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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Scientists create world’s first monolayer amorphous film

Researchers led by National University of Singapore synthesised the world’s first one-atom-thick amorphous material, monolayer amorphous carbon. The newly synthesised films show nanometer-sized patches of strained and distorted hexagonal carbon rings, but there is random disorder between these patches.

Illuminating the world of nanoparticles

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University researchers coated the inside of a microbubble resonator’s glass sphere with gold nanorods. When the nanoparticles absorbed light, they heated up and caused shifts in light frequencies emitted by the resonator, which allowed for shifts in nanoparticle temperature to be measured.

A new approach to making airplane parts, minus the massive infrastructure

Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers developed a method based on carbon nanotube films to produce aerospace-grade composites that does not require enormous ovens or pressure vessels.


Growing strained crystals could improve performance of perovskite electronics

By growing thin perovskite films on substrates with different compositions, engineers at the University of California San Diego invented a way of fabricating perovskite single crystals with precisely deformed (strained) structures.

Atomic tuning on cobalt enables an eightfold increase of H2O2 production

Researchers at the Institute for Basic Science and University of Seoul report a new electrocatalyst comprising Co-N4 molecules incorporated in nitrogen-doped graphene that exhibits a record-high electrocatalytic reactivity, producing up to eight times higher the amount of H2O2 than can be generated from noble metal-based electrocatalysts.

Not so fast: Some batteries can be pushed too far

Rice University researchers showed too much stress in widely used lithium iron phosphate cathodes can open cracks and quickly degrade batteries. The work extends recent Rice research that demonstrated how putting defects in particles that make up the cathode could improve battery performance by helping lithium move more efficiently.


Bandage material helps stop bleeding without adhering to the wound

Researchers from ETH Zurich and the National University of Singapore took a conventional cotton gauze and coated it with a mix of silicone and carbon nanofibers, which resulted in a new kind of bandage that helps blood to clot and does not stick to the wound.


Scientists mimic Earth’s response to quake in lab

Researchers from Indian Institute of Science, Raman Research Institute, and ETH Zurich sheared thin sheets of two soft materials—a tightly packed gel of soap-like molecules and a glass made from clay nanoparticles—and found when force continuously applied, materials’ internal reorganization made burst-like patterns resembling earthquake seismographs.

LED lighting in greenhouses helps but standards are needed

Rutgers University researchers found while LED lighting can enhance plant growth in greenhouses, standards are needed to determine the optimal intensity and colors of light. They recommend using a spectroradiometer to calculate various light ratios.

How US sewage plants can remove medicines from wastewater

Researchers led by University at Buffalo and Stony Brook University studied seven wastewater treatment plants in the Eastern United States and found two treatment methods—granular activated carbon and ozonation—can reduce the concentration of a number of pharmaceuticals in water by more than 95%.


Counting photons is now routine enough to need standards

National Institute of Standards and Technology researchers are developing methods to ensure single-photon detector accuracy and reliability and have already started to perform custom calibrations for the handful of companies that make these detectors.

Chiton mollusk provides model for new armor design

Researchers developed a chiton scale-inspired armor in which the scales converge inward upon one another to form a solid barrier when in contact with a force, while they can ‘move’ on top of one another to provide varying amounts of flexibility when not under force.

‘Superdiamond’ carbon-boron cages can trap and tap into different properties

Researchers led by Carnegie Institution for Science predicted and synthesized the first thermodynamically stable carbon-based clathrate, which is comprised of carbon-boron cages that trap strontium atoms. The strontium make the material metallic (conducts electricity), with potential for superconductivity at notably high temperature.

Tuning optical resonators gives researchers control over transparency

Using a nanoparticle as a “tuning device,” researchers at Washington University in St. Louis devised a way to control electromagnetically induced transparency, a feature of light which allows it to pass through opaque media.