Materials & Innovations

Video: Smart beanies and tops help with navigating the world

By Lisa McDonald / March 27, 2024

Mass producing long, high-quality semiconductor fibers for use in wearable technology is challenging. Researchers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore identified the ideal combination of materials and processing parameters to achieve consistent production of ultrathin, ultralong, high-quality semiconductor fibers using the molten-core method.

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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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Ultraviolet light-sensitive tape allows for easier and less damaging transfer of 2D materials

By Lisa McDonald / February 16, 2024

Researchers in Japan showed that adhesive tape, though not the answer to mass graphene production, may be an ideal solution for mass transfer of 2D materials.

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Flexible artificial retinas: an emerging paradigm with significant potential for treating eye diseases

By Guest Contributor / February 13, 2024

To date, efforts to develop retinal prostheses have achieved limited success. But the turn toward flexible rather than rigid platforms for these devices is leading to significant advances in the research community.

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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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Solid-state electrocaloric materials heat up cooling performance

By Guest Contributor / January 19, 2024

Electrocaloric materials have potential to replace liquid refrigerant in cooling systems, thus avoiding the emission of harmful greenhouse gases. But currently, electrocaloric devices can only operate within a small temperature span. A recent study reported a new electrocaloric prototype with greatly improved temperature span and cooling power.

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Video: Solar solutions shine at CES 2024

By Lisa McDonald / January 17, 2024

During CES 2024, which took place January 9–12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, numerous companies showcased solar technology innovations. Today’s CTT highlights several key announcements made during the show.

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Rooting for efficiency—vibrating rotary file speeds up root canal treatments

By Lisa McDonald / January 12, 2024

Though modern root canal treatments are not overly painful thanks to advancements in medical technology, the need to frequently clean the rotary file can lengthen procedure time. Researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS created a file that features both rotational and vibrational motion, which reduces the amount of cleaning required.

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Video: Honeycomb-shaped bladeless generators for urban wind harvesting

By Lisa McDonald / January 3, 2024

The large size of traditional wind turbines can make transportation and installation of these devices difficult in certain locations. Scottish technology startup Katrick Technologies designed a honeycomb-shaped wind generator that can be easily installed in urban settings.

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Growing the built environment—ceramic tiles fabricated via microbial activity

By Lisa McDonald / December 8, 2023

Microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) is a biomimetic process that can be used to grow bioceramic products, such as columns and bricks, in an environmentally friendly manner. Researchers at the University of Cape Town fine-tuned the MICP process to create ceramic tiles that demonstrate mechanical properties on par with conventionally fired ceramics.

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