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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Theory describes quantum phenomenon in nanomaterials

Theoretical physicists at Osaka City University and the University of Tokyo developed mathematical formulas that describe a physical phenomenon happening within quantum dots and other nanosized materials. The formulas could be applied to further theoretical research about the physics of quantum dots, ultracold atomic gasses, and quarks.

A high order for a low dimension

University of Tokyo researchers created a higher-order topological insulator by stacking bismuth-halide chains. It has the novel ability of being able to conduct a spin current along only its corner edges. As the spin current is bound to one dimension instead of two, the electrons do not scatter so the spin current remains stable.

Better together: Scientists discover applications of nanoparticles with multiple elements

Researchers from University of Illinois Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory showed an emerging type of alloy nanoparticle are more stable and durable catalysts than single-element nanoparticles. To perform the study, they embedded the nanoparticles into a silicon nitride membrane and flowed different types of gas through a channel over the particles.


South Korea’s artificial sun sets new world record

South Korea’s magnetic fusion device, the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research, set a new world record, reaching an ion temperature of over 100 million degrees Celsius for a record 20 seconds. That is twice as long as the previous record.

Speeding toward improved hydrogen fuel production with a new nanomaterial

Researchers led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory designed and synthesized an effective material for speeding up one of the limiting steps in extracting hydrogen from alcohols. The material consists of 1.5-nanometer-diameter nickel clusters deposited onto a 2D substrate made of boron and nitrogen engineered to host a grid of atomic-scale dimples.

Indian scientists develop hybrid supercapacitors with unique electrode material

Researchers from International Advanced Research Center for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials and the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad developed a cost-effective electrochemical route to synthesize electrodes made of nickel cobaltite containing nanosheet structures incorporated with oxygen vacancies as an active material for hybrid supercapacitors.

Innovative battery chemistry revolutionizes zinc-air battery

An international research team led by University of Münster developed a new battery chemistry for zinc-air batteries that overcomes previous technical obstacles. The newly developed nonalkaline aqueous electrolyte, which is based on the zinc trifluoromethanesulfonate salt, lets the batteries operate stably for 320 cycles and 1,600 hours under ambient air atmosphere.

A polarization-driven guide to making high-performance, versatile solar cells

Incheon National University researchers demonstrated using theoretical calculations that antiperovskite oxides—denoted as Ba4Pn2O, with Pn as stand-in for arsenic or antimony—show large absorption of sunlight, making them suitable photoabsorbers for thin film solar cells.

Supercapacitors challenge batteries

Researchers at Technical University of Munich developed a highly efficient supercapacitor based on a graphene hybrid material, which serves as the positive electrode in the energy storage device. The device not only attains an energy density of up to 73 Wh/kg but also performs much better than most supercapacitors at a power density of 16 kW/kg.


Carbon capture: Faster, greener way of producing carbon spheres

Swansea University researchers developed a fast, one-step method for producing porous carbon spheres. Based on chemical vapour deposition, the new method brings several advantages over existing methods, including being alkali-free, does not need a catalyst to trigger the shaping of the spheres, and uses a cheap and safe feedstock.


Scientists invent glue activated by magnetic field

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, developed a new way to cure adhesives using a magnetic field. This discovery could be a boon for manufacturers of carbon fiber, who currently use large, high-temperature ovens to cure the epoxy glue over many hours.

Development of a new technique for growing high-quality gallium nitride crystals

Researchers from National Institute for Materials Science and Tokyo Institute of Technology developed a technique for growing high-quality gallium nitride crystals with considerably fewer defects. The technique uses a substrate coated with thin-alloy-film that prevents undesirable inclusions of the solution from being trapped within the growing crystal.

Japanese art of kirigami inspires new engineering technique

Researchers from Northwestern University used ideas taken from paper-folding practices to create a sophisticated alternative to 3D printing. Their engineered kirigami structures could be employed in a number of applications ranging from microscale grippers to spatial light modulators to flow control in airplane wings.


ACerS Fellows among most highly cited researchers of 2019

Drexel University professors Yury Gogotsi and Michel Barsoum are included on The Global Highly Cited Researchers 2019 list, which tracks scientists whose volume of published paper citations rank in the top 1% of their fields. This year is Gogotsi’s sixth appearance on the list, and it is the second time for Barsoum.

Putting on the pressure improves glass for fiber optics

Researchers from The Pennsylvania State University and AGC Inc. in Japan suggest that the silica glass used for fiber optic cables would have less signal loss if it were manufactured under high pressure.

New optical fiber brings significant improvements to light-based gyroscopes

Researchers from Honeywell International and the University of Southampton used a new type of hollow core optical fiber called a nodeless antiresonant fiber to overcome several factors that have limited previous resonator fiber optic gyroscopes.

Stretching diamond for next-generation microelectronics

A joint research team led by City University of Hong Kong demonstrated the large, uniform tensile elastic straining of about 7.5% for microfabricated diamond arrays through the nanomechanical approach.

Investigating how mother-of-pearl self-assembles into a perfect structure

Researchers from Dresden University of Technology collaborated with the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility to describe how structural defects in self-assembling nacre attract and cancel each other out, eventually leading to a perfect periodic structure.