Finding trees within the forest: Deep learning network detects individual carbon nanotubes in SEM images

By Lisa McDonald / March 21, 2023

For researchers to improve the properties of carbon nanotubes grown en masse, they must first be able to measure and characterize how individual nanotubes are assembled within carbon nanotube “forests.” In a recent paper, researchers at the University of Missouri outlined a deep learning technique to segment these forests in scanning electron microscopy images.

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New carbon structures open a realm of possibilities

By Lisa McDonald / March 14, 2023

As applications for carbon nanostructures flourish, the exploration for new carbon structures continues. Today’s CTT highlights three discoveries announced during the past few months.

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Model reveals how nanopores form in 2D materials hit by highly charged ions

By Lisa McDonald / February 24, 2023

Bombarding materials with highly charged ions is one way researchers can manipulate and modify 2D heterostructures. TU Wien researchers developed a model to simulate this bombardment and reveal why, when hit, some 2D materials form nanopores and others do not.

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Small scale, big discoveries: Reducing thickness of antiferroelectric films turns them ferroelectric

By Lisa McDonald / February 14, 2023

While size effects in ferroelectric materials have been extensively studied, there are far fewer studies on how structure and properties evolve in antiferroelectric materials with reduced dimensions. In a recent open-access paper, researchers report the surprising discovery that below a certain thickness, antiferroelectric films will become completely ferroelectric.

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MXenes advance the ancient art of calligraphy

By Lisa McDonald / February 10, 2023

Advanced applications are not the only use for advanced materials. A graduate engineering student at Drexel University discovered he could create bleed-free inks for calligraphy using MXenes, a novel 2D material family comprising transition metal carbides and nitrides.

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Protecting peels from peeling: Nanoparticle spray reduces sunburn damage in pineapples

By Lisa McDonald / December 16, 2022

Sunburn in fruits and fruiting vegetables is a big concern for farmers because it affects the food’s marketability. Researchers in Brazil tested the potential of spray-on calcium carbonate nanoparticles to protect pineapples from sunburn.

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Mopping up microplastics: Nanopillar-stabilized metal-organic framework removes contaminants from water

By Lisa McDonald / December 13, 2022

Adsorption is an effective way to remove microplastics from water by adhering them to an easily removable/retrievable surface. Researchers at RMIT University in Australia developed a nanopillar-stabilized metal-organic framework adsorbent that effectively removes microplastics from water, as well as the toxic pollutant methylene blue.

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Monitoring mental stress: Nanosheet-type tin oxide gas sensors provide quantitative measurement of emotional tension

By Lisa McDonald / October 28, 2022

Determining when to seek help for mental stress can be difficult. However, the recent identification of discernible odor substances that emanate from the skin during emotional tension may offer a way to quantifiably measure mental stress. Two researchers in Japan propose nanosheet-type tin oxides could be used as gas sensors to detect these substances.

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Keeping water sources metal free: One-step method produces functionalized MXene for fast mercury removal

By Lisa McDonald / October 25, 2022

Heavy metal contamination in aquatic ecosystems can lead to negative effects on human health. In a recent paper, researchers from Drexel University and Temple University developed a simple one-step method to fabricate functionalized Ti3C2Tx MXene for mercury removal from water.

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Rods and wires and tubes, oh my! High-temperature laser-assisted synthesis of boron nanomaterials

By Lisa McDonald / October 21, 2022

In the past decade, computational research has dominated over experimental studies of boron nanomaterials. A recent open-access paper contributes a new addition to the experimental literature by demonstrating that double-pulse laser ablation can be used to synthesize boron nanorods, nanowires, and nanotubes.

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