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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Crystal-stacking process can produce new materials for high-tech devices

Engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created ultrathin complex oxide single-crystal layers by using graphene as the peel-away intermediate.

Scientists unlock a new method that can bend nanodiamonds

By beaming an electric field at diamond nanoneedles just 20 nanometers in length, researchers bent the diamonds to 90 degrees without fracturing. They also observed a new type of plastic deformation, where the needles did not bend back, when the dimensions of the nanoneedles and the orientation of the diamond crystals were set in a very specific way.

New graphene-based material to extend life of storage devices

Scientists from National University of Science and Technology MISIS (Russia) and National Institute for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (Japan) developed a material based on graphene and the semi-metallic Heusler alloy Co2FeGaGe that can significantly increase the capacity of magnetic memory by increasing the recording density.

Rolled up carbon nanotubes

Researchers led by University of Tokyo for the first time grew crystals of various materials uniformly onto the surface of carbon nanotubes. They hope these modified structures will exhibit functions useful in electronic, chemical, or other applications.

Mouldable gold can be shaped just like clay

Researchers in Japan found a way to make gold nanoparticles that are sufficiently uniform in shape and size to interlace and form a mouldable material. The clay-like material can be sculpted into 3D structures that retain their shape even at high temperatures.


Scientists learn more about the first hours of a lithium-ion battery’s life

Researchers led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and U.S. Army Research Laboratory witnessed formation of the solid-electrolyte interphase at a molecular level. They found the layer next to the anode is thin but dense. The outer layer, next to the electrolyte, is thicker and mediates interactions between the liquid and rest of interphase.

How iron carbenes store energy from sunlight—and why they aren’t better at it

Scientists watched what happened when light hit iron carbene, an inexpensive photosensitizer, and discovered it can respond in two competing ways, only one of which allows electrons to flow into the devices or reactions where they are needed. It took this desired path about 60% of the time.

Researchers develop a roadmap for growth of new solar cells

Researchers led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that rather than making a prohibitively expensive initial investment to build a plant for utility-scale production of perovskites, more specialized applications could be accomplished for more realistic initial capital investment on the order of $40 million.

The power of going small: Copper oxide subnanoparticle catalysts prove most superior

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology showed copper oxide particles on the subnanoscale are more powerful catalysts than those on the nanoscale. These subnanoparticles can also catalyze the oxidation reactions of aromatic hydrocarbons far more effectively than catalysts currently used in industry.

Oblique electrostatic inject-deposited TiO2 film for efficient perovskite solar cells

Researchers led by Kanazawa University reported a simple oblique electrostatic inkjet approach to deposit a titanium oxide compact layer on fluorine-doped tin oxide-pattern substrates as an electron transport layer for enhancing efficiency of perovskite solar cells.


Next generation of greenhouses may be fully solar powered

According to findings of a modeling study by North Carolina State University researchers, many greenhouses could become energy neutral by using see-through solar panels to harvest energy from the wavelengths of light that plants do not use for photosynthesis.

Nanoparticles produced from burning coal result in damage to mice lungs

Virginia Tech scientists discovered that incredibly small particles of an unusual and highly toxic titanium oxide found in coal smog and ash can cause lung damage in mice after a single exposure, with long-term damage occurring in just six weeks. They urge that testing move to human-focused studies.


Engineers mix and match materials to make new stretchy electronics

Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers developed a process called “remote epitaxy,” which involves growing thin films of semiconducting material on a wafer of the same material and covering it in an intermediate layer of graphene. Once grown, the semiconducting film is peeled off the graphene-covered wafer and the wafer is reused.

Physicists find evidence of previously unseen transition in ferroelectrics

University of Arkansas researchers found evidence of an inverse transition in ferroelectric ultrathin films, which could lead to advances in development of data storage, microelectronics, and sensors.