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[Images above] Credit: NIST


How to make the thinnest possible free-standing sheets of perovskite materials

Nanjing University researchers report preparation of the first free-standing 2D sheets for perovskite oxides strontium titanate (SrTiO3) and bismuth ferrite (BiFeO3), and provide a glimpse of their properties.

Researchers ‘stretch’ the ability of 2D materials to change technology

University of Rochester researchers developed a platform that allows a small flake of a 2D material to be deposited onto a ferroelectric material. Voltage applied to the ferroelectric strains the 2D material by the piezoelectric effect, causing it to stretch. That, in turn, triggers a phase change that can completely change how the 2D material behaves.

Nanomaterial safety on a nano budget

Rice University researchers developed and shared a low-cost method to safely handle the transfer of bulk carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials. The method is detailed in an open-access paper in the Springer Nature journal SN Applied Sciences.

A bubbly new way to detect the magnetic fields of nanometer-scale particles

By applying a small external electric field, researchers at National Institute of Standards and Technology and their collaborators enlarged the diameter of magnetic “bubbles” around nanoparticles, which revealed the magnetic orientation of the nanoparticles.


Most detailed X-ray image of batteries yet to reveal why they still aren’t good enough

A multi-institute team of researchers developed the most comprehensive view yet of lithium-ion battery electrodes, where most damage typically occurs from charging them repeatedly. The technique is essentially an X-ray tool driven by artificial intelligence.

How to speed up the discovery of new solar cell materials

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other institutions accelerated the process of screening new perovskite formulations, achieving about ten-fold improvement in speed of synthesis and analysis of new compounds. In the process, they already discovered two sets of promising new perovskite-inspired materials worthy of further study.

Solar cell defect mystery solved after decades of global effort

An international team of researchers observed a previously unknown material defect that limits silicon solar cell efficiency. The electronic charge within bulk of silicon solar cell is transformed under sunlight, part of its energy generating process. The team found this transformation involves a highly effective “trap” that prevents flow of electrons.

Flexible generators turn movement into energy

Rice University researchers adapted laser-induced graphene into small, metal-free devices that generate electricity when put in contact with other surfaces. This could be a way to recharge small devices using excess energy from, for example, heel strikes during walking.


Using nanoparticles to remove micro-contaminants from water

ETH Zurich researchers used nanoparticles comprised of a cobalt ferrite core surrounded by a bismuth ferrite shell that induce the decomposition of chemical residues in contaminated water. The nanoparticles can then be easily removed from the water with a magnetic field.

Floating power plants: Recycling CO2 from the ocean

European researchers showed solar methanol islands could produce enough fuel in the long term to make all CO2 emitted from transportation sources neutral worldwide. In the middle of the oceans, hydrogen is to be produced from solar energy and water, which is then converted into methanol on site using CO2 extracted from the seawater.

Plastic water bottles may one day fly people cross-country

A research group led by Washington State University scientists melted plastic waste at high temperature with activated carbon, a processed carbon with increased surface area, to produce jet fuel.


Fiber-optic probe can see molecular bonds

Engineers at University of California, Riverside, developed a portable optical nanoscopy tool that visualizes the nanoworld. The device increases light wavelength as it travels down a gradually thinning optical fiber until it squeezes into the tip of a silver nanowire condenser, at which point the light interacts with molecules locally and sends back information.

Researchers demonstrate continuous lasing action in perovskite devices

A new joint Tel Aviv University and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology study demonstrates remarkable continuous lasing action in devices made from perovskites. The researchers produced devices using a novel technique called nano imprinting technology, an approach that applies moderate temperature and pressure to shape material.

Chemists could make ‘smart glass’ smarter by manipulating it at the nanoscale

Colorado State University chemists studied electrochromic tungsten-oxide nanoparticles and showed that single nanoparticles, by themselves, tint four times faster than films of the same nanoparticles. They propose that performance of smart glass could be improved by making a nanoparticle-based material with optimally spaced particles.

Making metal with the lightness of air

Lawrence Livermore National Lab scientists can make heavy metals like gold, silver, and copper nearly as light as air—in a form so tiny it can ride on a mosquito’s back—by creating a spaghetti-like web of randomly connected nanometer-sized wires, formed into the shape of a miniature marshmallow and containing the same or fewer number of atoms as air.

LEDs created from wonder material could revolutionize lighting and displays

Researchers led by Harvard University used a 3D printer to arrange tiny, wire-shaped perovskite structures in multicolor displays. As the “ink” carrying the nanowires passed through the printer nozzle, shear forces aligned them. The common orientation of the nanowires gave light from each LED a single preferred polarization.