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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Properties of graphene change due to water and oxygen

Pohang University of Science & Technology researchers investigated the oxidation-reduction principle of 2D materials by interfacial diffusion. They discovered that the doping of 2D materials with influx of charges from outside in the air is by an electrochemical reaction driven by the redox couples of water and oxygen molecules.


Second act: Used electric vehicle batteries charge up the grid

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed an innovative control system for repurposed electric vehicle battery packs to store electricity for home use and are scaling up the technology to a large, power grid-level project.

Diamonds in your devices: Powering the next generation of energy storage

Researchers from Tokyo University of Science and Daicel Corporation in Japan found that in a basic two-electrode system with aqueous sulfuric acid electrolyte, boron-doped nanodiamond electrodes produced a much higher voltage than did conventional cells, resulting in higher energy and power densities for the supercapacitor.


Chip-based optical sensor detects cancer biomarker in urine

Researchers used a chip-based sensor with an integrated laser to detect very low levels of a cancer protein biomarker in a urine sample. To integrate a laser, they used ytterbium-doped aluminum oxide because it can be used to create a laser that emits in a wavelength range outside water’s light absorption band while still enabling precise biomarker detection.


Move over, salt! A new eco-friendly deicer that uses fruit is in the works

Researchers at Washington State University used grape skins and other agricultural waste to create a naturally fermented solution that enhances the performance of salt brine. The blend melts ice quicker than traditional deicers and reduces damage to concrete and asphalt because it uses less of the damaging salt.

Research group uses hemp to fix bridges

University of Kentucky researchers are taking hemp fibers and creating fabrics with them. They then impregnate those fibers with resin in order to produce a hardened shell that is flexible enough to be made into a kind of shield. These shields are shaped in the lab as forms to be used to pour concrete onto once on site.

Researchers turned beer waste into valuable carbon materials

Researchers at Queens University Belfast showed that by using just two cheap chemicals and heat, they can convert dried grain left over from beer brewing into two forms of carbon: activated carbon and carbon nanotubes. The carbon could also be converted to liquid fuels.

Researchers discover valuable uses for snow crab carcasses

Snow crab processors in Nova Scotia may have found a way to turn crab waste into cash after a four-year study demonstrated the carcasses can be turned into fertilizer, used to strengthen concrete or to neutralize acidic wastewater like mine tailings.

Providing safe, clean water: Magnetic nanoparticles with ionic liquids for water purification

Researchers from the University of Ulm, Helmholtz Institute Ulm, and CISC-Universidad de Zaragoza introduced a new water purification method based on magnetic nanoparticles coated with a so-called “ionic liquid” that simultaneously remove organic, inorganic, and microbial contaminants, as well as microplastics.


Novel material switches between electrically conducting and insulating states

Northwestern University researchers used quantum-mechanical computer simulations to identify molybdenum oxynitride, a new material exhibiting a metal-insulator transition. Materials that can reversibly switch between electrically conducting and insulating states are rare.

Study sheds light on the peculiar ‘normal’ phase of high-temperature superconductors

Researchers at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University discovered an abrupt shift in the behavior of electrons in which they suddenly give up their individuality and behave like an electron soup. They say the finding has “essentially overthrown” quantum critical point theory, a theory that is thought to underlie superconductivity.

Electronic map reveals ‘rules of the road’ in superconductor

Rice University physicists drew a detailed map that reveals the “rules of the road” for electrons both in normal conditions and in the critical moments just before the material transforms into a superconductor.

Researchers discover potential key to extremely low-friction surfaces

According to researchers from The Pennsylvania State University and University of California Merced, extremely slippery surface coatings such as diamond-like carbon hold great potential for extremely low-friction surfaces that are more efficient and durable in automotive systems, medical devices, advanced sensors, and computer components.

Scientists see defects in potential new semiconductor

Researchers from The Ohio State University, Cornell University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and University of California, Santa Barbara reported seeing, for the first time, atomic scale defects that dictate the properties of beta gallium oxide, a new and powerful semiconductor.

A new view for glasses

Researchers at The University of Tokyo introduced a new physical model that predicts the dynamics of glassy materials based solely on their local degree of atomic structural order. Using computer simulations, they showed how this theory greatly improves our understanding of how glassy liquids become more viscous on cooling.