OMS header

[Images above] Credit: NIST


Hexagonal boron nitride’s remarkable toughness unmasked

Scientists led by Nanyang Technological University and Rice University uncovered the key to the outstanding toughness of hexagonal boron nitride. They found that when h-BN is exposed to stress, breakages in the material branch like forks instead of traveling straight, meaning that fractures are less likely to grow when further stress is applied.

‘Magic angle’ device can rotate terahertz polarization by 90° or more

Researchers at Rice University developed an ultrathin, broadband carbon-nanotube based device that can rotate the polarization of terahertz radiation by angles of 90° or more. They discovered the device by chance when trying to characterize the nanotubes.


Major advance in fabrication of low-cost solar cells also locks up greenhouse gases

Researchers at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering developed a process that increases the speed and efficiency of a key doping process for perovskite solar cells through the use of CO2 instead of oxygen.

Longi achieves 25.21% efficiency for TOPCon solar cell

Chinese PV module maker Longi announced it was able to improve the efficiency of its tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) solar cell by 0.12% in just one month. According to the manufacturer, the Institute for Solar Energy Research in Hamelin, Germany, confirmed the efficiency increase from 25.09% to 25.21%.

Spectroscopy, first-principles calculations shed light on perovskite nanocrystal properties

Using femtosecond spectroscopy and first-principles calculations, researchers from Skoltech and Ludwig Maximilians-Universität studied the fundamental properties of halide perovskite nanocrystals and showed an intricate connection between composition, light-induced lattice dynamics, and stability of the materials.

Bringing order to hydrogen energy devices

Researchers at Kyoto University developed a new approach to speed up hydrogen atoms moving through a crystal lattice structure at lower temperatures. They changed the structure of a typical barium hydride by introducing layers on either side that are composed of hydrogen attached to another anion.

The biodegradable battery

Researchers at Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) developed a biodegradable mini-capacitor consisting of carbon, cellulose, glycerin, and table salt. The device can store electricity for hours and can power a small digital clock.

Are wind farms slowing each other down?

Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon researchers found that if offshore wind farms are set close to each other, losses with increasing offshore wind energy production will be considerable and detectable as a large-scale pattern of reduced wind speed around wind farms.


Researchers achieve 99.5% purity rare earth from waste magnets

American Resources Corporation and Purdue University successfully achieved a high purity of the rare earth element neodymium using its exclusively-licensed, ligand assisted displacement chromatography process and technology.

Fully recyclable printed electronics

Engineers developed a completely recyclable, fully functional transistor made out of three carbon-based inks that can be printed onto paper or other flexible surfaces. Carbon nanotubes and graphene inks are used for the semiconductors and conductors, respectively, while a wood-derived insulating dielectric ink was used for the insulator.


Visualizing cement hydration on a molecular level

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers used Raman microspectroscopy to get a closer look at the specific and dynamic chemical reactions taking place when water and cement mix.


Order up! AI finds the right material

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and University of Calgary improved an artificial intelligence algorithm for predicting materials by including information about the role electrons play in determining material properties within the training data.

Lighting up ultrafast magnetism in a metal oxide

A large international collaboration led by Brookhaven National Laboratory found that when very short pulses of laser light strike strontium iridium oxide, a magnetic material, the laser suppressed magnetic order across the entire material for several picoseconds.

Innovative batteries put flying cars on the horizon

The Pennsylvania State University researchers are exploring the requirements for electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles and designing and testing potential battery power sources, including two energy-dense lithium-ion batteries.

Researchers create world’s smallest acoustic amplifier

An acoustic amplifier developed by Sandia National Laboratories researchers measures 0.5 mm2 (0.0008 square inches), and is more than 10 times more effective than earlier versions. The researchers also created the first acoustic circulator, another crucial radio component that separates transmitted and received signals.

Acoustic levitation for studying materials in extreme conditions

Materials Development, Inc. developed an acoustic levitation system for studying materials in extreme conditions with funding from a Department of Energy Phase II SBIR award.

Wider applications for Vortex Fluidic Device

Wider clean chemistry applications of the Vortex Fluidic Device, invented by Flinders University’s professor Colin Raston, are likely in the wake of new research on understanding fluid flow in the device.