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[Images above] Credit: NIST


After 20 years of trying, scientists succeed in doping a 1D chain of cuprates

Researchers led by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford and Clemson universities synthesized the first 1D cuprate material that can be doped. Their analysis suggests the most prominent proposed model of how cuprates achieve superconductivity is missing the unexpectedly strong attraction between neighboring electrons.

Reconfigurable metasurfaces provide nanoscale light control

Researchers created new metasurfaces using nanoscale techniques inspired by kirigami. They designed a repeating 2D pattern of two combined spirals etched into a gold nanofilm and suspended above silicon dioxide pillars. When a voltage is applied, the spirals deform, and the transformation can be used to modulate the metasurface’s optical properties.

Twisted graphene has unique properties that could advance quantum computing

Researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of New Hampshire, Stony Brook University, and Columbia University described how electrons move through two different configurations of bilayer graphene. The work relied upon two advances developed independently at Penn and Brookhaven.


Stretching the capacity of flexible energy storage

Researchers report a flexible supercapacitor with electrodes made of wrinkled MXene titanium carbide that maintained its ability to store and release electronic charges after repetitive stretching.

New way to pull lithium from water could increase supply, efficiency

An interdisciplinary team from University of Texas at Austin and University of California, Santa Barbara, designed membranes for precise separation of lithium over other ions, such as sodium, significantly improving the efficiency of gathering the coveted element.

Transforming ‘sewer gas’ into clean hydrogen fuel

Researchers found a new chemical process to turn hydrogen sulfide into hydrogen fuel using the chemical iron sulfide with a trace amount of molybdenum as an additive.

Scientists uncover new opportunities for light-powered battery and fuel cell design

University of Tsukuba researchers revealed ultraviolet light can modulate oxide ion transport in cobalt double-perovskite crystals. Cobalt–oxygen bonds ordinarily restrict oxide motion, but ultraviolet-light-induced electron transfer can break these bonds, facilitating oxide ion motion in a way that is pertinent to storing light energy input.

New wind turbine design can produce five times more energy than older turbines

A Norwegian company is currently developing multiturbine technology to generate five times the energy as single wind turbines produce in a whole year. A floating platform supports the turbines, which are then affixed on the ocean floor. A prototype of this ambitious design could appear before next year.


Smart dental implants

University of Pennsylvania researchers are developing a smart dental implant using barium titanate that resists bacterial growth and generates its own electricity through chewing and brushing to power a tissue-rejuvenating light.


Research explores use of recycled gypsum in concrete

Dalhousie University researchers are exploring the viability of using construction and demolition waste gypsum in concrete to reduce the amount of cement needed, thereby leading to concrete with a lower carbon footprint.

Making hydrogen with mining waste

A group of Queensland researchers used mining waste to make a catalyst that could render hydrogen fuel production cheaper and more efficient. These catalysts are made mostly from feldspars coated with a few nanometers of nickel, cobalt, or iron.

Scientists develop cosmic concrete from space dust and astronaut blood

The University of Manchester researchers created a concrete-like material made of extra-terrestrial dust along with the blood, sweat, and tears of astronauts. They calculate that over 500 kg of high-strength AstroCrete could be produced over the course of a two-year mission on the surface of Mars by a crew of six astronauts.


Finding a metal-oxide needle in a periodic table haystack

Researchers at California Institute of Technology and Google developed a high-throughput method of identifying novel materials with interesting properties. The method couples computer automation with an ink-jet printer originally used to print T-shirt designs.

Researchers realize a spin field-effect transistor at room temperature

Researchers at CIC nanoGUNE BRTA in Spain and University of Regensburg in Germany demonstrated spin precession in bilayer graphene/tungsten diselenide at room temperature in the absence of a magnetic field.

Under loading, ceramics self-heal cracks by forming kink-bands

Texas A&M University researchers discovered a self-healing mechanism within MAX phases. These engineered ceramics form natural faults or kink-bands during loading that can not only effectively stop cracks from growing, but can also close and heal them, thereby preventing catastrophic failure.

GaN-on-diamond semiconductor material that can take the heat

Researchers succeeded in the direct bonding of diamond and gallium nitride at room temperature. They demonstrated that the bond can withstand heat treatments of 1,000°C, making it ideal for the high temperature fabrication process of GaN-based devices.

Simple creation of a super multielement catalyst homogeneously containing 14 elements

A research group in Japan successfully developed a nanoporous super multielement catalyst containing 14 elements that are mixed uniformly at the atomic level. They did so through a method called de-alloying, which involves the selective corrosion and elusion of a specified element from the alloy.

New cerium superhydrides become stepping stones to ‘Goldilocks’ superconductors

Researchers from Skoltech and their colleagues from China experimentally showed superconductivity in cerium superhydrides CeH9 and CeH10, pointing the way to lower-pressure and potentially room-temperature superconductors.

AAS journals transitioning to full open access

The American Astronomical Society announced that its five peer-reviewed research journals will be fully open access as of Jan. 1, 2022. Under the new policy, subscription fees and paywalls will be eliminated and the journal’s operating costs will be supported by publication charges.