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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Hydrogen ions smooth out wrinkles in graphene films

Researchers found that carefully harnessing protons during chemical vapor deposition can fully flatten wrinkles in graphene films. The method could lead to a new hydrogen storage system in which the gas is stored between layers of 2D materials.

Scientists whip up a storm with bird dropping-doped graphene paper

Researchers in Canada and the Czech Republic, in reaction to “the meaninglessness of the never-ending co-doping of graphene,” decided to see if doping graphene with guano (i.e., bird excrement) affected its electrocatalytic activity, which it did.


Preparing for the hydrogen economy

University of Sydney researchers found evidence of how hydrogen causes embrittlement of steels. However, they also found evidence that clusters of niobium carbide within the steel trap hydrogen in such a way that it cannot readily move and cause embrittlement, which has the potential to be used to design steel that can resist embrittlement.


Silica particles may lead to new treatments for obesity and diabetes

Researchers from Stockholm University and Sigrid Therapeutics found engineered ingestible molecular traps created from mesoporous silica particles introduced to the gut can have an effect on food efficiency and metabolic risk factors in mice.

Laser diode emits deep UV light

Nagoya University scientists, in cooperation with Asahi Kasei Corporation, designed a laser diode based on aluminium gallium nitride that emits deep-ultraviolet light at 271.8 nm, the world’s shortest lasing wavelength. Such light could be used for disinfection in healthcare, for treating skin conditions such as psoriasis, and for analysing gases and DNA.


Toward safer disposal of printed circuit boards

Researchers developed a ball-milling method to break down printed circuit boards, enabling safer disposal. They crushed boards and removed metallic components by magnetic and high-voltage electrostatic separations, and then they put nonmetallic particles into a ball mill with iron powder, which can help remove halogens from organic compounds.


New optical technique captures real-time dynamics of cement setting

Researchers combined a laser-based technology with an optical model to nondestructively and noninvasively determine both the initial setting time (time available for mixing and positioning) and final setting time (reaches full strength) for various types of cement paste.


Bricks alive! Scientists create living concrete

Researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, created living concrete by putting cyanobacteria in a mixture of warm water, sand, nutrients, and gelatin. Stored in relatively dry air at room temperature, the bacteria gradually begin to die out. But when again exposed to high temperature and humidity, many of the bacterial cells perk back up.

Researchers work with liquid metal to make flexible electronics

Researchers at Iowa State University are printing flexible metal onto leaves, flower petals, and more. The process involves trapping liquid metal below its melting point in oxide shells and then breaking the shells, at which point the metal inside solidifies.

Transparency discovered in crystals with ultrahigh piezoelectricity

Researchers from The Pennsylvania State University, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Harbin Institute of Technology, and University of Warwick investigated lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate and found cycles of alternating current fields make the internal crystal domains bigger and the crystal transparent.

Researchers gain control over internal structure of self-assembled composite materials

Researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan developed a templating technique that instills greater order and gives rise to new 3D structures in a special class of materials, called eutectics, to form new, high-performance materials.

Designer-defect mediated clamping of ferroelectric domain walls for stable nanoelectronics

University of New South Wales researchers investigated the ferroelectric material BiFeO3 with specially introduced designer defects in thin films. These designer defects clamp down domain walls in the material, effectively preventing the ferroelectric domain relaxation process that drives information loss.

Inverse design of porous materials using artificial neural networks

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology produced 121 crystalline porous materials using a training set of 31,713 known zeolites. The new neural network took input in the form of energy and materials dimensions to reliably produce zeolites with a user-desired range of 4 kJ/mol methane heat of adsorption.