Basic science

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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Novel processing technique enhances toughness of high boron steel

By Lisa McDonald / May 7, 2021

Boron can enhance mechanical properties of steel, but too much boron will segregate from the steel and negate these benefits. Researchers led by Wuhan University of Science and Technology looked to enhance the toughness of high boron steel using a novel processing technique called quenching and partitioning.

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Researchers confirm existence of unique nonlinear optical response in nanocrystal-in-glass composites

By Lisa McDonald / April 6, 2021

Second-harmonic generation is a nonlinear optical process that allows for the creation of low-power and compact light sources. Researchers in China discovered nanocrystal-in-glass composites exhibit a similar but different phenomenon called transverse second-harmonic generation that would allow for the creation of light sources with expanded capabilities.

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From 2D flake to stable 3D crystal: Researchers demonstrate potential of MXenes as additives in ultrahigh-temperature ceramics

By Lisa McDonald / March 30, 2021

MXenes hold potential as additives in ultrahigh-temperature ceramics to improve mechanical properties—but a gap in understanding the phase stability and transformation of MXenes at high temperatures limits this application. Researchers at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis investigated these properties in titanium carbide MXenes.

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Endless Frontier Act: Will applied research become a main focus for the National Science Foundation?

By Lisa McDonald / March 26, 2021

The National Science Foundation is one of the main federal funding sources for basic science research—but China’s significantly increased investments in scientific research has led some U.S. senators to propose a bill that would reorganize NSF to support more applied research. Learn more about this proposal in today’s CTT.

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Designing better ballistic materials: Reduced processing costs, higher toughness, and microstructural cues

By Jonathon Foreman / March 23, 2021

Designing better ballistic materials is more than a matter of finding the optimal combination of material properties—a deep understanding of the microstructure–damage relationships is required as well. A number of recent articles published in ACerS journals look to improve processing methods for fabricating dense, resilient ceramic components.

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Suppressing ambient oxidation of 2D materials—hydrogenation stabilizes borophene for practical use

By Lisa McDonald / March 19, 2021

The 2D material borophene holds a lot of potential due to its flexibility, strength, and diverse atomic structure—but rapid oxidation of borophene in air makes application difficult. Researchers led by Northwestern University experimentally investigated the hydrogenation of borophene to see how well it stabilizes the material for practical use.

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Toward market acceptance: Understanding wear characteristics of basalt fiber reinforced polymers

By Lisa McDonald / March 12, 2021

Basalt fiber is another material besides carbon and glass being considered to reinforce polymer composites. Researchers in Malaysia and Brazil compared the wear characteristics of epoxy composites reinforced with either basalt or glass fiber to understand the differences in their tribological performance.

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The 45th International Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites covers the gamut of advanced ceramic applications

By Lisa McDonald / February 19, 2021

The 45th International Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites (ICACC 2021) took place virtually Feb. 8–11, 2021. Over 800 people attended for a week full of plenary and award lectures, focused sessions, and live networking events.

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