) and maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) are two types of iron oxide known for their magnetic properties. A new open-access paper summarizes the main synthesis protocols for obtaining these magnetic nanoparticles.

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A concentrated effort—researchers develop ceramic lattice structures for high-temperature heat exchangers

By Lisa McDonald / June 29, 2021

In concentrated solar power systems, higher operating temperature leads to greater efficiency—if the thermal energy is properly managed. Heat exchangers are one option for thermal management, and researchers in Switzerland and Italy explored designing ceramic lattice structures for use in such devices.

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Improving safety of implants: A review on nanotechnology as an anti-infection strategy in periprosthetic joint infections

By Lisa McDonald / June 22, 2021

Periprosthetic joint infection is a serious complication that can occur in joint replacement surgery. Researchers in Italy and the United States review the research on using nanotechnology to prevent and treat PJI.

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Strategies for designing stretchable electronics with advanced thermal management

By Lisa McDonald / June 18, 2021

The expanded range of motion available to stretchable electronics makes it difficult to maintain stable thermal conductance under large deformation. Two researchers from China describe several aspects of thermal management strategies that must be considered and offer several possible solutions that are worth further investigation.

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Rare borate structural unit appears to enhance functionality of nonlinear optical materials

By Lisa McDonald / May 28, 2021

Current borate-based nonlinear optical materials are reaching the limits of their functionality based on the structural configuration of the borate. A team led by researchers in China and the United States explored arranging borate in the linear BO2 configuration to enhance functionality.

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