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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Engineers produce a fisheye lens that is completely flat

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Massachusetts at Lowell designed a metalens that precisely scatters incoming light to produce panoramic images. The metalens works in the infrared part of the spectrum, but the researchers say it could be modified to capture images using visible light as well.

Physicists make electrical nanolasers even smaller

Researchers from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and King’s College London proposed an alternative method for electrical pumping based on a double heterostructure with a tunneling Schottky contact that makes it possible to bring an electrically driven laser to the nanoscale while retaining ability to operate at room temp.

‘Floating’ graphene on a bed of calcium atoms

An Australian-led team confirmed that when calcium is added to graphene to create a superconductor, the calcium goes underneath both the upper graphene sheet and a lower “buffer” sheet, “floating” the graphene on a bed of calcium atoms above the substrate.

Shape matters for light-activated nanocatalysts

Rice University researchers studied aluminum nanoparticles with identical optical properties but different shapes. Tests showed octopods had a 10 times higher reaction rate than the 14-sided nanocrystals and five times higher than the nanocubes.


Sodium-ion batteries are a valid alternative to lithium-ion batteries

A team of researchers in Europe combined their knowledge and expertise to assess the current status of the sodium-ion technology from materials to cell development, offering a realistic comparison of the key performance indicators for sodium-ion batteries and lithium-ion batteries. 

Theoretically, two layers are better than one for solar-cell efficiency

Researchers from The Pennsylvania State University and University of Delaware suggest using two thin films of different materials may be the way to go to create affordable, thin film cells with about 34% efficiency.

New discovery to have huge impact on development of future battery cathodes

Researchers fully identified the nature of oxidized oxygen in lithium-rich nickel manganese cobalt using resonant inelastic X-ray scattering at the Diamond Light Source, the U.K.’s national synchrotron light source science facility.

Mirror-like photovoltaics get more electricity out of heat

University of Michigan researchers designed new thermal photovoltaic cells that reflect 99% of the energy they cannot convert to electricity. A conventional gold-backed thermophotovoltaic reflects 95% of the light it cannot absorb.


Technique could enable better custom ceramic fabrication

Researchers developed a manufacturing technique that uses a combination of computational modeling, porous structure design, and 3D printing to precisely customize the porous network of a porous ceramic material.

Researchers develop simple method to 3D print milk products

Researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design developed a method to perform direct ink writing 3D printing of milk-based products at room temperature, while maintaining its temperature sensitive nutrients.


Engineers improve signal processing for small fiber optic cables

Researchers from Michigan Technological University and Argonne National Laboratory mapped a noise-reducing magneto-optical response that occurs in fiber-optic communications using a state-of-the-art scanning transmission electron microscope acquired by Michigan Tech two years ago.

New composite material revs up pursuit of advanced electric vehicles

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory deposited and aligned carbon nanotubes on flat copper substrates, resulting in a metal-matrix composite material with better current handling capacity and mechanical properties than copper alone.

Mining rare earth elements from fossilized fish

Japanese scientists have calculated that rare earth elements trapped in fish fossils in a 2,500-square-km zone around the western Pacific Ocean isle of Minami-tori-shima could supply four of the world’s rare earth element needs for hundreds of years. A recent paper looked to determine the origin of the fossils and whether there might be more elsewhere.