Nanomaterials

A decade of discovery: A review of MXenes, the family of 2D transition metal carbides and nitrides

By Lisa McDonald / June 15, 2021

MXenes, the family of 2D transition metal carbides and nitrides, was first discovered in 2011. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this discovery, researchers led by Drexel University professor and ACerS Fellow Yury Gogotsi published a forward-looking review article in Science that explores the impact and promise of this material family.

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Mantis shrimp inspire tough composites and sophisticated optical sensors

By April Gocha / April 2, 2021

Artists and scientists alike find inspiration in nature. But two recent scientific studies found inspiration in the same creature: the mantis shrimp. The creature’s incredibly tough materials and complex eyes inspired innovations that could lead to fracture-resistant biocomposites and highly advanced optical sensors.

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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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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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Rose-tinted contact lenses offer color vision management

By Lisa McDonald / March 5, 2021

People who have color vision deficiency see colors differently from others. Tinted glasses and contact lenses offer a way to manage the condition, but to date only the former option is reliably effective. Researchers developed a new type of tinted contact lens using gold nanoparticles that shows potential for commercial scale-up.

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High-quality graphene from ultrafast, low-cost plasma spray

By Lisa McDonald / February 26, 2021

Current methods of graphene production face tradeoffs among speed, cost, and material quality. Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Patna propose a new method based on plasma spraying that may offer the best outcome for all of these factors.

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Exploring ways to design on the nanoscale: Researchers develop strong and deformable organically linked supercrystals

By Lisa McDonald / January 29, 2021

Organically linked supercrystals are an emerging type of nanocomposite that could prove useful in next-generation electronic devices and as biomimetic structural materials. Researchers led by the Hamburg University of Technology in Germany have conducted several studies on these materials, with the most recent one exploring its deformation mechanisms.

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Fab-bow-lous synthesis: Researchers grow graphene nanoribbons for lower cost at higher yield

By Lisa McDonald / January 19, 2021

Graphene nanoribbons are a family of carbon allotropes that exhibit semiconducting properties promising for electronic applications. However, the conventional bottom-up synthesis method for graphene nanoribbons is a costly and low-yield process. Researchers led by the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology developed an alternative method that is higher yield and lower cost.

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Stretching the possibilities: Bendable single-crystalline diamonds hold potential for next-generation electronics

By Lisa McDonald / January 15, 2021

Diamonds have many desirable properties for application in electronic devices, but their rigid crystalline structure and brittle nature make it difficult to use diamonds for such a purpose. An international team of researchers led by City University of Hong Kong revealed in 2018 that diamonds are bendable on the nanoscale, and a follow-up paper published by them this month expands on that finding.

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Manipulate light on the nanoscale: Proposed quantum dot–graphene scheme improves conversion of light into surface waves

By Lisa McDonald / December 11, 2020

Surface plasmon polaritons are a type of surface wave that, when harnessed, show potential to improve various processes that take place on the nanoscale, such as molecular imaging. Researchers from two places in Russia propose a new scheme using quantum dots and graphene to more efficiently convert light into surface plasmon polaritons for use in such applications.

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