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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Carbon nanotubes could stabilize energy-rich nitrogen chains

Researchers led by Nanjing University used a new computational approach to search and characterize potential polymeric nitrogen structures. Their technique predicted that stable chains and tubes of nitrogen atoms can form in two previously known structures as well as three completely new ones.

Researchers create miniature wide-angle camera with flat metalenses

Researchers designed a new, ultrathin camera that acquires wide-angle, high-quality images using a metalens array. They note that the planar camera demonstrated in this research used individual metalenses just 0.3 millimeters in diameter. They plan to enlarge these to about 1 to 5 millimeters to increase the camera’s imaging quality.

Graphene-hBN breakthrough to spur new LEDs, quantum computing

University of Michigan researchers developed the first reliable, scalable method for growing single layers of hexagonal boron nitride on graphene. The discovery hinged on the finding that neat rows of hBN atoms are more stable at high temperature than the undesirable jagged formations.


Converting solar energy to electricity on demand

Research conducted at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden could lead to self-charging electronics using stored solar energy on demand. The new technology is based on the Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage Systems.

Engineers enlist AI to help scale up advanced solar cell manufacturing

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University developed a system that makes it possible to integrate data from prior experiments and information based on personal observations into the machine learning process.

You’ve heard of water droughts—could ‘energy’ droughts be next?

Drawing on 70 years of historic wind and solar-power data, researchers built an AI model to predict the probability of a network-scale “drought,” when daily production of renewables fell below a target threshold.

Lack of marshaling ports hindering offshore wind industry

University of Delaware researchers found the nation’s existing and planned marshaling ports for offshore wind turbines will be insufficient by 2023 to meet commitments and will fail to meet projected demand through 2050.


FDA authorizes first COVID-19 diagnostic test using breath samples

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the first COVID-19 diagnostic test that detects chemical compounds in breath samples associated with a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Performance of the InspectIR COVID-19 Breathalyzer was validated in a large study of 2,409 individuals, including those with and without symptoms.


LED lights developed from rice husks

Hiroshima University researchers developed a way to recycle rice husks to create a silicon quantum dot LED light. They extracted silica powders by burning off organic compounds then heated the powder to obtain silicon powders. Chemical etching further reduced the powder. The surface was then chemically functionalized for high chemical stability.

Inspired by prehistoric creatures, researchers make record-setting lenses

Inspired by the eyes of a species of trilobite, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology developed a miniature camera featuring a bifocal lens with a record-setting depth of field. The camera can simultaneously image objects as close as 3 centimeters and as far away as 1.7 kilometers.