Processing

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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Bettering tungsten supply: Effects of ceramic and cast-iron grinding media on scheelite flotation

By Lisa McDonald / February 9, 2021

Scheelite is one of the main minerals mined commercially as a source of tungsten. Researchers at Wuhan University of Science and Technology in China investigated the effects of different grinding media on flotation, which is a method for extracting tungsten from scheelite.

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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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A new fabrication method takes root—researchers grow carbon nanotube forest of record length

By Lisa McDonald / November 20, 2020

Carbon nanotubes demonstrate much higher tensile strength than carbon fibers, but growing nanotubes in bulk while retaining this property is an obstacle that limits their commercial applications. Researchers in Japan developed a new fabrication method that could overcome the challenge of growing nanotubes in bulk.

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A gain in understanding: Researchers investigate the influence of processing parameters on ceramic oxides for laser applications

By Lisa McDonald / November 10, 2020

Transparent ceramics serve as the gain medium in many commercial lasers, yet the push to develop new and improved ceramics for this application continues. In two papers published this year, an international team of researchers investigates the influence of different processing parameters on the properties of nanocomposite yttrium magnesium oxide ceramics.

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Small-scale patterning: Thermal scanning probe lithography allows precise nanocutting of 2D materials

By Lisa McDonald / October 6, 2020

Common lithographic techniques used to etch patterns onto a surface run into difficulties when cutting 2D materials. Researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne developed a thermal scanning probe lithography method that can cut the smallest reported feature for a direct cutting method to date.

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Addressing the energy harvesting storage gap—ceramic matrix composites contain corrosive materials in thermal energy storage

By Jonathon Foreman / October 2, 2020

Thermal energy storage technologies are one way to store energy generated from renewable sources. But producing materials that can contain the high-temperature and corrosive materials integral to this technology is an ongoing area of research. Two recent ACerS journal articles explore methods of fabricating C/C-SiC CMCs for use as container materials.

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A hu‘gel’y promising method: Support bath simplifies additive manufacturing of polymer-derived ceramics

By Lisa McDonald / September 15, 2020

Polymer-derived ceramic structures are difficult to manufacture using additive manufacturing processes because of low viscosity of the polymer state. Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas successfully demonstrated the use of gel-like viscoplastic fluid to support preceramic polymers during the printing process.

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Achieve dynamic control of light—liquid crystals offer way to reconfigure optical properties of metalenses

By Lisa McDonald / August 25, 2020

Metalenses are an emerging technology for controlling light that could someday replace traditional lenses. However, they generally lack dynamic control over their optical properties and are limited to passive optical applications. Researchers from the United States and Italy investigated infiltrating metalenses with liquid crystals to allow for dynamic control.

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An ‘udder’ way to make money: Sorbent-based purification may make biogas production economically feasible for farmers

By Lisa McDonald / August 21, 2020

Farmers are in the midst of an economic crisis. Production of methane fuel from biogas, a natural byproduct of organic wastes, may be a way to turn a profit, but the current processing methods are too expensive for small farmers. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory developed a composite sorbent that may make the production process economically feasible.

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