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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Speeding up nanoscale additive manufacturing with a tiny supersonic jet injector

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers found a way to accelerate additive manufacturing of nanometer-scale structures by using a small, high-energy supersonic jet of inert gas to energize precursor molecules. The approach also enables the production of nanoscale structures with high aspect ratios.

Producing graphene from carbon dioxide

Researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology presented a process in which carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas is converted directly into graphene at temperatures of up to 1,000°C with the help of specially prepared, catalytically active metal surfaces.


A cold-tolerant electrolyte for lithium-metal batteries emerges

University of California San Diego researchers replaced the graphite anode with a lithium-metal anode in liquefied gas electrolytes. They demonstrated lithium-metal anode cycling efficiency of 98.4% at -60°C. In contrast, most conventional electrolytes fail below -20°C.

Danish researchers create worldwide solar energy model

Using 38 years of global solar radiation, weather, and temperature data, and comparing with historical data for photovoltaic installations in Europe, researchers from Aarhus University developed a model that, at global, regional, and local levels, can estimate the performance of PV installations in a given geography, depending on the type of facility.

Tiny granules can help bring clean and abundant fusion power to Earth

Physicists from Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and General Atomics concluded that injecting tiny beryllium pellets into ITER could help stabilize the plasma that fuels fusion reactions. In the present experiments, they injected granules of carbon, lithium, and boron carbide, light metals that share several properties of beryllium.


Multishelled fullerenes beat graphene at catalyzing water splitting

University of Science and Technology of China scientists found that, instead of flat graphene supports, platinum decorated spherical onion-like carbon catalysts with platinum atoms deposited on their outermost surface reduced the amount of platinum atoms needed for electrochemical hydrogen production by about 75%.


New research shows AMCs can radically improve power density of electric motors

Electric motor efficiency and performance could benefit from using aluminum matrix composites, according to research from the Innovate UK ‘Make it Lighter with Less’ R&D competition. The project, led by AMC specialist Alvant, achieved a 40% rotor weight saving on an axial flux electric motor while increasing the rotor’s power-to-inertia ratio potential.


Smart glasses follow our eyes, focus automatically

By using eye-tracking technology to automatically control a pair of autofocus lenses, Stanford University engineers created a prototype for “autofocals” designed to restore proper vision in people who would ordinarily need progressive lenses.

How the salinity of water affects calcium carbonate nucleation

Researchers at Washington University studied the formation of calcium carbonate in saline water. Their results suggest that, without considering kinetic factors, we may have been overestimating how fast calcium carbonate forms in saline environments.

First observation of native ferroelectric metal

University of New South Wales researchers describe the first observation of a native ferroelectric metal. They found coexistence of native metallicity and ferroelectricity in bulk crystalline tungsten ditelluride at room temperature.

Extremely hard yet metallically conductive—novel material with high-tech prospects

An international research group led by University of Bayreuth produced a previously unknown material: rhenium nitride pernitride. The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely. This prejudice has been soundly refuted by the research work now published.

Simple ‘smart’ glass reveals the future of artificial vision

University of Wisconsin–Madison engineers devised a method to create “smart” glass that can recognize images without requiring any sensors, circuits, nor power sources. Light emanating from an image of a number enters at one end of the glass, and then focuses to one of nine specific spots on the other side, each corresponding to individual digits.