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[Images above] Credit: NIST


A green fabrication method for graphene

Researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel developed a “green” extraction method of graphene that involves using a mechanical dispersion method to extract graphene from natural mineral shungite rock.

Physicists discover novel quantum effect in bilayer graphene

Theorists at the University of Texas at Dallas, along with colleagues in Germany, for the first time observed a rare phenomenon called the quantum anomalous Hall effect in bilayer graphene. The quantum Hall effect is a macroscopic phenomenon in which the transverse resistance in a material changes by quantized values in a stepwise fashion.

Healable carbon fiber composite offers path to long-lasting, sustainable materials

Researchers created a new type of carbon fiber reinforced material that is as strong and light as traditionally used materials, but can be repeatedly healed with heat, reversing any fatigue damage.

How fast does sound travel through 2D materials? It depends on how their layers stack

Researchers in the U.K. developed an ultrasound technique that measures the strength of atomic bonds within 2D materials, as well as weaker forces between layers. They showed the velocity of sound within these materials depends on the layers’ stacking arrangement.


New ultrahigh material efficient, low-cost solar cells—using nanowires

A research group at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology developed a method for making an ultrahigh material efficient solar cell using semiconductor nanowires. If this is placed on top of a traditional silicon-based solar cell, it could potentially double the efficiency of today’s silicon solar cells at low cost.

Wind and solar could power the world’s major countries most of the time

A study led by researchers at the University of California, Irvine determined that most of the current electricity demand in advanced, industrialized nations can be met by some combination of wind and solar power. But that positive finding comes with the caveat that extra efforts are going to be necessary to completely satisfy the countries’ requirements.


3D printing frames a restoration for coral

Researchers at ​​King Abdullah University of Science and Technology are exploring the use of 3D printing to speed up the process of coral reef restoration. They developed and tested a new approach called 3D CoraPrint, which uses an ecofriendly and sustainable calcium carbonate photo-initiated ink that they also developed.

Creating solar cells and glass from wood—or a billion tons of biowaste

An international research group has taken a close look at how lignocellulose—or plant biomass—can be used for optical applications, potentially replacing commonly used materials like sand and plastics.


A new way to generate light using pre-existing defects in semiconductors

Researchers led by the Low Energy Electronic Systems interdisciplinary research group at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology discovered a new method of generating long-wavelength light using intrinsic defects in semiconducting materials, with potential applications as direct light emitters in commercial light sources and displays.

Study shows expanded applications for chalcogenide glass

Engineers at Duke University, the U.S. Army CCDC Aviation and Missile Center, and the University of Brescia showed that changing the physical shape of chalcogenide glasses can expand their use in the visible and ultraviolet ranges.

A major advance in creating a new family of semiconductor materials

Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers report creating the first high-quality thin films of chalcogenide perovskites, a new family of semiconductor materials, using molecular beam epitaxy.

An ancient fireball turned miles of this desert to glass

According to a new study, researchers believe the Atacama Desert in Chile was the site of an ancient comet explosion intense enough to create giant slabs of silicate glass. The fragmented desert glass contains tiny mineral fragments that matched up with particles collected by NASA’s Stardust mission, which sampled a comet known as Wild 2.