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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Spin-dependent processes in 2D hexagonal boron nitride

German and Australian scientists applied optical and microwave spectroscopy methods and demonstrated the possibility of optical polarization and reading of electronic spin color centers in boron nitride.

2D oxide flakes pick up surprise electrical properties

Rice University researchers found evidence of piezoelectricity in lab-grown, 2D flakes of molybdenum dioxide. Their investigation showed the surprise electrical properties are due to electrons trapped in defects throughout the material, which is less than 10 nm thick.


Next-generation solar cells can take the heat, maintain efficiency

Researchers at Iowa State University created new perovskite solar cells by 1) doing away with organic components and substituting inorganic materials and 2) developing a fabrication technique that builds the perovskite material one thin layer at a time. The cells showed no thermal degradation even at 200°C for over three days.

Highly efficient hydrogen gas production using sunlight, water, and hematite

Kobe University researchers developed a strategy that greatly increases the amount of hydrogen produced using hematite photocatalysts. They achieved this feat by annealing hematite mesocrystals to a transparent electrode substrate.


Multifunctional porous carbon fibers show significant promise in capacitive desalination

Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University developed porous carbon fibers that are up to 40 times faster in desalinating small batches of water than other materials available today.

Saving energy and lives: How a solar chimney can boost fire safety

Researchers designed a solar chimney optimized for both energy saving and fire safety, as part of the sustainable features of a new building in Melbourne, Australia. It extends the safe evacuation time from about two minutes to over 14 minutes.

Fossil fuel-free jet propulsion with air plasmas

Researchers at Wuhan University demonstrated a prototype device that uses microwave air plasmas for jet propulsion. Unlike other plasma jet thrusters, which use xenon plasma, the new plasma jet thruster generates high-temperature, high-pressure plasma in situ using only injected air and electricity.


New technologies to extract, purify critical rare-earth metals

Purdue University researchers developed and patented a technology to separate rare-earth metals without the devastating environmental effects of conventional acid-based methods with high yield and purity. Hasler Ventures secured rights to commercialize the technology’s intellectual property.

High-strength lightweight cement mix for concrete 3D printing

Researchers from the University of Messina formulated a lightweight foamed concrete to more effectively 3D print building structures without the need for any formwork. Unlike traditional lightweight foamed concrete, the novel material retains its shape in its “molten” or “fresh” state due to a very high viscosity.

Eggshell: 3D printing ultrathin concrete structures

In a new study, researchers looked into the potential of “Eggshell” fabrication, a novel fabrication process that combines large-scale robotic fused deposition modeling 3D printing with simultaneous casting of a fast-hardening, set-on-demand concrete.


TMS COVID-19 Materials Needs Exchange

TMS launched the TMS COVID-19 Materials Needs Exchange as a means of connecting organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic with materials experts and companies willing to render materials and manufacturing assistance, resources, and/or expertise. Check out the Exchange here.

Study highlights gallium oxide’s promise for next generation radiation detectors

Researchers at North Carolina State University found radiation detectors making use of single-crystal gallium oxide allow for monitoring X-ray radiation in near-real time. Specifically, they found the higher the level of X-ray radiation exposure, the higher the increase in current from the gallium oxide.

A new law for metamaterials

Carnegie Mellon University researchers created a new scale law to describe the thermal emission from metasurfaces and metamaterials. They are applying the new scale law to design novel metamaterial-based thermal infrared devices for a variety of applications.

Kondo cloud seen at last

City University of Hong Kong researchers made the first experimental measurement of a Kondo cloud, a condensed-matter phenomenon that drastically increases the electrical resistance of certain metals at low temperatures.

Fiber optics capture seismic signatures of the Rose Parade

California Institute of Technology researchers converted “dark” fibers into a seismic array to track vibrations from the Rose Parade. The array captured distinct signals of zig-zagging police motorcycles clearing the route, the bend of the road as heavy floats passed overhead, and a series of harmonic frequencies corresponding to the marching bands’ even stepping.

Online course trains students in quantum computing

Researchers developed a one-week course for high school students to introduce them to quantum concepts, including superposition, qubits, and encryption, and teach them how to use quantum computers to prevent hacking.