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Other materials stories that may be of interest

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[Images above] Credit: NIST

 

NANOMATERIALS

Borophene advances as 2D materials platform

Physicists from Brookhaven National Laboratory and Yale University synthesized borophene on copper substrates with large-area (ranging in size from 10 to 100 micrometers) single-crystal domains. Previously, only nanometer-size single-crystal flakes of borophene had been produced.

Realistic exposure study supports the use of zinc oxide nanoparticle sunscreens

Investigators in Australia provided the first direct evidence that sunscreen containing zinc oxide nanoparticles neither penetrates the human skin barrier nor causes cellular toxicity after repeated application to human volunteers under in-use conditions.

Varying graphene’s conductivity modulates THz wave

Researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Warwick University created a device consisting of a single stack of graphene, aluminium oxide, and titanium oxide on a quartz substrate to modulate waves in the terahertz frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Graphene unlocks new potential for ‘smart textiles’

An international team of scientists pioneered a new technique to create fully electronic fibres that can be incorporated into the production of everyday clothing. They used existing polypropylene fibres to attach the new, graphene-based electronic fibres to create touch-sensor and light-emitting devices without the need for electrodes.

 

ENERGY

Structure of electrolyte controls battery performance

Toyohashi University of Technology researchers reported that adding water into an electrolyte improves the function of vanadium oxide, the positive electrode material in calcium-ion batteries. The test results show that overvoltage greatly decreases as the amount of added water increases.

Discovery of single material that produces white light could boost efficiency of LED bulbs

An international team of scientists combined lead-free double perovskite with sodium to increase white light emission efficiency. When sodium concentration reaches beyond 40 percent, however, side effects occur and the white light emission efficiency starts to drop.

A 3D imaging technique unlocks properties of perovskite crystals

Penn State, Cornell, and Argonne National Laboratory researchers have, for the first time, visualized the 3D atomic and electron density structure of the most complex perovskite crystal structure system decoded to date.

 

ENVIRONMENT

“Sun in a box” would store renewable energy for the grid

MIT engineers came up with a conceptual design for a system to store renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, and deliver that energy back into an electric grid on demand. The system would consist of a large, heavily insulated tank made from graphite and filled with liquid silicon.

 

MANUFACTURING

New concrete paving machine to improve the quality of Russian roads

The existing technology for compacting road and construction materials leaves a significant amount of air in the compacting materials, so South Ural State University researchers suggested a new technology of compacting using mostly shear deformation and “air removing” technology.

 

OTHER STORIES

New quantum materials could take computers beyond the semiconductor era

Researchers from Intel Corp. and UC Berkeley proposed a way to use the magneto-electric material bismuth-iron-oxide to create logic and memory devices containing five times more logic operations into the same space than complementary metal-oxide semiconductors.

Understanding magnetism changes caused by crystal lattice expansion

An international research collaboration systematically replaced strontium ions with larger barium ions in cubic perovskites to expand the lattice until the regular ferromagnetic magnetic order was disrupted, resulting in helimagnetism. It is hoped the findings will form the foundation for new applications in sensing.

Building better aerogels by crushing them

Researchers at Missouri S&T identified four failure modes of aerogel structures. They found that material scaling properties were dependent on both the relative density and the secondary particle size of the gels, meaning there is not a conventional power-law relationship between the aerogels.

Artificial synapses made from nanowires

Scientists produced a memristive element made from zinc oxide nanowires that functions in much the same way as a biological nerve cell. The component is able to both save and process information, as well as receive numerous signals in parallel. These findings could aid in the development of new types of solar cells, sensors, batteries, and computer chips.

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