Materials & Innovations

Monolayer silicon carbide achieved with both top-down and bottom-up synthesis methods

By Lisa McDonald / November 3, 2023

Theoretical studies have predicted that 2D silicon carbide in a stable honeycomb structure is possible, but experimentally achieving this material has proven difficult. Two recent papers successfully synthesized monolayer silicon carbide using top-down and bottom-up synthesis methods, respectively.

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Reducing aggregate toxicity: Graphene oxide may aid in treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

By Lisa McDonald / October 31, 2023

In vitro studies have demonstrated the potential of graphene oxide to help treat Alzheimer’s disease by preventing the buildup of harmful amyloid-β aggregates. Researchers in Sweden and Denmark used yeast as a model system to explore graphene oxide’s potential in vivo.

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A new way to self-heal: Electron beam radiolysis drives crack repair in titanium dioxide

By Lisa McDonald / October 27, 2023

Ceramic materials that can self-heal cracks would help reduce maintenance and inspection costs while enhancing component reliability and lifespan. Researchers at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities made a counterintuitive discovery of a new way to self-heal cracks in ceramics—through electron beam radiolysis.

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Quantum dots may lead to cost-effective mid-infrared light sources and sensors

By Lisa McDonald / October 6, 2023

Quantum dots are emerging as a cost-effective materials system for both emitting and detecting mid-infrared light. Philippe Guyot-Sionnest’s group at the University of Chicago is working on developing this technology, and their latest paper describes a quantum-dot-based light source that is as efficient as current commercial devices.

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Mitigating the spread of respiratory illnesses: DOD funds research into portable, easy-to-use breath analyzers

By Lisa McDonald / October 3, 2023

Breath analyzers are handheld, rapid testing devices that could transform how the medical community diagnoses diseases and disorders. A new program housed under the U.S. Department of Defense aims to accelerate development of breath analyzers for rapid diagnosis of respiratory illnesses among warfighters. The program has so far provided funding to three different organizations, including ACerS Fellow Perena Gouma’s research group at The Ohio State University.

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Harnessing nature for nano design—glass-coated DNA scaffolds demonstrate potential as lightweight and high-strength materials

By Lisa McDonald / September 29, 2023

In recent decades, researchers have explored using deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) as a scaffold for programmable nanostructures. Now, researchers at Columbia University, the University of Connecticut, and Brookhaven National Laboratory collaborated to show that glass-coated DNA scaffolds have potential as lightweight and high-strength materials.

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Building with nature: Fungi show promise as green construction material

By Guest Contributor / September 26, 2023

More and more companies and organizations are considering the potential of mycelium, the root-like structure of most fungi, as a green construction material. Today’s CTT spotlights several recent innovations in this area.

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Video: Ensuring water access in arid environments—pilot fog catcher system simultaneously collects and cleans water

By Lisa McDonald / September 6, 2023

Fog catching provides people living in dry but foggy areas with a stable water source. But air pollution can make the collected water unsafe for use unless it is treated. Researchers led by ETH Zurich developed a system for simultaneously harvesting and cleaning the water collected from fog nets.

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Video: SiC chips make inroads in the automotive industry

By Lisa McDonald / August 23, 2023

Silicon carbide-based semiconductor chips are starting to be embraced by automotive manufacturers looking to overcome the limitations of traditional silicon. To prepare for an expected surge in demand for SiC electronics, several semiconductor manufacturers have announced plans to construct new or expand existing fabrication facilities.

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Black silicon wafers significantly improve efficiency of ultrathin solar cells

By Guest Contributor / August 22, 2023

Reducing the thickness of silicon wafers in solar cells below 40 μm typically results in decreased performance. Using black silicon for the wafer, however, which has a textured surface structure, can improve the wafer’s absorption capabilities. Researchers in Spain and Finland demonstrated this improvement by using ultrathin black silicon wafers to create interdigitated back-contact solar cells.

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