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[Images above] Credit: NIST


MIT engineers develop “blackest black” material to date

Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers report they created a material that is 10 times blacker than anything previously reported. The material is made from vertically aligned carbon nanotubes grown on aluminum with its oxide layer removed. The foil captures at least 99.995% of any incoming light.

A dash of salt could fortify MXene against oxidation

Drexel University researchers showed polyphosphate salts can help to preserve MXene flakes in water. The MXene flakes in the study, armed with protective polyphosphate caps, lasted more than a month in water exposed to air without any sign of oxidation.

Conductivity at the edges of graphene bilayers

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati showed that ‘intrinsic’ and ‘Rashba’ spin-orbit coupling are responsible for variations in the ways in which graphene bilayers conduct electricity.

Ultra-thin optical elements directly measure polarization

Researchers used ultra-thin layers of 2D metasurfaces to create holograms that measure the polarization of light. The metasurface generates two overlapping holographic images, and the interface of the two images is analyzed to obtain amplitude contrast and phase difference, which allows identification of the polarization state.

Graphene detector can revolutionize space telescopes

​Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology demonstrated graphene is an exceptionally good material for THz heterodyne detection, a fact which could revolutionize sensors used in next-generation space telescopes.


Semiconducting material more affected by defects than previously thought

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and other universities showed a specific defect (crystallographic dislocations) impacts the ability of halide perovskite to hold energy derived from light in the form of electrons.

How much photovoltaics would be needed to power the world sustainably

Researchers from Aalto University, MIT, and Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology investigated whether the several billion AC devices expected to come online within 21st century could be powered by clean PV electricity. They concluded the potential added AC PV capacity is on par with global PV production capacity today as a whole.


It’s about more people in fewer vehicles, not self-driving cars

A researcher from Florida Atlantic University found that simulation research on automated vehicle ride-hailing systems indicates greater ride pooling may be key to major improvements in transportation sustainability. These systems do not require self-driving vehicles but simply centralized fleet coordination.

Glucose derivative replaces BPA in sustainable polycarbonate plastic

Researchers from the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology made a new, tough, transparent polycarbonate composite replacing both BPA and glass fibers with two biomass-derived alternatives—isosorbide and cellulose nanocrystals.


A new fabrication process for transparent glass heaters

Qingdao University of Technology researchers report a new silver mesh fabrication technique that improves performance of transparent glass heaters. The TGH is fabricated over four steps, and it balances good transparency with high electrical conductivity.


‘Flying fish’ robot can propel itself out of water and glide through the air

Researchers at Imperial College London invented a system that requires just 0.2 grams of calcium carbide powder in a combustion chamber to propel a robot clear of the water and into a glide of up to 26 meters.

Spintronics: Physicists discover new material for highly efficient data processing

An international research team in cooperation with Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg found at the interface of two oxides that electrons possess special qualities that drastically increase the conversion rate of spin current to charge current.

Hard as a diamond? Scientists predict new forms of superhard carbon

Researchers used computational techniques to identify 43 previously unknown forms of carbon that are thought to be stable and superhard—including several predicted to be slightly harder than or nearly as hard as diamonds. Each new carbon variety consists of carbon atoms arranged in a distinct pattern in a crystal lattice.

Making stronger glass: The secret strength of gnashing teeth

Michigan Technological University researchers developed two models—finite element modeling and analytical microarchitecture modeling— to study the microarchitecture of brittle materials like glass and ceramics.

Discovery of ‘periodic tables’ for molecules

Researchers from Tokyo Tech University proposed a new approach to build a periodic table for molecules with multiple types of symmetries. Their approach is based on observing the behavior of the valence electrons of atoms that form molecular clusters.