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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Nanosheet-based electronics could be one drop away

Researchers at Nagoya University and the National Institute for Materials Science found a simple one-drop approach is cheaper and faster for tiling functional nanosheets together in a single layer. They used the process to deposit particle solutions of titanium dioxide, calcium niobate, ruthenium oxide, and graphene oxide.

New way to control electrical charge in 2D materials: Put a flake on it

Physicists at Washington University in St. Louis discovered how to locally add electrical charge to an atomically thin graphene device by layering flakes of alpha-RuCl3 on top of it. The process still works even if a thin sheet of an electrically insulating material is slipped between the RuCl3 and the graphene.


Make synthetic gasoline out of thin air

Researchers in China used layered perovskite bismuth tungstate nanoplates to harvest heat energy from temperature-variation, driving pyroelectric catalytic CO2 reduction for methanol at temperatures between 15–70°C.

Do as the Romans: Power plant concrete strengthens with time

Nagoya University researchers and colleagues found aluminous tobermorite, a rare mineral that has allowed Roman concrete marine barriers to survive for more than 2,000 years, was in the thick concrete walls of a decommissioned nuclear power plant in Japan. The formation of this mineral increased the strength of the walls more than three times their design strength.

The compound that makes chili peppers spicy also boosts perovskite solar cell performance

Scientists in China and Sweden have determined that a pinch of capsaicin, the chemical compound that gives chili peppers their spicy sting, may be a secret ingredient for more stable and efficient perovskite solar cells.


Diamonds put the heat on cells

Researchers led by Osaka University used nanodiamonds to measure heat transfer inside living cells. Not only did they determine thermal properties inside cells and different locations within them with an extraordinary level of accuracy, they determined the thermal conductivity inside cells turned out to be five to six times smaller than that of water.

Nanospindles enhance ultrasound destruction of tumors

Researchers from Soochow University in China developed a new type of sonosensitizer based on vanadium-doped titanium dioxide nanospindles that enhances the amount of damage that sonodynamic therapy can inflict upon tumors without harming normal tissue.


Flashing plastic ash completes recycling

Rice University researchers developed a technique that produces turbostratic graphene flakes from pyrolyzed plastic ash. In a pair of experiments to test the flashed ash, they found mixing it with polyvinyl alcohol increases the amount of strain the polymer can handle before failure by up to 30%. Also, adding it to Portland cement and concrete increased compressive strength.

Copper-indium oxide: A faster and cooler way to reduce our carbon footprint

Researchers from Waseda University and ENEOS Corporation in Japan revealed a novel indium oxide modified with copper exhibits a CO2 conversion rate of 10 mmolh-1g-1 at relatively modest temperatures (400–500°C), making it a frontrunner among oxygen storage materials required for low-temperature CO2 conversion.


Laser-based process to 3D print detailed glass objects

Researchers developed a new laser-based process for 3D printing intricate parts made of glass. The 3D printing approach is based on multiphoton polymerization, which ensures that polymerization only takes place at the precise laser focal point.

New one-step process for creating self-assembled metamaterials

Researchers led by University of Minnesota Twin Cities developed a one-step process to create self-assembled metamaterials that have a tunable nanostructure. Using the process, they created a variable photonic crystal material with 99% efficiency.


Trapping light without back reflections

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Imperial College London, and the National Physical Laboratory demonstrated a new technique for suppressing back reflections of light, leading to better signal quality for sensing and information technology.

Blue-light stride in perovskite-based LEDs

Researchers at Linköping University developed efficient blue light-emitting diodes based on halide perovskites. The challenge of creating blue light in perovskites is that it requires a chemical composition with a large fraction of chloride, which makes the perovskite unstable. But stable perovskites can be created with the vapour-assisted crystallization technique.

Catalysts: Why do metal oxide surfaces behave differently?

Vienna University of Technology researchers investigated the role of oxygen in complex surfaces to understand the effect on metal catalysts. Their results explained why in previous studies partly contradictory results had been obtained: because oxygen atoms, rather than being distributed evenly, settled down in very specific places.

Scientists measure local vibrational modes at individual crystalline faults

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions measured the spectra of phonons—quantum mechanical vibrations in a lattice—at individual crystalline faults, and they discovered the propagation of phonons near the flaws. With this technique, they observed individual defects in cubic silicon carbide.

Conductive nature in crystal structures revealed at magnification of 10 million times

Researchers led by University of Minnesota observed metallic lines in the perovskite barium stannate. The conductive nature and preferential direction of the metallic line defects means the researchers can make a material that is transparent like glass and at the same time directionally conductive like a metal.

Drexel materials faculty included in Stanford top citation metrics study

In a recent top citation metrics study by Stanford University, Drexel University Distinguished Professor Michel W. Barsoum tops the list among researchers with materials science assigned as their first subfield, and Distinguished University and Bach Professor Yury Gogotsi ranked 6th among researchers with nanoscience and nanotechnology as their first subfield.

Superheroes, foods, and apps bring a modern twist to the periodic table

Researchers presented first-year chemistry students with a series of made-up periodic tables featuring objects the students had likely encountered before, including fruits and nuts, superheroes, iPad apps, and meats. The pseudo periodic versions helped students understand how elements are arranged in the real periodic table based on their similarities.