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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Strain and defects grow in tiny magnetite crystals when oxidized

Argonne National Laboratory researchers showed that when magnetite nanoparticles undergo oxidation in an acidic solution, the amount of internal strain increases, while when oxidation occurs in air, changes in strain are much less pronounced and more uniform.

Individual 2D phosphorene nanoribbons made for the first time

Researchers led by University College London formed high-quality 2D nanoribbons of phosphorene from crystals of black phosphorus and lithium ions. While nanoribbons have been made from other materials such as graphene, phosphorene nanoribbons have a greater range of widths, heights, lengths, and aspect ratios.

Artificial atoms that work at room temp

University of Oregon researchers drilled small holes into a 2D sheet of hexagonal boron nitride and then observed tiny spots of light coming from the drilled regions. These patterned bright spots are artificial atoms, and they possess many properties of real atoms. This research will aid in developing secure quantum communication networks.

2D borophene gets a closer look

Researchers at Rice and Northwestern universities developed a method to view the nanoscale structures of various borophene lattices (polymorphs), and they also built theoretical models to help characterize the crystalline forms.


An economical way to produce high-performance thin films for electronics

Researchers at Missouri S&T showed epitaxial films of inorganic materials such as zinc oxide and perovskite crystal structures could be deposited on single crystals or comparable substrates by simply spin coating their solutions or precursors of the materials. These films are used in manufacturing semiconductors for flexible electronics, LEDs, and solar cells.

Graphene coating could help prevent lithium battery fires

Researchers from University of Illinois at Chicago report graphene may take the oxygen out of lithium battery fires. Their wrapped cathode battery lost only about 14 percent of its capacity after rapid cycling compared to a conventional lithium metal battery, where performance was down about 45 percent.

Performance of perovskite solar cells: The interface makes the difference

A collaboration led by Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia shed light on why differences are observed in perovskite solar cells’ performance by comparing four different HTMs that present close chemical and physical properties. They found perovskite-HTM interfaces may shift the energy levels and produce undesired energy misalignments.

Graphene hybrid energy method could fuel the future of rockets

A new propellant formulation method to use graphene foams to power spacecraft is being developed at Purdue University. The research is showing success at increasing burn rate of solid propellants that are used to fuel rockets and spacecraft.


Raman spectroscopy guidance system integrated with a brain biopsy needle

Canadian researchers developed and clinically tested a navigation‐guided fiber-optic Raman probe that allows surgeons to interrogate brain tissue in situ at the tip of the biopsy needle prior to tissue removal.


How to prepare for your ABET accreditation

Members of the MRS Accreditation Subcommittee offer a training session at the 2019 MRS Spring Meeting to anyone interested in learning more about the ABET accreditation process in general, or preparing for an upcoming accreditation visit at their department.

Water that never freezes

Physicists and chemists from ETH Zurich and University of Zurich identified a way for water to retain the amorphous characteristics of a liquid at extreme sub-zero temperatures. They put water into special lipid membranes that measure less than one nanometer in diameter, so there is no room for water to form ice crystals.

Elements can be solid and liquid at same time

Scientists led by University of Edinburgh used powerful computer simulations of up to 20,000 potassium atoms to study a new state of physical matter in which atoms can exist as both solid and liquid simultaneously.

Largest, fastest array of microscopic ‘traffic cops’ for optical communications

Engineers at University of California, Berkeley built a new photonic switch with more than 50,000 microscopic “light switches,” each of which directs one of 240 tiny beams of light to either make a right turn when switch is on, or to pass straight through when switch is off.

Atomic maps reveal how iron rusts

Scientists used tracer ions to follow the chemical reactions that occur when mineral iron is deprived of oxygen. Their 3D “atomic maps” showed a dynamic iron cycle, whereby iron continually moves on/off mineral surfaces, seeking defects and going deeper into crystals.

Shape-changing robots take on changing terrains

Yale University researchers developed a robot morphs to accommodate changes in its environment. The robot’s core is made of a clay-like substance, and is wrapped with two elastic sheets embedded with sensors and actuators. One sheet provides the robot with a rolling locomotive force; the other manipulates the material into different forms.