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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Using nanodiamonds as sensors just got easier

University of Rochester researchers adapt excited state lifetime thermometry to extract temperatures of nanoscale materials from light emitted by nitrogen vacancy centers in individual nanodiamonds. The approach is less complicated, more accurate, and safer for sensitive materials or biological tissues than optically detected magnetic resonance.

2D materials could be used to simulate brain synapses in computers

Researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stanford University fabricated electrochemical random access memory components from 2D titanium carbide (MXenes) that showed outstanding potential for complementing classical transistor technology.

2D material in three dimensions

Researchers at CNR Nano in Pisa, TU Wien, and the University of Antwerp developed an electrochemical etching process that turns solid silicon carbide into porous graphene nanostructures. About 42% of the volume is removed in the process.

Nano-architected material refracts light backward

A newly created nano-architected material exhibits a property that previously was just theoretically possible: it can refract light backward, regardless of the angle at which the light strikes the material.

Book announcement: Graphene-based nanomaterial catalysis

Graphene-Based Nanomaterial Catalysis describes methods of fabrication of both functionalized and nonfunctionalized graphene nanomaterials suitable for use in a variety of applications, including electrochemical sensors, oxygen and hydrogen production, fuel cells, and organic transformations.


How a Swiss start-up wants to reinvent nuclear energy

Transmutex is developing a new type of nuclear reactor that burns thorium instead of uranium. In theory, these power plants would be able to produce electricity safely and without highly radioactive waste.

Scientists develop high-performance seawater batteries

Scientists from Korea Maritime and Ocean University developed a novel co-doped carbon material for the anode of a type of sodium-based battery called seawater batteries.

New technique paves the way for mass production of perovskite solar cells

A collaborative team of scientists at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne demonstrated a technique for producing perovskite photovoltaic materials on an industrial scale. They designed a co-solvent dilution strategy that can be used with spin coating.

Alternative technique for determining the true activity of catalysts

Researchers from Waseda University and CSIR-Central Electrochemical Research Institute demonstrated a technique called “sampled current voltammetry” as a more reliable indicator of electrocatalytic performance at a constant steady-state applied voltage.


Effect of corn cob ash vs sunflower stalk ash on compressive strength of concrete

Researchers compared the effects of ash derived from both sunflower stalks and corn cobs on the compressive strength of concrete. They concluded that both materials reduced the tensile and compressive strength of concrete but improved resistance to hydrochloric acid and freeze-thaw cycles.

Early signs of concrete damage revealed by new imaging technique

Researchers at Rice University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research found that common Portland cement contains microscopic crystals of silicon, which emit near-infrared fluorescence when illuminated with visible light. The near-infrared emission can reveal tiny microcracks that are invisible to the naked eye.


Fourth signature of the superconducting transition in cuprates revealed

Superconductors have four classic traits, including conducting electric current without loss and levitating magnets. Now the discovery of the fourth and final trait—the way electrons pair up and condense into a sort of electron soup—by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University researchers caps 15 years of detective work.

Scientists make a new type of optical device using alumina

Researchers from the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe and the University of Minnesota developed an alumina short-wavelength absorber patterned with moth eye-like structures. These new anti-reflective structures will improve the performance of telescopes studying radiation from the Big Bang.

Powerful machine-learning model shows diamond melting at high pressure

A Sandia National Laboratories supercomputer simulation model called SNAP has captured the melting of diamond when compressed by extreme pressures and temperatures. The work could have important implications for nuclear fusion efforts that employ capsules made of polycrystalline diamond.

NSF ERVA seeking volunteers for leadership positions on their board

The NSF Engineering Research Visioning Alliance  is seeking volunteers for leadership positions on their advisory board and standing council. Deadline to apply is February 13.

Webinar: The art of scientific illustration

Armin VahidMohammadi and Babak Anasori are hosting a 45-min webinar on the art of scientific illustrations and data visualization. The webinar takes place February 18 from 3–3:45 p.m. Eastern at the AAAS 2022 Annual Meeting. Basic registration is free.

Workshop for young researchers in ceramics and glasses for medical applications

The second Workshop for Young Researchers in Ceramics and Glasses for Medical Applications (Y-CGMEd) will be organized by SECV on May 5–6, 2022, at the Institute for Ceramics and Glasses in Madrid, Spain.