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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Properties of ‘wonder material’ graphene change in humid conditions

Researchers led by Queen Mary University of London found that water forms an atomically thin layer between graphene layers at 22 percent relative humidity and separates graphene layers at over 50 percent relative humidity. This finding suggests layered graphene could exhibit different properties in a humid place.

Seeding large single-crystal graphene for photonics applications

Researchers working in Italy designed a method to grow single graphene crystals by chemical vapor deposition on copper “seeds” deposited using optical lithography. It results in graphene that exhibits electric properties that are comparable to those achieved from pristine graphene exfoliated from flakes.

Promising advancements made in chemical vapor deposition

Boise State University researchers released an open-source design for a chemical vapor deposition system for 2D materials growth. Their article includes the parts list, software drivers, assembly instructions, and programs for automated control of synthesis procedures.


Using bacteria to create a water filter that kills bacteria

Washington University engineers developed an ultrafiltration membrane using graphene oxide and bacterial nanocellulose that purifies water while preventing biofouling. If their technique were scaled up, it could benefit developing countries where clean water is scarce.

To protect concrete from road salt, Drexel engineers have an odd idea: bacteria

When Drexel University engineers made concrete using a certain type of bacteria and nutrients, they found that the surface was better able to withstand damage from the road salt calcium chloride.

Recycling biosolids to make sustainable bricks

A team at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, demonstrated that fired-clay bricks incorporating biosolids could be a sustainable solution for both wastewater treatment and brickmaking industries. In Australia, 327,000 tonnes of biosolids are produced annually.


Nanoparticle catalyst efficiently converts methane to formaldehyde

Researchers from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology developed a methane oxidase catalyst out of vanadium oxide nanoparticles surrounded by a thin aluminum film shell. Their catalyst converts more than twice as much methane to formaldehyde than current methods.

Scientists boost stability of low-cost, large-area solar modules

Scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University replaced titanium dioxide with tin dioxide in perovskite solar cells and found that tin dioxide-based devices showed lifetimes over three times longer.


Negative capacitance appears in ferroelectric materials

Researchers confirmed that ferroelectric materials could have negative capacitance by performing electrical measurements on hafnium zirconium oxide. Negative capacitance could be exploited to improve the energy efficiency of electronic devices.

Mechanical engineers develop process to 3D print piezoelectric materials

Virginia Tech researchers developed methods to 3D print piezoelectric materials that can be custom-designed to convert movement, impact, and stress from any direction to electrical energy. Their methods involve highly sensitive piezoelectric inks sculpted with UV light.

Diamonds and pencils–investigating their relationship to advance technology

Researchers at Griffith University and University of New South Wales used computers to show that the diamond structure of boron nitride is more stable than the graphite structure of a pencil—but this order would swap in a hot cup of coffee.

Broadband achromatic metalens focuses light regardless of polarization

Researchers at Harvard University’s School Of Engineering And Applied Sciences developed a polarization-insensitive metalens composed of non-symmetric nanofins that can achromatically focus light across the visible spectrum without aberrations. This finding doubled the efficiency of metalenses from previous iterations.

Scientists discover new quantum spin liquid

An international research team led by University of Liverpool and McMaster University showed that the perovskite-related metal oxide, TbInO3, exhibits a quantum spin liquid state, a long-sought-after and unusual state of matter.

Oxide ceramics with reversible properties

Scientists at Forschungszentrum Jülich tracked changes in the crystal structure of lanthanum strontium manganite and its magnetic properties accompanying absorption and release of oxygen. Possible applications include data storage, sensors, and catalysts.