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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Graphene ‘nano-origami’ creates tiniest microchips yet

By creating kinks in the structure of graphene, researchers at the University of Sussex made the nanomaterial behave like a transistor. They showed it can behave like a microchip, which is around 100 times smaller than conventional microchips.

Kagome graphene promises exciting properties

Physicists from the University of Basel produced a graphene compound consisting of carbon atoms and a small number of nitrogen atoms in a regular grid of hexagons and triangles. This honeycomb-structured “kagome lattice” behaves as a semiconductor and may also have unusual electrical properties.

New metalens shifts focus without tilting or moving

Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers fabricated a tunable metalens that can focus on objects at multiple depths, without changes to its physical position or shape. The lens is made not of solid glass but of a transparent phase-changing material that, after heating, can rearrange its atomic structure and thereby change the way it interacts with light.


Ceramic fuel cells: Reduced nickel content leads to improved stability and performance

Researchers at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology developed a ceramic fuel cell that offers both stability and high performance while reducing the required amount of catalyst by a factor of 20.

Researchers discover affordable method for production of transparent solar cells

Physicists from ITMO University discovered an accessible method that makes it possible to use transparent materials for solar cells while preserving their efficiency. The new technology is based on the method of doping but without the use of expensive special-purpose equipment.

Tuning electrode surfaces to optimize solar fuel production

Scientists demonstrated that modifying the topmost layer of atoms on the surface of electrodes can have a remarkable impact on the activity of solar water splitting. In particular, bismuth vanadate electrodes with more bismuth on the surface (relative to vanadium) generate higher amounts of electrical current when they absorb energy from sunlight.


Researchers develop tiny sensor for measuring subtle pressure changes inside the body

Researchers developed an extremely sensitive miniaturized optical fiber sensor that could one day be used to measure small pressure changes in the body. Instead of traditional silica-based fibers, their fiber is based on a fiber Bragg grating inscribed into a fiber made from a new polymer called Zeonex.


New concrete recipe soaks up twice the carbon of the conventional one

A new concrete recipe developed by Purdue University researchers can double the carbon-absorbing speed of concrete. The key ingredient in the new formulation are tiny nanoscale particles of titanium dioxide. Adding more titanium dioxide sped up this absorption, but only up to a certain percentage, after which the uptake reduced.


Plasma gun sprays out high-quality graphene

Indian Institute of Technology Patna researchers made graphene using plasma spraying, a well-established technique for depositing metal or ceramic coatings. They loaded graphite particles in a plasma spray gun, and the thermal shock from the 3,000 K temperature and the turbulent eddies in the resulting plume ripped apart the graphite into graphene flakes.

Graphene tech aids in copper additive manufacturing

Uppsala University researchers, in collaboration with graphene materials company Graphmatech, demonstrated a method for lowering the reflectivity of copper powder by coating the surface with graphene. The work could lead to more densely printed parts through laser additive manufacturing.


Novel flexible terahertz camera can inspect objects with diverse shapes

Tokyo Institute of Technology researchers designed a flexible and free standing THz sensor array that can be used to image blind ends of irregularly shaped objects. They did so by passing a carbon nanotube solution through a polyimide film with laser induced slits and a membrane filter using a vacuum.

A sharper look at the interior of semiconductors

A research team developed a high-resolution imaging method based on extreme short-wave UV light. It can be used to examine internal structures in semiconductors nondestructively, and with nanometer precision.

International study reveals exceptional property of next generation optical fibers

Researchers from the University of Southampton and Université Laval successfully measured for the first time back-reflection in cutting-edge hollow-core fibers that is around 10,000 times lower than conventional optical fibers.

New route to forming complex crystals

Researchers led by a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory used advanced transmission electron microscopy techniques to see mesocrystals form in solution in real time. Rather than individual crystals nucleating and then randomly aggregating into mesocrystals in two unrelated steps, the researchers observed that nucleation and attachment were closely coupled.

Researchers create ‘beautiful marriage’ of quantum enemies

Cornell University researchers used nitride-based materials to create a material structure that simultaneously exhibits superconductivity and the quantum Hall effect, which produces resistance with extreme precision when a magnetic field is applied. The two physical properties are rarely seen simultaneously.