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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Self-assembling and complex, nanoscale mesocrystals can be tuned for a variety of uses

Researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces found the key to controlled fabrication of cerium oxide mesocrystals. They showed a gel-like, amorphous phase forms a matrix in which primary particles, about 3 nm in size, align with each other, self-assembling into mesocrystals with a 30-nm diameter.

Columns designed from nanographenes

Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg researchers presented a sophisticated method for designing precisely defined, multilayered nanographenes. The nanographene is equipped with two cavities on both sides of its planar core. The cavities are formed by the attachment of bulky substituents.

Tiny antenna enables portable biomedical, food-analysis, and other gadgets

A Skoltech professor and his colleagues from Germany designed a very small and flat antenna for receiving and transmitting terahertz signals. The 0.3-mm-thick antenna is based on a Fresnel zone plate.

Nanotube films open up new prospects for electronics

Physicists from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology found that by shortening tube length or exposing films to plasma, they can modify and purposely tune the electronic properties of carbon nanotubes.


JET fusion facility sets a new world energy record

European scientists produced stable plasmas with 59 megajoules of energy output at the world’s largest fusion facility, JET, in Culham near Oxford, U.K. The previous energy record, set in 1997, was just under 22 megajoules of total energy.

Two-dimensional nanoribbons make more efficient perovskite solar cells

Imperial College London researchers demonstrated the potential of phosphorene nanoribbons by incorporating them into perovskite solar cells. The nanoribbons improved the efficiency of the solar cells by enhancing electrical transport between the light-absorbing perovskite layer and a semiconducting polymer.

Researchers double lifespan of lithium nickel oxide cathode for EV batteries

Researchers from Pohang University of Science and Technology and Northwestern University developed a method to more than double the lifespan of cobalt-free lithium nickel oxide cathodes using a thin graphene layer to block oxygen generation.

Breakthrough in cathode chemistry clears the path for Li-S batteries’ commercial viability

Researchers discovered a new way of producing and stabilizing a rare form of sulfur that functions in carbonate electrolyte, the energy-transport liquid used in commercial Li-ion batteries. They used a vapor deposition technique to deposit sulfur on the carbon nanofiber cathode substrate, and ​​it crystallized to form monoclinic gamma-phase sulfur.

Radiative coolers can ‘beat the heat’ off solar cells

Pusan National University researchers demonstrated how integrating a radiative cooler with a multijunction solar cell can enhance its power conversion efficiency.

A ‘fairly simple’ breakthrough makes accessing stored hydrogen more efficient

A new catalyst composed of nitrogen and carbon from Ames Laboratory and collaborators extracts hydrogen from hydrogen storage materials easily and efficiently. The process occurs at mild temperatures and under normal atmospheric conditions.


Graphene biosensor will drive new innovations in brain-controlled robotics

University of Technology Sydney researchers developed a novel graphene-based biosensor that detects EEG signals with high sensitivity and reliability—even in highly saline environments. The sensor is made from epitaxial graphene grown on a silicon carbide-on-silicon substrate.

New synthetic tooth enamel is harder and stronger than the real thing

Researchers led by Beihang University designed an artificial tooth enamel using hydroxyapatite nanowires coated with magnesium-substituted amorphous calcium phosphate. Tests showed that the composite exhibited material properties exceeding those of natural enamel.

A star in the world of ceramic engineering

By investigating the complex and highly ordered mineralized skeletal system of the knobby sea star, Virginia Tech researchers discovered an unexpected combination of characteristics that may lead to developing an entirely new class of high-performance lightweight ceramic composites.


Rare earth elements await in waste

Rice University researchers extracted rare earth elements from waste at yields high enough to resolve issues for manufacturers while boosting their profits. They applied their flash Joule heating process, introduced several years ago to produce graphene from any solid carbon source, to coal fly ash, bauxite residue, and electronic waste.


3D print clay on a polymer FDM printer

Researchers presented a trial to convert a polymer fused deposition modeling 3D printer to print clay materials for ceramic devices. They designed a dedicated extruder to control the flow of the material slip.

Quantum dots are no longer on the blink

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology demonstrated that they could prevent quantum dots from blinking on and off by firing a beam of mid-infrared laser light at the quantum dots for 200 ms.

Researchers design a neuromorphic device resembling human brain

Dongguk University researchers designed a novel optoelectronic device with a dual function of memory storage as well as processing by stacking 2D tellurium flakes on a thin rhenium disulfide flake, followed by the deposition of an aluminum oxide layer.

Tiny electrical vortexes bridge gap between ferroelectric and ferromagnetic materials

Researchers led by University of Warwick discovered a complex electrical “vortex”-like pattern in lead titanate that mirrors its magnetic counterpart. The existence of these vortexes had previously been theorized, but it took the use of cutting-edge transmission electron microscopes as well as the use of synchrotrons to accurately observe them.

UC Davis crowdfunding campaign for Engineering Superheroes

Engineering Superheroes is a project at the University of California, Davis, that involves preparing a series of fun educational videos for kids featuring superheroes as a vehicle to teach STEM and inspire a new generation of engineers. UC Davis is holding a crowdfunding campaign for the project this month, and you can view the details here.

The Ohio Academy of Science seeks judges for Believe in Ohio program

Believe in Ohio, a program of The Ohio Academy of Science, is a student entrepreneurship program to develop Ohio’s next generation of STEM innovators. The program is seeking volunteers to judge the students’ STEM Commercialization and STEM Business Plans, which they can do at their own pace from February 21–28. Register to judge here.