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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Atomic chains in nanotubes push the electronics frontier

Researchers at Michigan Technological University, Purdue University, Washington University, and University of Texas at Dallas developed a new nanowire design—a boron nitride nanotube filled with tellurium atomic chains—that can be controlled by light and pressure, which is promising for wearable tech.

‘Atomic dance’ reveals new insights into performance of 2D materials

Northwestern University researchers developed a new method to view the dynamic motion of atoms in atomically thin 2D materials. The method involves applying an electric current to the material and observing it with electron microscopy.

Graphene forms under microscope’s eye

Scientists at Rice University, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory used a small laser mounted to a scanning electron microscope to create laser-induced graphene with features more than 60% smaller than the macro version and almost 10 times smaller than typically achieved with an infrared laser.


New method offers more stable, efficient electrocatalytic reactions

By fluidizing catalyst particles in electrolyte instead of gluing them to electrodes, Northwestern University researchers made electrocatalytic reactions that are more efficient and longer lasting, which could improve production processes for electrochemical energy conversion and storage.

A breath of fresh air for longer-running batteries

Researchers from Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology fabricated an electrode using nickel cobalt sulphide nanoflakes on a sulphur-doped graphene, leading to a long-life battery with high discharge capacity.

Team uses manuscript inspection method to ‘unroll’ battery

An international team led by researchers at University College London revealed new insights into the workings of a lithium battery by virtually “unrolling” its coil of electrode layers using an algorithm designed for papyrus scrolls.

Assessing the impact of micro-cracks in solar glass

Researchers at Turkey’s Firat University tested how temperature changes affect the durability of solar glass under different operating conditions. They found reduction in both exergy and energy efficiencies were attributable to a large number of micro-cracks and deformations on the glass surfaces.


Blood and sweat: Wearable medical sensors will get major sensitivity boost

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology found sensitivity of biological detectors increases when the ring resonator and waveguide are put on two different planes. The proposed device can be integrated with materials like graphene oxide for providing adsorption of biomolecules on the sensitive part of the optical elements.

Magnetized molecules monitor breast cancers

Researchers at Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and the University of Cambridge developed a new scanning technique that uses hyperpolarized carbon-13 MRI to monitor the metabolism of different types of breast cancer, thereby identifying how rapidly a tumour is growing.

Supersensitive nanomaterials for DNA diagnostics and targeted drug delivery

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and Prokhorov General Physics Institute, RAS, developed a unique smart material based on a combination of gold nanoparticles with low-energy polymer structures that is characterized by supersensitivity to DNA signals.


Making 3D printing smarter with machine learning

University of Southern California researchers used a new set of machine learning algorithms and a software tool called PrintFixer to improve 3D printing accuracy by 50% or more. PrintFixer uses data gleaned from past 3D printing jobs to train its AI to predict where the shape distortion will happen, in order to fix print errors before they occur.


A new form of glass through molecular entanglement

Physicists at the University of Vienna in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research discovered a new type of glass formed by long, cyclic molecules. They successfully demonstrated that by making parts of the rings more mobile, the rings become more strongly entangled, and the molecular fluid glassifies.

Extracting rare earth elements from coal with plasma assist

The U.S. National Energy Technology Laboratory is collaborating with the University of Kentucky and their subcontractor Virginia Tech to demonstrate a novel process for the extraction of rare earth elements from coal using plasma.

New material has highest electron mobility among known layered magnetic materials

Researchers reported that the van der Waals material gadolinium tritelluride displays the highest electronic mobility among all known layered magnetic materials. It also has magnetic order and can easily be exfoliated.

Scientists unlock low-cost material to shape light for industry

Researchers led by the University of Sydney used perovskites to make Faraday rotators, which are used to manipulate light in a range of devices across industry and science. They showed that the performance of perovskites can rival that of commercial standards for certain colours within the visible spectrum.

The use of jargon kills people’s interest in science, politics

The Ohio State University researchers found when scientists and others use their specialized jargon terms while communicating with the general public, the public said they were less interested in science and were less likely to think they were good at science, felt less informed about science, and felt less qualified to discuss science topics.