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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Flexible MXene coatings stay put on any surface

Researchers at Texas A&M University developed new flexible MXene coatings by alternately depositing layers of MXenes, which are negatively charged, and a positively charged polymer on a substrate. The oppositely charged materials stick to each other and the substrate through electrostatic forces.

Researchers bring a new twist to 2D magnets

Arizona State University researchers showed that twisting 2D magnets such as Cr-trihalides can lead to new magnetic phenomena such as skyrmions. Skyrmions are hedgehog-like arrays of magnetic moments with potential applications in memory devices.

Simple method to achieve fine control over the integration of foreign atoms into graphene

Using electrochemical deposition, researchers from South Korea grew metal-oxide nanostructures exclusively on the native defect sites of graphene by immersing a single-atom-thick graphene layer in a metal-oxide precursor solution.


Scientists set new record with bifacial solar cells

Researchers at the Australian National University in Canberra created a bifacial solar cell that has nearly symmetrical power generation capacity on both surfaces of the device. They used specific laser doping technology to fabricate the cells.

Making the case for hydrogen in a zero-carbon economy

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Energy Initiative came up with a model that makes it possible to pin down the pros and cons of peaker-plant alternatives with greater precision. Their work also contains insights intended to contribute to the larger conversation about transforming energy systems.

New dry-coating process for battery electrodes

Conventional coating processes for battery electrodes use a wet chemical method that applies a slurry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS developed a dry-coating process that, instead of solvents, uses a special binder.


Cambridge materials scientist: Cement and concrete “are not carbon sinks”

Cambridge University materials scientist Darshil Shah addressed what he says is “the incorrect message” concerning cement and concrete’s ability to absorb carbon in the recent IPCC report. Shah says carbonation only absorbs about a quarter of total cement-making emissions when fossil fuels burned to power cement plants are taken into account.

Rare earths make their way to Colorado’s waterways

New research by a team at the University of Colorado Boulder found that rare earth elements are making their way into the state’s water supplies, driven by changes in climate. They documented a concentration range of one to hundreds of micrograms per liter—several orders of magnitude higher than typical for surface waters.


The $150 million machine keeping Moore’s Law alive

A Wired article looks at the work being done by Dutch company ASML on next-generation extreme ultraviolet lithography machines that can achieve previously unattainable levels of precision for microchips.


New family of ferroelectric materials

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University demonstrated ferroelectricity in magnesium-substituted zinc oxide thin films. An added benefit of these films is how they can be deposited at much lower temperatures than other ferroelectric materials.

Silica sand can offer a stable and inexpensive energy storage medium

National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers are in the advanced stages of prototype testing a thermal energy storage technology that uses silica sand as a storage medium. The sand is fed through an array of electric resistive heating elements to heat it and then is gravity-fed into insulated concrete silos for thermal energy storage.