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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Nanoscale discovery could help to cool down overheating in electronics

Physicists at University of Colorado at Boulder discovered that when some nanosized heat sources were placed close together, the vibrations of energy they produced began to bounce off each other, scattering heat away and cooling the bars down.

Researchers integrate optical devices made of multiple materials onto single chip

Researchers describe a highly accurate way to assemble multiple micron-scale optical devices extremely close together on a single chip. The new method uses a soft polymer stamp mounted on a robotic motion control stage to pick up an optical device from the substrate on which it was made.

‘Most perfect graphene ever’ grows fold-free on metal foil

A team of researchers in Korea claims to have synthesized the most perfect large-area single-crystal graphene film ever by pinning down the temperature above which unwanted folds naturally develop in the carbon sheet.

Breakup of a single chemical bond measured

A team from Princeton University, the University of Texas at Austin, and ExxonMobil used the tip of a high-resolution atomic force microscope to rupture an iron–carbon bond. The researchers measured the mechanical forces applied at the moment of breakage, which was visible in an image captured by the microscope.


Tulane scientists and engineers to use recycled glass ‘sand’ to prevent coastal erosion

With more than $700,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation’s Convergence Accelerator Program, a team of Tulane University engineers and scientists will work with New Orleans-based glass recycling center Glass Half Full to divert glass from landfills and turn it into glass “sand” to restore coastal communities and preserve historic sites.

University project reclaims rare earth magnets from loudspeakers and flat panel displays

The University of Birmingham announced the successful completion of a project demonstrating that the rare earth magnets in loudspeakers and flat panel displays, which are currently lost to landfill, can be successfully recycled.

Urban mining for metals flashes electronic trash into treasure

Rice University researchers developed a flash Joule heating method last year to produce graphene from carbon sources like waste food and plastic, and they now adapted the method to recover rhodium, palladium, gold, and silver for reuse.

Human behavior sabotages CO2-reducing strategies

A new study by University of Utah researchers compared every U.S. state’s CO2 emissions with their investment in improving energy efficiency and developing/using renewable energy sources. They found no statistically significant difference between these two solutions, though renewable energy investment was slightly more impactful.

Mapping floods on every street in the world

The World Flood Mapping Tool, a free mapping tool developed by the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, contains detailed 3D maps of all the world’s floods since 1985. Users can select an area of the world map, enter a time frame, and the tool generates a map showing which parts of the area were inundated.


New ultra-resistant and self-repairing concrete materials

Researchers from Universitat Politècnica de València and Politecnico di Milano designed ultra-resistant and self-repairing concrete materials. The concrete has 30% more durability compared to conventional high-performance concrete, and in the event of a crack, it is able to repair itself automatically thanks to the application of self-repairing techniques.

Science backs superior fire resistance for brick exteriors

In a one-hour fire test conducted at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, hollow brick was tested alongside vinyl siding and fiber cement in typical residential exterior wall sections. Clay brick passed easily. Vinyl siding burned after only 18 minutes, and fiber cement—which outperforms wood and vinyl siding—failed in under an hour.


New energy-efficient optical ‘transistor’ speeds up computation up to 1,000 times

An international research team led by Skoltech and IBM created an energy-efficient optical switch that could replace electronic transistors in a new generation of computers. In addition to direct power savings, the switch requires no cooling and is between 100 and 1,000 times faster than today’s top-notch commercial transistors.

Scientists use supercomputer to probe limits of Google’s quantum processor

Researchers at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology used a supercomputer to emulate Google’s quantum processor. The numerics confirmed that Google’s data was on the edge of a so-called density-dependent avalanche, which implies future experiments will require much more quantum resources to perform quantum approximate optimization.

Unbreakable glass inspired by seashells

McGill University researchers developed a new type of glass inspired by mollusk shells that is stronger and tougher, while retaining good transparency. They replicated the structure using a composite of glass flakes and acrylic, which act like the stiff platelets and soft elastic, respectively.

Correlated electrons ‘tango’ in a perovskite oxide at the extreme quantum limit

Researchers led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that straining strontium niobate creates an electronic band structure that sets the stage for exotic, tightly correlated behavior among Dirac electrons, which are especially mobile electric charge carriers that may someday enable faster transistors.