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Other materials stories that may be of interest

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[Images above] Credit: NIST


NANOMATERIALS

Strategy to make graphene luminescent

University of Cordoba researchers came up with a way to make graphene act in a luminescent way. Though previous attempts to incorporate luminescence have been unsuccessful, this group was able to do so by integrating europium into graphene.

Decoupled graphene thanks to potassium bromide

Physicists from universities of Basel, Modena, and Munich found that when potassium bromide molecules arrange themselves between graphene and copper, it results in electronic decoupling, altering the electrical properties of the graphene produced and bringing them closer to pure graphene.

Norwegian researchers develop UV LEDs built on graphene

Researchers at Norwegian University of Science and Technology succeeded in building UV LEDs by growing aluminum gallium nitride nanowires on graphene. A layer of graphene placed on glass forms the substrate.

Stickier than expected: Hydrogen binds to graphene in 10 femtoseconds

Researchers from University of Göttingen and California Institute of Technology produced an ”atomic scale movie” showing how hydrogen atoms can chemically bind to graphene to produce a bandgap, meaning graphene could then be used as a semiconductor.


ENERGY

Graphene sponge helps lithium sulphur batteries reach new potential

To improve lithium sulphur batteries, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology proposed using a porous, sponge-like aerogel of reduced graphene oxide to act as a free-standing electrode in the battery cell, thus allowing for better and higher sulphur utilisation.

Inorganic perovskite absorbers for use in thin-film solar cells

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin researchers produced inorganic perovskite thin films at moderate temperatures using co-evaporation, making post-tempering at high temperatures unnecessary. These layers were used to demonstrate perovskite solar cells with initial efficiency over 12 percent and stable performance near 11 percent for over 1,200 hours.

Record solar hydrogen production with concentrated sunlight

Scientists at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne developed an enhanced photo-electrochemical system that, when used in conjunction with concentrated solar irradiation and smart thermal management, can turn solar power into hydrogen with a 17 percent conversion rate and unprecedented power and current density.

High thermal conductivity of new material will create energy efficient devices

Researchers at University of Bristol demonstrated the high thermal conductivity of ultra-pure boron nitride—550 W/mK, twice that of copper—paving the way for safer and more efficient electronic devices.


ENVIRONMENT

Transforming waste heat into clean energy

University of Texas Permian Basin researchers are exploring a new method for capturing waste heat by harnessing the quantum mechanical motions of electrons in spin polarized materials. Since 2018, they have been using supercomputers to virtually test the energy profiles of a variety of cobalt oxides with a range of substitutions.

Research lab imagines an algae-glass curtain wall

University of North Carolina’s Integrated Design Research Lab is developing a unitized curtain wall prototype fitted with patterned bands of microalgae capable of filtering polluted air and converting it into a source of renewable energy.


MANUFACTURING

Watching concrete explode

Researchers from Empa, University of Grenoble, and Laue-Langevin Institute used neutron tomography to produce 3D images of the interior of heated concrete. They found water in concrete moves away from heat source and accumulates, acting as a barrier preventing water vapor from escaping. The vapor pressure rises and the concrete explodes.

3D printing with carbon fiber: Tracing the lifecycle thread

In a recent article on Engineering.com, printing section editor Michael Molitch-Hou traces the history of carbon fiber in the 3D printing industry, from its roots to its final applications and possible future.


OTHER STORIES

Making glass more clear

A multi-institutional team including Northwestern University, North Dakota State University, and NIST designed an algorithm that is the first to accurately predict glass’s mechanical behavior at different temperatures and could result in the fast discovery of new materials, designed with optimal properties.

New material combines best of ceramics, metals, and plastics

Borrowing a method from the field of drug discovery, researchers developed a material that combines the best properties of ceramics, metals, and plastics. The material, an alloy of iridium, nickel and tantalum, is a bulk metallic glass, and it has the strength of a ceramic, the ductility and conductivity of metals, and it can be molded like a plastic.

New technique could pave the way for simple color tuning of LED bulbs

Researchers from Lehigh University, West Chester University, Osaka University, and University of Amsterdam demonstrated the possibility of color tuning gallium nitride-based LEDs simply by changing the time sequence at which the operation current is provided to the device.

Promising material could lead to faster, cheaper computer memory

University of Arkansas physicists are studying bismuth ferrite, a material that has the potential to store information much more efficiently than is currently possible. They are simulating conditions that enhance the magnetoelectric response to the point that it could be used to more efficiently store information by using electricity, rather than magnetism.

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