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[Images above] Credit: NIST


2D boron sheets show novel ‘half-auxetic’ effect

An international team led by TU Dresden discovered “half-auxetic” behaviour in borophene decorated with palladium. This material has three stable phases, one of which exhibits half-auxetic behaviour along one of its crystal axes.

Graphene: Everything under control in a quantum material

Researchers from various research institutes in Germany and Spain demonstrated that graphene’s nonlinearity can be very efficiently controlled by applying comparatively modest electrical voltages to the material.

Optically active defects improve carbon nanotubes

Heidelberg University researchers demonstrated a new reaction pathway to enable defect control in carbon nanotubes that results in specific optically active defects, which are more luminescent and can emit single photons.


Aluminum-anode batteries offer sustainable alternative

Cornell University researchers designed a substrate of interwoven carbon fibers that forms a chemical bond with aluminum. When the battery is charged, the aluminum is deposited into the carbon structure via covalent bonding.

Carbon dots from human hair boost solar cells

Queensland University of Technology researchers have used carbon dots, created from human hair waste sourced from a Brisbane barbershop, to create a kind of “armor” to improve the performance of cutting-edge solar technology.

X-ray study recasts role of battery material from cathode to catalyst

An international team working at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory used a unique X-ray instrument that showed the reversible reactions in Li2MnO3 do not, in fact, involve oxygen during battery operation. Instead, an unusual and complete switch to manganese-based reactions, with a relatively low capacity, occurs right after first charging.

Better solutions for making hydrogen may lie just at the surface

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory combined theoretical calculations and experiments to determine how the surface of lanthanum cobalt oxide perovskite evolves during the oxygen evolution reaction. They found that strontium dissolution and oxygen loss from the perovskite were driving the formation of an amorphous surface layer.


Pillar of support: Breakthrough discovery could speed up bone implant recovery

An international research team led by Monash University developed micropillar arrays using ultraviolet nanoimprint lithography that “tricks” cells to become bone. They are now advancing this study into animal model testing to see how they perform on medical implants.


New injection molding technique allows glass to be cast in any shape

University of Freiburg researchers produced high quality glassware at far lower temperatures using injection molding.

New computational tool could help design futuristic jet engine turbines

Researchers at Texas A&M University described a computational tool to evaluate a material’s suitability for high-temperature applications, such as gas turbines for jet engines and electrical power generators. The computational framework incorporates artificial intelligence and basic physics to forecast how materials will behave under harsh conditions.


Ferroelectric domain wall diodes get flexible

Researchers made ferroelectric domain wall diodes from structures etched on the surface of an insulating single crystal. The new devices can be erased, positioned, and shaped using electric fields and might become fundamental elements in large-scale integrated circuits.

MOF data set provides 10,000 structures free for academic research

The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre has made around 10,000 metal—organic framework structures free to academics in the new Cambridge Structural Database MOF Collection. This news was announced in a letter in Matter.

The science behind varying performance of different colored LEDs

Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and National University of Singapore found a method to quantify the distribution of compositional fluctuations in the indium gallium nitride quantum wells at different indium concentrations.

The indestructible light beam

Researchers at Vienna University of Technology and Utrecht University showed there is a special class of light waves that are practically not changed by the medium, only attenuated. The scattering-invariant wave made it possible to send an image of the Big Dipper to a detector, regardless of whether it passed through a zinc oxide layer or not.

3D-printed home made of clay

Mario Cucinella Architects completed a prototype of the first 3D-printed home made from clay. Cucinella believes this approach can be replicated in different parts of the world, using available local materials, and could be particularly helpful in underserved rural areas.