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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Oxygen migration enables ferroelectricity on nanoscale

Researchers led by University of Groningen showed how atoms move in a hafnium-based capacitor: migrating oxygen atoms (or vacancies) are responsible for the observed switching and storage of charge.

Tracking topological conditions in graphene

Researchers led by Chemnitz University of Technology succeeded in better understanding the graphene nanostructures that are generated by annealing a nanostructured silicon carbide crystal for a few years.


Transparent nanolayers for more solar power

Forschungszentrum Jülich researchers deposited a double layer of tiny pyramid-shaped nanocrystals of silicon carbide on a thin layer of silicon dioxide, followed by a transparent layer of indium tin oxide, to create a solar cell. The first prototype of this cell achieved a high efficiency of 23.99%.

Mapping performance variations to see how lithium-metal batteries fail

Using high-energy X-rays and complementary electrochemical measurements, scientists identified the primary cause of failure in a lithium-metal battery to be depletion of the liquid electrolyte. Regions with the worst failure typically had smaller amounts of the lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide cathode than the rest of the cell.

Tracking the progress of fusion power through 60 years of neutral particle analysis

A review paper examines the 60-year history of neutral particle analysis, a vital diagnostic tool used in magnetic plasma confinement devices such as tokamaks that house the nuclear fusion process.


Superbug killer: New nanotech destroys bacteria and fungal cells

Researchers led by RMIT University developed a new superbug-destroying coating made from black phosphorus that could be used on wound dressings and implants to prevent and treat potentially deadly bacterial and fungal infections.


Simple chemistry to enhance the sustainability of concrete production

Researchers at University of Tokyo developed a new method of producing concrete without cement by directly bonding sand particles via a simple reaction in alcohol with a catalyst. The technique does not require specific sand particles used in conventional construction.

Researchers aim to use seafood waste to improve concrete

Washington State University researchers received a Department of Energy grant to use seafood waste from shrimp and crab shells to improve concrete. Shrimp and crab shells are made of chitin, an organic polymeric molecule with a highly ordered structure. The researchers are using the chitin to create an additive to improve the concrete.


3D-printed material to replace ivory

TU Wien and 3D printing company Cubicure GmbH developed a high-tech substitute for ivory in cooperation with the Archdiocese of Vienna’s Department for the Care of Art and Monuments and Addison Restoration. The novel material “Digory” consists of synthetic resin and calcium phosphate particles.

Scientists watch 2D puddles of electrons emerge in a 3D superconducting material

Researchers at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory observed the emergence of 2D puddles of superconductivity within a 3D superconductor (BPBO, or barium, lead, bismuth, and oxygen), which may be an example of how 3D superconductors reorganize themselves just before undergoing an abrupt shift into an insulating state.

An early look at the impact of the Chinese Academy of Sciences journals warning list

On the last day of 2020, the Chinese Academy of Sciences issued the first Early Warning List of International Journals. While it includes just 65 journals, the list disproportionately targets journals that are fully open access and attract a high volume of Chinese content in absolute or relative terms.