Basic science

Uncovering nature’s secrets—researchers identify first naturally occurring mineral to display unconventional superconductivity

By Lisa McDonald / March 22, 2024

Materials that can display superconductivity are extremely rare in nature, and to date, no naturally occurring mineral was known to display unconventional superconductivity. Researchers led by Ames National Laboratory discovered that miassite, which previously was identified as a superconductor, actually displays unconventional superconductivity.

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Twisted-layer structure allows bulk boron nitride ceramics to plastically deform

By Lisa McDonald / March 1, 2024

Successful plastic deformation of nitride ceramics has to date been limited to samples on the micro and nanoscale. Now, researchers from Yanshan University in China achieved plastic deformation in a bulk boron nitride ceramic by modifying its layered van der Waals structure.

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EMA 2024 debuts in Denver

By Amanda Engen / February 28, 2024

The Electronic Materials and Applications Conference moved from its original home in Florida to Denver, Colo., taking place Feb. 13–16, 2024. More than 330 attendees, of which nearly a third were students, attended the conference.

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Stabilizing perovskite solar cells—researchers decouple the synergistic role of water and oxygen in degradation

By Lisa McDonald / February 20, 2024

Achieving long-term operational stability of all-perovskite solar cells remains a challenge. Researchers led by Georgia Institute of Technology made the surprising discovery that while exposing perovskites to both water and oxygen leads to instability, taking away one of those factors preserved the perovskites’ structure.

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Glass-coated DNA scaffolds receive power-up through inorganic infiltration

By Lisa McDonald / February 2, 2024

In July 2023, researchers announced the creation of high-strength, lightweight glass nanolattices by coating DNA origami scaffolds with silica. Their new open-access paper, published in January 2024, describes the functionalization of these glass-coated scaffolds by infiltrating the nanolattice with metal and metal oxide particles.

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Toward better glass design: Neutron scattering data reveal correlation between medium-range order and fragility

By Lisa McDonald / January 26, 2024

Fragility is a key glass property that helps manufacturers optimize processing parameters during glass fabrication. Measuring fragility, though, is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. Identifying structural parameters that correlate with fragility could make predicting this property easier, and a new study led by Corning researchers reveals a correlation with the medium-range atomic ring structure.

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Inside the world of brood parasitic birds: The role of grain boundaries in eggshell strength

By Lisa McDonald / January 5, 2024

The eggs of brood parasitic birds have evolved in response to host bird defense strategies. An international group of researchers used imaging techniques and conceptual frameworks from the field of grain boundary engineering to understand how structural features affect eggshell strength.

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Finding strength in community—researchers publish freely available data for analyzing ball-on-three-balls strength tests

By Lisa McDonald / November 14, 2023

Until now, values for the effective volume and effective surface of ball-on-three-balls test samples were only available for a small range of geometries and materials. But a new open-access paper, courtesy of researchers from the University of Leoben in Austria, provides tabulated data for a wide range of sample geometries and materials.

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Mitigating crack formation—electron-rich metals increase the fracture resistance of ceramics

By Lisa McDonald / October 24, 2023

The arrangement and movement of electrons within a ceramic material has the potential to greatly influence its resistance to brittle fracture. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego and Linköping University published an open-access paper demonstrating the effect that electronic structure has on plastic deformation in high-entropy carbides.

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Advancing the quantum world’s new best friend—researchers stabilize charge states in hexagonal boron nitride

By Guest Contributor / October 13, 2023

Hexagonal boron nitride has recently emerged as a potential material for hosting qubits, the basic unit of quantum information, on a smaller scale than diamonds, the traditional go-to material for quantum systems. Now, researchers at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia described a way to stabilize charge states in hexagonal boron nitride.

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