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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Branching out: Making graphene from gum trees

Researchers from RMIT University (Australia) and the National Institute of Technology, Warangal (India), used eucalyptus bark extract to synthesize graphene sheets. They say their method could reduce production costs from US$100 per gram to US$0.5 per gram.

Research reveals exotic quantum states in double-layer graphene

Researchers from Brown and Columbia universities demonstrated previously unknown states of matter that arise in double-layer stacks of graphene. These new states, known as the fractional quantum Hall effect, arise from complex interactions of electrons both within and across graphene layers.

Shell increases versatility of nanowires

A research team at German Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf produced nanowires with operating wavelengths that can be freely selected over a wide range by altering shell structure. Fine-tuned nanowires could hold several roles in an optoelectronic component.

Physicists OK commercial graphene for T-wave detection

Researchers from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and Valiev Institute of Physics and Technology demonstrated resonant absorption of terahertz radiation in commercially available graphene. This finding is a step toward designing efficient terahertz detectors, which would enable faster internet and a safe replacement for X-ray body scans.


The reality behind solar power’s next star material

Companies say they are close to commercializing cheap perovskite films that could disrupt solar power—but are they too optimistic? A Nature news feature takes a look at the current state of perovskite solar cell technology.

FSU researchers explore use of new materials to create more efficient solar cells

Florida State University researchers created a new approach for solar cells to facilitate photon upconversion, a process in which two low energy photons are converted into one high-energy photon that emits visible light. They used a thin-film of lead-halide perovskites coupled with a hydrocarbon called rubrene, which emits the upconverted light.

X-ray imaging provides clues to fracture in solid-state batteries

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers used X-ray computed tomography to visualize in real time how cracks form near the edges of the interfaces between materials in solid-state batteries. They found fracture during cycling causes resistance to the flow of ions.


Students research cleaning solar collectors without water

Adtec Europe Ltd is sponsoring two Cranfield University students to research potential applications for plasma in helping to reduce the amount of water used for cleaning solar mirrors. The research will investigate the characteristics of using plasma-assisted surface conditioning on low-iron glass solar reflecting mirrors.

New unprinting method can help recycle paper and curb environmental costs

A Rutgers-led team created a new way to unprint paper that, unlike laser-based methods, works with standard, coated paper used in home and office printers. The method uses light pulses from a xenon lamp and can erase black, blue, red, and green toners without damaging the paper.

Solar-powered moisture harvester collects and cleans water from air

The University of Texas at Austin researchers developed a new material that speeds the process of evaporation in solar stills, enabling a small still to provide all the drinking water one family needs. The material is combined hydrogels that are both highly water absorbent and can release water upon heating.


Microscopic glass blowing used to make tiny optical lenses

Researchers developed a micro glass blowing fabrication technique to making glass axicon lenses. The technique shapes the lens surface from underneath, leaving a high-quality optical surface, unlike commonly-used methods such as etching transfer from a 3D mask that engrave the wafer from above.

Why it is so hard to make a foldable smartphone

Why is taking a folding screen from concept to a working device such a monumental engineering challenge? In an interview with CNN, ACerS Fellow William LaCourse describes some of the obstacles to making foldable smartphones a viable reality.

Researchers validate optimum composites structure created with additive manufacturing

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers looked at which configuration of carbon fibers in layers of extruded resin result in the stiffest material. Of the four patterns tested, the sample optimized to be the stiffest also turned out to be the strongest.

Toxic substances found in the glass and decoration of alcoholic beverage bottles

Researchers at University of Plymouth analysed both the glass and enamelled decorations on a variety of bottles available in shops and supermarkets. They showed lead, cadmium, and chromium were all present in the glass, but the enamels were of greater concern.


Practice makes perfect

Argonne National Laboratory researchers applied Bayesian methods to quantify uncertainties in the thermodynamic properties of materials. Their research aims to help materials science and other fields of study allow for datasets without uncertainties.

Researchers teleport information within a diamond

Researchers from Yokohama National University teleported quantum information securely within the confines of a diamond. They attached a wire to the diamond’s surface then applied a microwave and radio wave to the wire to build an oscillating magnetic field. They shaped the microwave to create optimal conditions for the transfer of quantum information.