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[Images above] Credit: NIST


World record broken for thinnest X-ray detector ever created

Scientists in Australia used tin mono-sulfide nanosheets to create the thinnest X-ray detector ever made. The detector is less than 10 nanometers thick. Previously, the thinnest X-ray detectors created were between 20–50 nanometers.

New method to predict stress at atomic scale

Aerospace engineers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign used machine learning to predict stress in copper at the atomic scale. Eventually, the algorithm was able to predict very accurately the grain boundary stresses from both simulation and experimental image data with atomic-level resolution.

Weak bonds a strength in making borophene

Rice University researchers suggest growing borophene on hexagonal boron nitride rather than the more traditional metallic surfaces typically used in molecular beam epitaxy. The weaker van der Waals forces between the growing borophene and relatively chemically inert hBN would make it easier to remove the material from the substrate.

Aerographene used to create extremely powerful pumps

An international research team led by Kiel University succeeded in repeatedly heating and cooling aerograph and the air contained inside to very high temperatures in an extremely short period of time. This process opens the door to extremely powerful pumps, compressed air applications, or sterilizing air filters in miniature.

Lithography-free carbon nanotube arrays

Researchers in Australia and China found a cheaper, easier way to organize large groups of carbon nanotubes without lithography. They used a dewetting process to organize nickel catalyst particles in a particular way.


Quantum dot solar window with 3.6% efficiency

U.S. manufacturer UbiQD developed a solar window with laminated glass and luminescent solar concentrators, based on copper indium sulfide and zinc sulfide quantum dots. It is now testing pilot installations at a Holiday Inn Express hotel in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Quantum confinement discovered in porous nanophotocatalyst

A research team co-led by scholars from City University of Hong Kong and Germany discovered the quantum confinement effect in a photocatalyst of a 3D-ordered macroporous structure. The quantum confinement effect was found to enable hydrogen production under visible light.

New scalable method resolves materials joining in solid-state batteries

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed a scalable, low-cost method to improve the joining of materials in solid-state batteries. The electrochemical pulse the ORNL researchers used eliminates the voids that form when joining layers of lithium metal anode material with a solid electrolyte material.

How prolonged radiation exposure damages nuclear reactors

By using a combination of physics-based modeling and advanced simulations, Texas A&M University researchers found the key underlying factors that cause radiation damage to nuclear reactors.

Study provides keys to managing influx of EV batteries

A new Cornell University-led study identifies several keys to sustainably managing the influx of electric vehicle batteries, with an emphasis on battery chemistry, second-life applications, and recycling.


Hydrogel battery could power bioimplants

Researchers built a hydrogel battery that could offer a biocompatible power source for medical implants. The battery’s electrodes are made from a polyacrylamide-carbon nanotube gel infused with lithium manganese oxide (cathode) and lithium titanium phosphate (anode). The electrolyte is a polyacrylamide-lithium chloride hydrogel.


Long-term carbon dioxide emissions from cement production can be drastically reduced

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz developed a method that could drastically reduce CO2 emissions from cement production in the long run. In this process, the raw lime is no longer converted into burnt lime in coal-fired kilns but is simply milled with solid sodium silicate.

Extracting high-quality magnesium sulphate from seawater desalination brine

Korean researchers successfully extracted high-quality magnesium sulphate, devoid of the commonly found calcium impurities, through a novel ethanol-based method from readily available seawater desalination brine.

Are scientists contaminating their own samples with microfibers?

A new paper by Staffordshire University and Rozalia Project shows that a significant amount of microplastics and microfibers from scientists’ clothing and gear mixes with environmental pollution in the water samples.


In-line inspection of advanced ceramics

High-performance ceramics provide key components—but only if they are defect-free. To detect rejects at an early stage, researchers at Fraunhofer IKTS developed an in-line inspection method based on laser speckle photometry.

Polymer discovery gives 3D-printed sand super strength

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers designed a polymer to bind and strengthen silica sand for binder jet additive manufacturing. The printable polymer enables sand structures with intricate geometries and exceptional strength—and is also water soluble.


Scientists invent ‘smart’ window material that blocks rays without blocking views

An international research team led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore invented a “smart” window material that controls heat transmission without blocking views. The new material has a specifically designed nanostructure and comprises advanced materials like titanium dioxide, tungsten trioxide, neodymium-Niobium, and tin oxide.

Revealing the hidden behavior of supercapacitor materials

Researchers from the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute and the University of São Paulo developed a new analysis technique that enables researchers to investigate the complex interconnected behavior of supercapacitor electrodes made from layers of different materials.

Researchers have unlocked the secret to pearls’ incredible symmetry

Researchers at the Australian National University in Canberra studied keshi pearls collected from Akoya pearl oysters and found that fluctuations in the thicknesses of the pearls’ layers of nacre is dependent on the thickness of previous layers.

Perovskite frozen in MOF glass glows in rainbow colors

Researchers stabilized a perovskite’s luminescent crystal form, which usually decomposes rapidly at temperatures below 320°C, by freezing it in a metal–organic framework glass.

World first forensic tool for fire-damaged concrete structure

Researchers at the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology developed a world-first forensic tool for evaluating fire-damaged concrete structures. It produces valuable outputs by only taking samples of 1~2 grams at every 10-mm depth of fire-damaged concrete.