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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Tips for making nanographene

University of Tokyo researchers used the metal probe of an atomic force microscope to break carbon-hydrogen bonds in organic molecules without the need for thermal energy, allowing them to fabricate nanographene components in a more controlled way.

Ultracompact metalens microscopy breaks FOV constraints

Nanjing University researchers mounted a metalens on a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor image sensor to create a prototype of a coin-sized imaging device. Using a simple image-stitching process, they are able to obtain wide-field microscope imaging with a large field of view and high resolution.

New family of quasiparticles in graphene-based materials

Researchers led by University of Manchester discovered and characterized a new family of quasiparticles named “Brown-Zak fermions” in graphene-based superlattices. They achieved this breakthrough by aligning the atomic lattice of a graphene layer to that of an insulating boron nitride sheet.

New technology allows more precise view of the smallest nanoparticles

Scientists from the University of Houston and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center developed a new optical imaging technology for nanoscale objects called PANORAMA that relies on unscattered light to detect nanoparticles as small as 25 nanometers in diameter.


Improving high-energy lithium-ion batteries with carbon filler

Researchers considered three types of carbon fillers for lithium-ion batteries: single-walled carbon nanotubes; graphene nanosheets; and Super P, a type of carbon black particles. The nanotubes were found to be the best conductive filler for nickel–cobalt–manganese electrodes.

Creating 3D virtual personas of all-solid-state batteries

Researchers at Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology explored the electrode-electrolyte interfaces of an oxide-based all-solid-state lithium battery using a 3D digital twinning platform in which the microstructures of the solid-solid interfaces can be rendered as detailed 3D replicas of the real thing.

Zinc-ion hybrid capacitors with ideal anions in the electrolyte show extra-long performance

Researchers at City University of Hong Kong compared the effects of three electrolyte anions—sulfate, acetate, and chloride—on zinc-ion capacitors. They say the sulfate anions stood out among the three anions because the sulfates bound stronger to the titanium nitride surface and showed the lowest self-discharging.

Designing layered oxide materials for sodium-ion batteries

An international team of researchers introduced a “cationic potential” to capture key interactions of layered materials and predict the resulting stacking structures. They showed how the stacking architecture determined the functional properties to offer solutions toward developing alkali metal layered oxides for electrical energy storage.


Ceramics that hold their own in ‘stressful’ situations

Through the EU-funded SISCERA project, researchers developed ceramic composites that demonstrate enhanced osseointegration compared to current titanium implants. The ceramic dental implant has now entered the preclinical validation phase.

Cloth face masks that can be disinfected by the sun

Researchers developed a special type of cotton face mask that kills up to 99.9999% of bacteria and viruses within 60 minutes of daylight exposure. They made the antimicrobial fabrics by attaching positively charged chains of 2-diethylaminoethyl chloride to ordinary cotton and then dyed the modified cotton in a solution of a negatively charged photosensitizer.


Environmentally friendly method could lower costs to recycle lithium-ion batteries

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a new process for restoring spent cathodes to mint condition that consumes 80–90% less energy and emits about 75% less greenhouse gases than current methods. Also, the chemicals it uses—lithium salt, nitrogen, water and citric acid—are inexpensive and benign.


Novel glass materials made from organic and inorganic components

Researchers from the Universities of Jena and Cambridge created a new class of hybrid glass materials that combine organic and inorganic components through use of special material combinations that generate chemical bonds between organometallic and inorganic glasses.

Pearls may provide new information processing options for biomedical, military innovations

Purdue University researchers demonstrated light transport-assisted information processing by creating a pearl spectrometer. Current spectrometers rely on complex device assembly, high-precision alignment, and large physical size or dimension. They simply attached a pearl-like multispectral filter array on a conventional camera.

Dissecting colloidal glasses using laser as a lancet

Researchers probed the cage formation of glass to elucidate the onset of glass transition. The reported nonmonotonic dynamical length scale peaking at the onset temperature subverts the prevalent understanding that cage formation is a simple crossover between liquid and glass.

Sensor for smart textiles survives washing machine, cars, and hammers

Researchers from Harvard University and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering developed an ultrasensitive, seriously resilient strain sensor that can be embedded in textiles and soft robotic systems. The sensor is made of patterned conductive carbon fibers sandwiched between two prestrained elastic substrates.

Success in controlling perovskite ions’ composition paves the way for device applications

Researchers at Kobe University succeeded in completely substituting the halide ions of perovskite nanocrystals while maintaining their morphology and light-emitting efficiency by using a custom-made flow reactor.

Mining rocks in orbit could aid deep space exploration

Tests performed by astronauts on the International Space Station suggest that bacteria can extract useful materials from rocks on Mars and the Moon. The findings could aid efforts to develop ways of sourcing metals and minerals—such as iron and magnesium—essential for survival in space.