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[Images above] Credit: NIST



NIST simulations suggest graphene can stretch to be a tunable ion filter

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted simulations suggesting that graphene, in addition to its many other useful features, can be modified with special pores to act as a tunable filter or strainer for ions in a liquid.

Cool graphene composites block EM radiation

University of California, Riverside researchers found composites made from epoxy resin containing graphene could be used to shield electronic devices from electromagnetic radiation and dissipate excess heat in these devices at the same time.



Faster-charging, safer batteries

Researchers at the University of Delaware have patented an idea to improve battery performance by introducing tapers into the polymer membrane electrolytes that allow the lithium ions inside the battery to travel back and forth faster.

Crystallinity reduces resistance in all-solid-state batteries

Tokyo Tech scientists examined the mechanisms behind resistance at the electrode-electrolyte interface of all-solid-state batteries and concluded that a highly crystalline electrode-electrolyte interface resulted in low interface resistance, yielding a high-performance battery.

Light-activated, single-ion catalyst breaks down carbon dioxide

A team of scientists used cobalt ions bound to graphitic carbon nitride as a single-site, visible-light-activated catalyst to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into “building block” molecules, opening the possibility of using sunlight to turn a greenhouse gas into hydrocarbon fuels.

UNH researchers discover new materials to generate solar fuel production

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire identified new, readily available materials that convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into building blocks for liquid fuels that could one day heat homes and power cars.



Solving a 75-year-old mystery might provide a new source of farm fertilizer

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers confirmed the existence of a long-hypothesized interaction between nitrogen and titanium dioxide in the presence of light. If the nitrogen-fixing reaction can be scaled up, it might one day reduce dependence on capital-intensive centralized production facilities.



Disordered materials could be hardest, most heat-tolerant ever

Scientists at Duke University and UC San Diego discovered a new class of five-metal carbides expected to be among the hardest materials with the highest melting points in existence. This carbides may soon find use in a wide range of industries from machinery and hardware to aerospace.

Switching identities: Revolutionary insulator-like material also conducts electricity

University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers used vanadium dioxide to make a material that transitions from an electricity-transmitting metal to a nonconducting insulating material without changing its atomic structure. Key to their approach was the dual-layer, sandwich structure.

MIT engineers fly first-ever plane with no moving parts

MIT engineers built and flew the first-ever plane with no moving parts. Instead of propellers or turbines, the light aircraft is powered by an “ionic wind,” a silent but mighty flow of ions that is produced aboard the plane and that generates enough thrust to propel the plane over a sustained, steady flight.

Physicists precisely control electrons on a time scale of under one femtosecond

Scientists succeeded in using ultra-short laser impulses to precisely control electrons in graphene. Being able to control electronic systems using light waves instead of voltage signals means that future computers could operate at speeds a million times faster than those of today.