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Other materials stories that may be of interest

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[Images above] Credit: NIST


NANOMATERIALS

Breakthrough in the search for graphene-based electronics

A team of researchers from Denmark encapsulated graphene inside hexagonal boron nitride and then used electron beam lithography to pattern the material with a dense array of ultra small holes. This allows 1,000 times more electrical current to flow than had been previously reported in such small graphene structures.

The holy grail of nanowire production

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne researchers found a way to control and standardize production of nanowires on silicon surfaces. This discovery could make it possible to grow nanowires on electronic platforms.


ENERGY

Solar-powered supercapacitors could create flexible, wearable electronics

University of Glasgow engineers used layers of graphene and polyurethane to create a flexible supercapacitor, which generates power from the sun and stores excess energy for later use. They were able to power high-torque motors in a prosthetic hand and grasp several objects.

Expanding the use of silicon in batteries, by preventing electrodes from expanding

Researchers at Drexel University and Trinity College Dublin say mixing silicon powder into a MXene solution could extend lithium ion battery lifetimes by up to five times. The MXene framework imposes order on ions as they arrive and prevents anode from expanding.


BIOMATERIALS

Fluorescing urine signals organ transplant rejection, could replace needle biopsies

Georgia Tech researchers created nanoparticles with iron oxide, dextran, polyethylene glycol, and amino acids that makes urine fluoresce when the body rejects an organ transplant. The researchers say their test, in comparison to biospies, gives more global reading on whole organ.


ENVIRONMENT

Researchers develop sharp solution for waste glass

University of Queensland researchers developed a method to extract liquid silicate from waste glass, and it can be used to make thousands of products. They estimate the process is more than 50 percent cheaper than conventional ways of producing silicate.

Self-assembling nanomaterial offers pathway to more efficient, affordable solar power

Nanomaterials developed by researchers at The City University of New York use a process called singlet fission to produce and extend the life of harvestable light-generated electrons. These materials could increase theoretical efficiency of solar cells up to 44 percent.


MANUFACTURING

Porous carbon fiber research one step closer to use in automotive industry

Virginia Tech researchers showed carbon fibers can enable high energy density and high electron/ion charging rates, which are typically mutually exclusive in electrochemical energy storage devices. This discovery means industry can use carbon fiber not only as a structural material but also as an energy storage platform for cars and aircrafts.

Fibers from old tires can improve fire resistance of concrete

University of Sheffield researchers showed fibers recycled from old tires could reduced concrete’s tendency to break explosively under intense heat. Adding man-made fibers to concrete is a known technique, but this study shows fibers do not need to be made from raw materials.


OTHER STORIES

Researchers discover anti-laser masquerading as perfect absorber

Researchers at Duke University discovered a perfect absorber of electromagnetic waves made of zirconia ceramic that they described in a 2017 paper can easily be tweaked into a sort of “time-reversed laser” known as a coherent perfect absorber.

Firefly-inspired surfaces improve efficiency of LED light bulbs

Penn State researchers found they could improve LED light extraction efficiency to around 90 percent by using asymmetrical pyramids to create microstructured surfaces on LEDs. They say their approach could easily be applied to commercial manufacture of LEDs.

Freezing upon heating: Formation of dynamical glass

Researchers at the Institute for Basic Science modeled the energy behavior of chaotic networks of superconducting elements, separated by non-superconducting junctions, and found some unexpected statistical properties at long (but still finite) time-scales.

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