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[Images above] Credit: NIST


When bonding noble metals to 2D materials, interfaces matter

Researchers at Penn State and Purdue University deposited gold and silver on 2D transition metal dichalcogenides substrates and found metals formed zero-dimensional nanoparticles except for the case of silver on ditellurides, in which silver formed single atom layer. They determined interfaces between TMDs and metals determined growth, final structure.


Simple self-charging battery offers power solutions for devices

Researchers from University of Porto and University of Texas at Austin made a very simple battery with two different metals as electrodes and a lithium or sodium glass electrolyte between them that combines negative capacitance and negative resistance within the same cell, allowing the cell to self-charge without losing energy.

Turning down the heat turns up better perovskites

Researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology lowered the solution processing temperature from above 120°C to below 90°C to create single-crystal perovskite solar cells with an efficiency of 21.9%.

Silicon’s exact conductivity for future solar cell, semiconductor applications

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology made the most sensitive measurements to date of how quickly electric charge moves in silicon using a new light-based technique. They also used the technique on gallium arsenide, another popular light-sensitive semiconductor, to demonstrate their results are not unique to silicon.

Prototype offers high hopes for high-efficiency solar cells

Researchers in St. Petersburg, Russia, created a prototype solar cell using gallium phosphide and nitrogen that could theoretically double current efficiency rates up to 45%. Their research builds on work by Zhores Alferov, the late Russian physicist and Nobel Prize winner, who predicted combining silicon with semiconductor materials to improve efficiency.

Rust and light a possible answer to the conundrum of hydrogen fuel production

Tokyo University of Science researchers identified a novel technique of using rust and light to speed up hydrogen production from organic waste solution. More research will be required to optimize the process.


Perovskite solar cells made with peppermint oil and walnut aroma food additives

Pohang University of Science and Technology researchers developed eco-friendly-solvent processable hole transport polymers by using peppermint oil and walnut aroma food additives. They confirmed this polymer captured leaking lead in aged perovskite solar cells.

Like snowflakes, soot particles are unique—affecting climate modeling

Researchers led by Michigan Technological University and Brookhaven National Lab found while shape of particles containing black carbon somewhat affects atmospheric warming, you need to account for structural differences in soot particles and how particles interact with other (in)organic materials that coat black carbon as it travels through atmosphere.


Cold sintering produces capacitor material at record low temperatures

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University used the cold sintering process to densify barium titanate ceramics at less than 572°F (300°C), the lowest processing temperatures ever used, while maintaining the quality achieved at higher temperatures in modern commercial manufacturing.

A faster, easier way to build diamond

Researchers from Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory reveal how, with careful tuning of heat and pressure, that recipe can produce diamonds from a type of hydrogen and carbon molecule found in crude oil and natural gas.

Nanoconcrete for casting under negative temperature conditions

Engineers from Far Eastern Federal University Military Training Center (Russia) together with colleagues from RUDN University developed a concrete mixture with nano additives for monolithic construction up to ten stories high. The concrete casting is possible within a very humid climate and negative temperature down to -5°C.

Properties of ultra-high performance concrete with silica fume content

A study focusing on the changes in rheology and mechanical properties of ultra-high performance concrete with silica fume content found concrete made with 10% to 15% silica fume obtained the highest fiber-matrix bond, flexural, and tensile properties.


Physicists may have accidentally discovered a new electronic state of matter

The other week, the University of Pittsburgh announced a new electronic state of matter. This time, Northeastern University researchers also announced such a discovery. They found electrons formed a stationary pattern between layers of two 2D materials, bismuth selenide and a transition metal dichalcogenide.

A salty solution for the coffee-ring effect

Researchers from East China University of Science and Technology and Shanghai University developed a new technique to tackle the coffee-ring effect that involves adding trace amounts of various salts to the solution. When tested on a solution containing dyes placed on graphene, polymers, and other substrates, they found the dye color remained even.

Scientists shed new light on design of inorganic materials for brain-like computing

Researchers led by Texas A&M University discovered a neuron-like electrical switching mechanism in the solid-state material β’-CuxV2O5—specifically, how it reversibly morphs between conducting and insulating behavior on command.

Laser writing creates flat optics in glass

Researchers from University of Southampton report a laser-writing method in silica glass that could advance a promising new type of optics that exploits the geometric phase shift when a light wave is transformed by a different parameter, for example, polarization.

Stress-relief substrate helps OLED stretch two-dimensionally

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology researchers created stretchable organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) that are compliant and maintain their performance under high-strain deformation. Their stress-relief substrates have a unique structure and use pillar arrays to reduce the stress on the active areas of devices when strain is applied.

New coating hides temperature change from infrared cameras

University of Wisconsin–Madison engineers developed an ultrathin coating from samarium nickel oxide that emits a fixed amount of thermal radiation regardless of its temperature, which means coated objects could be rendered practically invisible to thermal cameras.