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Other materials stories that may be of interest

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NANOMATERIALS

MXenes help photodetectors see the light

Researchers at Drexel University showed how replacing gold with a translucently thin layer of MXene can make it possible to scale up the photodetector production process and churn out sensors that are superior to the current “gold” standard.

Magnetic tuning at the nanoscale

Researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden, and University of Glasgow used a special microscope at the HZDR Ion Beam Center to produce engineered magnetic nanostructures and to tailor material properties at the nanoscale.

Carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water

University of Pittsburgh researchers found that when water is dropped on a carbon nanotube “forest,” the CNTs repel the water, which forms a sphere. When flipped over, the water drop does not fall to the ground but rather clings to the surface. Other surfaces such as peach fuzz and rose petals also exhibit this wetting behavior.


ENERGY

Perovskite solar cells get an upgrade

By adding bromine and indium to perovskite solar cells made of inorganic cesium, lead, and iodide, Rice University researchers were able to quash defects in the material and thus raise efficiency above 12% and the voltage to 1.20 volts.

Iron-based solar cells on track to becoming more efficient

An international study led by Lund University found 30% of the energy in a certain type of light-absorbing iron molecule disappears in a previously unknown manner. By closing this loophole, the researchers hope to help develop more efficient iron-based solar cells.

New material points toward highly efficient solar cells

Researchers at Purdue University developed a sandwich-like material incorporating organic and inorganic materials to form a hybrid structure that doesn’t use lead and has much improved stability. They say the new material’s design strategy could serve as a blueprint for many other functional hybrid materials.


MANUFACTURING

Researchers assess the use of 3D printing geo-polymer concrete

In a recent paper, Leiden University and Delft University of Technology researchers examine development of geo-polymers in concrete, and delve further into use of 3D printing within the construction industry. The results of their study are summarized in a 3DPrint.com article.

A fast and precise look into fiber-reinforced composites

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI improved a method for small angle X-ray scattering to such an extent that it can now be used in the development or quality control of novel fiber-reinforced composites. The new method works not only with X-rays from synchrotron facilities, but also with beams from conventional X-ray tubes.


OTHER STORIES

Thorium superconductivity: Scientists discover new high-temperature superconductor

Scientists led by Artem Oganov of Skoltech and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and Ivan Troyan of the Institute of Crystallography of RAS, synthesized thorium decahydride (ThH10), a new superconducting material with the very high critical temperature of 161 kelvins.

Rubbery concrete is made to take hits without cracking

Scientists at Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University developed a concrete based on a cement that consists of about 40% rice husk cinder, limestone crushing waste, and silica sand. This substitution gives the concrete a somewhat rubber-like quality, allowing it to contract and spring back when subjected to impacts.

Scientists predict new forms of superhard carbon

Scientists led by University at Buffalo 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.

Nonvolatile control of magnetic anisotropy through change of electric polarization

Researchers from Kanazawa University found that the magnetic properties of one metal layer could be controlled by applying electricity to an overlying metal oxide layer. The nonvolatile control of the magnetic behavior represents an attractive concept to realize new nonvolatile memory applications.

Study reveals breach of ‘dancing’ barrier governs crystal growth

By using computer-based simulations to analyze how atoms and molecules move in a solution, University of Illinois at Chicago researchers found that when crystal-forming molecules are surrounded by a solvent, like water, the solvent molecules form a “solvation” shield. When this shield fluctuates, molecules can break free to form crystals.

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