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[Images above] Credit: NIST


When graphene speaks, scientists can now listen

Two brothers in a Rice University laboratory discovered that sound can be used to analyze the properties of laser-induced graphene in real time.

Irish scientists develop low-cost way to produce graphene

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin and the Science Foundation Ireland Research Center for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research along with colleagues in the U.K. and Norway created graphene inks and used a household ink-jet printer to make conductive interconnects and lithium-ion battery anode composites.

Impossible material made possible inside a graphene sandwich

Researchers synthesized 2D cuprous iodide that was stabilized in a graphene sandwich. The synthesis uses the large interlayer spacing of oxidized graphene multilayers, which allows iodine and copper atoms to diffuse into the gap and to grow the new material. 

Self-organization of complex structures: A matter of time

Researchers at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich developed a new strategy for manufacturing nanoscale structures in a time- and resource-efficient manner. Their model is based on controlling the availability of the individual building blocks, thus offering a simpler and more effective option for regulating artificial self-organization processes.

Zeolite nanotube discovery

Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, and Penn State University unexpectedly synthesized crystalline zeolites in a nanotubular shape. The nanotube walls had a unique arrangement of atoms not known in 3D or 2D zeolites.


Nanoscale window coating could help reduce energy costs

A team in the Penn State Department of Architectural Engineering examined the energy-saving properties of a coating comprising nanoscale components that can reduce heat loss and better absorb heat. They also completed the first comprehensive energy-savings analysis of the material at the building scale.

National labs study safety material for underground nuclear waste disposal sites

Geoscientists from Lawrence Berkeley, Sandia, and Los Alamos National Laboratories are collaborating on the HotBENT project, which is evaluating how well the natural, clay-based material bentonite, when placed around canisters of buried, high-level nuclear waste, will retain its safety functions when exposed to simulated long-term heating.

NUS research team sets new efficiency record for solar cell technology

Researchers from the National University of Singapore, University of Hong Kong, and Southern University of Science and Technology set a new record in the power conversion efficiency of solar cells made using perovskite and organic materials, achieving a power conversion rate of 23.6%.

Quantum dots boost perovskite solar cell efficiency and scalability

Researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the Korea Institute of Energy Research boosted the efficiency and scalability of perovskite solar cells by replacing the titanium dioxide electron-transport layers with a thin layer of polyacrylic acid-stabilized tin(IV) oxide quantum dots.


Smart windows can significantly reduce indoor pathogens

Researchers at University of British Columbia Okanagan campus found that daylight passing through smart windows results in almost complete disinfection of surfaces within 24 hours while still blocking harmful ultraviolet light.

Decarbonization tech instantly converts carbon dioxide to solid carbon

Researchers at RMIT University developed an efficient way to capture carbon dioxide and convert it to solid carbon, to help advance the decarbonization of heavy industries. They have filed a provisional patent application for the technology.


Graphene-based additives aid concrete curing in cold temperatures

An article presented in the journal Buildings brings forth new ideas regarding the use of graphene nanoplatelets as a nanomaterial to enhance the effectiveness of high-strength concrete constructions at very low temperatures.

New models assess bridge support repairs after earthquakes

Rice University engineers developed an innovative computational modeling strategy to help plan effective repairs to damaged reinforced concrete columns. Their models simulate how columns will likely respond globally (in terms of base shear and lateral displacement) and locally (with stress and strain) in future earthquakes when using various repair methods.

Nano alumina additives help to defend concrete against sulfate

In a recent study, researchers discuss the development, manufacture, and properties of concrete made with nano alumina. They found nano alumina provides superior resistance to sulfate assault from the soil, groundwater, and saltwater when shielding concrete from these sources.


MXene aerogel activates fire-alarm in under 5 seconds

Researchers successfully produced a structurally strong and highly fire-protecting polyimide/MXene hybrid aerogel with accurate thermal detection and flame warning capacity. Even at the fifth burn test, the fire-warning technology could be activated in less than 4 seconds.

New X-ray technique sees the crystal in the powder

University of Connecticut researchers report a new technique called small-molecule serial femtosecond crystallography that in theory can lead to the discovery of the crystalline structure of any substance.

Rusting iron can be its own worst enemy

Through atom-level simulations, Rice University researchers found that iron appears to rust due to a supposedly “inert” supercritical carbon dioxide fluid. They conclude that thin hydrophobic layers of 2D materials could be employed as a barrier.

Russian scientists develop plastic fuel claddings made of silicon carbide

Specialists at Russia’s AA Bochvar Research Institute of Inorganic Materials developed samples of experimental fuel claddings made of a composite material based on silicon carbide. The work is part of a program to develop new generation accident tolerant fuel, which will significantly improve the safety of nuclear power plant operation.

Plastic pouches to replace glass vials as COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing ramps in Africa

Senegal could begin manufacturing coronavirus shots packaged in plastic pouches rather than glass vials this autumn, as efforts to produce vaccines “in Africa, for Africa” ramp up. The Institut Pasteur de Dakar—which has been making yellow fever vaccines for 80 years—is at the forefront of efforts to bolster the continent’s manufacturing capacity.