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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Mathematically designed graphene has improved electrocatalytic activity

An international research group improved graphene’s ability to catalyse the “hydrogen evolution reaction” by designing a mathematically-predicted graphene electrocatalyst. They confirmed its performance using high resolution electrochemical microscopy and computational modelling.

Adding a carbon atom transforms 2D semiconducting material

The Pennsylvania State University researchers found a technique introducing carbon-hydrogen molecules into a single atomic layer of semiconducting tungsten disulfide dramatically changes the material’s electronic properties, from n-type to ambipolar.

Pantry ingredients can help grow carbon nanotubes

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers found sodium-containing compounds found in common household ingredients (e.g., baking soda, table salt, detergent) are surprisingly effective ingredients for cooking up carbon nanotubes because they catalyze growth of carbon nanotubes at much lower temperatures than traditional catalysts require.

Laser technique could unlock use of tough material for next-generation electronics

Purdue University researchers, in collaboration with University of Michigan and Huazhong University of Science and Technology, showed how a laser technique could permanently stress graphene into having a structure that allows the flow of electric current.


The most complete study of battery failure sees the light

An international team of researchers published the widest study on what happens during battery failure, focusing on different parts of a lithium-ion battery at the same time. The researchers used two synchrotron facilities for the study: the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (France), and Stanford’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (U.S.).

Finding the cause of capacity loss in a metal-oxide battery material

Scientists studying a lithium-ion battery with an iron-oxide electrode as it charged and discharged over 100 cycles found loss is due to a buildup of lithium oxide and decomposition of the medium through which lithium ions flow.

Russian scientists investigate new materials for Li-ion batteries of miniature sensors

Researchers of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University obtained an electrode material based on nickel oxide by atomic layer deposition using new processes. They demonstrated its possible application in Li-ion batteries by studying its electrochemical features, and in the future plan to improve the materials of electrodes for thin-film batteries.

Solution processing of perovskite thin films

Tsinghua University researchers successfully synthesised double-perovskite thin films using a solution-based method. The team looked specifically at Cs2AgBiBr6, a wide-bandgap material that previously had only been fabricated via a complex, vacuum-sealed process.

Researchers introduce novel heat transport theory in quest for efficient thermoelectrics

National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) MARVEL researchers developed a novel microscopic theory that is able to describe heat transport in very general ways, and applies equally well to ordered or disordered materials such as crystals or glasses and to anything in between.


Glass can be made from waste ash new research finds

Researchers from Glass Technology Services found that using waste ash from biomass power plants can replace up to a fifth of the mined and man-made raw materials used to make glass. According to British Glass, UK biomass power plants currently product more than one million tonnes of waste ash each year.

Earth recycles ocean floor into diamonds

In experiments recreating extreme pressures and temperatures found 200 km underground, Macquarie University geoscientists and colleagues at Goethe University Frankfurt and Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz demonstrated that seawater in sediment from bottom of ocean reacts in right way to produce the balance of salts found in diamond.


Sandvik creates first 3D printed diamond composite

Sandvik Additive Manufacturing recently introduced the first diamond composite product ever to be 3D printed. Most of the material is diamond, but to make it printable and dense, it is cemented into a very hard matrix material, keeping the most important physical properties of pure diamond.

New technique for studying rusting of steel benefits mining industry

A University of Saskatchewan Ph.D. student developed a new noninvasive synchrotron technique to study how the protective coatings of rebar—the steel reinforcing bars used to strengthen concrete —withstand corrosion.


Experiment shows the strange reaction of vibrating glass beads underwater

Scientists from Aalto University in Finland used glass beads spread over a submerged silicon plate on a piezoelectric transducer to show that when a plate is vibrated underwater, the heavier particles head for spots where amplitude of motion is greatest, contrary to common belief.

Why you should care about better fiber optics

At Norwegian University of Science and Technology, various research groups are experimenting with optical fibers using a semiconductor core of silicon and gallium antimonide instead of small amounts of germanium oxide, which is used in silica fibers now. Some of the researchers’ latest research findings are in Nature Communications.

Energy researchers break the catalytic speed limit

A team of researchers from University of Minnesota and University of Massachusetts Amherst discovered new technology that can speed up chemical reactions 10,000 times faster than the current reaction rate limit.

A bendable mirror is a step toward finding life outside our solar system

The Deformable Mirror Demonstration Mission CubeSat, a soon-to-launch experiment from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, features 140 tiny actuators that will let the satellite’s mirror bend and adapt to get clearer light readings from stars outside our solar system.

Elemental haiku: A poetic take on the Periodic Table

Mary Soon Lee, British speculative fiction writer, created an interactive Elemental haiku composed of 119 science poems, one for each element in the periodic table and one not yet synthesized.