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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Scientists studied nanoparticles embedded in silver-ion-exchanged glasses

Researchers from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, in collaboration with Alferov University, Institute of Problems of Mechanical Engineering RAS, and University of Technology of Troyes, registered the formation of silver nanoparticles in an ion-exchanged glass as a result of infrared laser irradiation.

Tunable free-electron X-ray radiation from van der Waals materials

A recent paper by researchers at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology contains experimental results and new theory that together provide a proof-of-concept for an innovative application of 2D materials as a compact system that produces controlled and accurate radiation.

Cinzia Casiraghi: Celebrating the contributions of female scientists to 2D materials

A year after the first papers were published in a focus issue of JPhys Materials on the contributions of female scientists to 2D materials, Cinzia Casiraghi—one of the guest editors—talks to Matin Durrani of Physics World about the success of the project to date.


Physicists build circuit that generates power from graphene’s thermal motion

University of Arkansas physicists successfully developed a circuit capable of capturing graphene’s thermal motion and converting it into an electrical current. The idea of harvesting energy from graphene is controversial because it refutes physicist Richard Feynman’s assertion that the thermal motion of atoms cannot do work.

Chemical innovation stabilizes best-performing perovskite formulation

Researchers at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne treated the metal halide perovskite formamidinium with a vapor of methylammonium thiocyanate or formamidinium thiocyanate, which turned the photoinactive perovskite films to the desired photosensitive ones.

Two’s a crowd: Nuclear and renewables don’t mix

University of Sussex researchers analyzed data from 123 countries over 25 years and determined nuclear energy programs tend not to deliver sufficient carbon emission reductions and so should not be considered an effective low carbon energy source.


Sensor rapidly detects COVID-19 infection

California Institute of Technology researchers developed a new type of multiplexed test with a low-cost graphene sensor that may enable the at-home diagnosis of a COVID infection. The sensor contains antibodies and proteins that allow it to detect the presence of the virus itself, antibodies created by the body to fight the virus, and chemical markers of inflammation.


Students turn algae into a building material for eco village concept in China

Students from the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London investigated the use of algae as a building material when mixed together with clay. The type of algae the project proposes to use green macroalgae, which despite being naturally-occurring, is harmful to natural environments and marine life.


New method of connecting precast concrete beams and columns

In a patented design by South Dakota State University researchers, a precast beam slides into the column and the buckling-restrained reinforcement connects the beam reinforcement to the column reinforcement. Because the bars are exposed at the connection, they can be easily replaced if damaged.


Carbon-carbon covalent bonds far more flexible than presumed

Hokkaido University researchers successfully demonstrated that carbon-carbon covalent bonds expand and contract flexibly in response to light and heat. This unexpected flexibility could confer new properties to organic compounds.

Control diamond’s electronic properties

Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nanyang Technological University, and Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology discovered a way to tweak tiny needles of diamond in a controlled way to transform their electronic properties, dialing them from insulating, through semiconducting, all the way to highly conductive.

Cuttlebone’s microstructure sits at ‘sweet spot’ for lightweight, stiff, damage-tolerant

Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University investigated the internal microstructure of cuttlebone and found the microstructure’s unique, chambered “wall-septa” design optimizes cuttlebone to be extremely lightweight, stiff, and damage-tolerant.

Researchers develop technique to prevent glass from shattering in bomb blasts

Queensland University of Technology researchers developed a unique technique to prevent glass facades on iconic buildings from shattering by absorbing the energy of the blast with a shock absorbing layer between the glass panels in the laminated glass and through members of the supporting system as well as to make the cable trusses stronger.

The time capsule that’s as big as human history

In an article published in international monthly men’s magazine GQ, writer Michael Paterniti explores the Memory of Mankind project, an initiative by ceramicist Martin Kunze to create a time capsule for future generations by storing information on ceramic tablets.