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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Banning carbon nanotubes would be scientifically unjustified

In a correspondence published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, scientists from Penn State and 31 other universities and medical centers take issue with an article published in the same journal calling for the banning or restriction of carbon nanotubes in Europe.

Shifting dimensions: Exciting excitons in phosphorene

Scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University shed light on how excitons—an excited state of matter at the core of optoelectronics—move and interact within phosphorene. They also explored the effect of temperature on exciton-exciton annihilation.

Artificial intelligence identifies optimal material formula

Ruhr-University Bochum researchers used a machine learning algorithm to reliably predict the properties of nanostructured layers. In particular, they combined five parameters and were able to look in five directions simultaneously using the algorithm.


New material developed could help clean energy revolution

Researchers at Aalto University and CNRS developed a new catalyst material to improve fuel cells and water electrolyzers. They did so by doping a highly porous graphene-carbon nanotube hybrid with single atoms of other elements known to make good catalysts.

Energy-harvesting design aims to turn Wi-Fi signals into usable power

Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicists theoretically combined graphene with boron nitride to create a device that converts ambient terahertz waves into a direct current. The team filed a patent for the new “high-frequency rectification” design, and they are working with experimental physicists to develop a physical device based on the design.


With nanodiamonds and salt, researchers race to design face mask that kills coronavirus

Researchers are working to design a better mask—one that can kill viruses and bacteria, rather than just trap them. University of Alberta researchers are treating the surface of the mask filters with salt crystal, while Master Dynamic, an engineering lab in the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, is investigating using nanodiamonds.

Graphite nanoplatelets on medical devices kill bacteria and prevent infections

Chalmers University of Technology researchers found graphite nanoplatelets integrated into plastic medical surfaces can prevent infections, killing 99.99% of bacteria which try to attach but without damaging healthy human cells.

Crumpled graphene makes ultra-sensitive cancer DNA detector

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found crumpling graphene makes it more than ten thousand times more sensitive to DNA by creating electrical “hot spots,” which makes it useful in a wide array of biosensing applications for rapid diagnosis.

Graphene underpins a new platform to selectively ID deadly strains of bacteria

Boston College and Boston University researchers developed a platform to selectively identify deadly strains of bacteria using a graphene sheet to track electric signals inherent in biological structures.


Concrete solutions that lower both emissions and air pollution

University of California, Davis researchers found some common strategies to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of concrete production could have unintended consequences for local air pollution and related health damages.

A new ‘gold standard’ for safer ceramic coatings

Scientists report progress toward a new type of glaze that includes gold and silver nanoparticles, which are less toxic and more environmentally friendly than currently used formulations, while still providing vibrant colors.


Designing lightweight glass for efficient cars, wind turbines

University of Michigan researchers used existing high-throughput computer simulations to generate data on the densities and elastic stiffnesses of various glasses. Then, they developed a machine learning model more suitable for a small amount of data, and they found it could accurately predict the lightness and elastic stiffness of more complex glasses.


Aluminosilicate glasses can serve as visible luminescence materials

Researchers led by Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, succeeded in broadening the absorption and emission bands of aluminosilicate glasses by doping with praseodymium (Pr3+). This research may lead to a host material for fiber lasers operated at visible wavelengths.

Novel MOF is potential next-gen semiconductor

Clemson University researchers demonstrated that a novel double-helical metal-organic framework architecture, in a partially oxidized form, can conduct electricity that potentially makes it a next-generation semiconductor.

Scientists observe superconductivity in meteorites

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego and Brookhaven National Laboratory investigated 15 pieces of comets and asteroids to find “Mundrabilla” and “GRA 95205”—two meteorites with superconductive grains.

Flat-panel technology could transform antennas, wireless, and cell phone communications

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory are reinventing the mirror, at least for microwaves. Instead of familiar 3D dishes and microwave horns, the researchers propose flat panels that are nonreciprocal.

How fire causes office-building floors to collapse

Engineers and technicians at the National Institute of Standards and Technology found structures built to code are not always equipped to survive the forces induced by extreme shifts in temperature.