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[Image above] Credit: NIST

Ultrasensitive sensors made from boron-doped graphene

Ultrasensitive gas sensors based on the infusion of boron atoms into graphene may soon be possible, according to an international team of researchers. With the addition of boron atoms, the boron graphene sensors were able to detect noxious gas molecules at extremely low concentrations, parts per billion in the case of nitrogen oxides and parts per million for ammonia, the two gases tested to date.

Caltech physicists uncover novel phase of matter

A team of physicists led by Caltech’s David Hsieh has discovered an unusual form of matter—not a conventional metal, insulator, or magnet, but something entirely different. This phase, characterized by an unusual ordering of electrons, could hold the solution to a long-standing mystery in condensed matter physics having to do with high-temperature superconductivity.

Diamonds may not be so rare as once thought

Diamonds may not be as rare as once believed, but this finding in a new Johns Hopkins University research report won’t mean deep discounts at local jewelry stores. The report says the results “constitute a new quantitative theory of diamond formation,” but that does not mean it will be easier to find gem-quality diamonds and bring them to market.

Energy-efficient reaction drives zeolite-based biofuel conversion technology

A new study from Oak Ridge National Lab explains the mechanism behind a technology that converts bio-based ethanol into hydrocarbon blend-stocks for use as fossil fuel alternatives. As ORNL researchers were developing a new type of zeolite-based conversion technology, they found the underlying reaction unfolds in a different manner than previously thought.

A record-setting way to make transparent conductors

Scientists from Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have shown they can make flexible, transparent electrical conductors with record-high performance for use in solar cells, displays and other devices by spreading polymers on a clear surface with a tiny blade, like a knife spreading butter on toast.