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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Watch nanoparticles grow into crystals

Researchers led by Northwestern University and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign used an optimized form of liquid-phase transmission electron microscopy to gain insights into the self-assembly process of nanoparticles into solid materials.

Efficient nanostructuring of glass with elliptically polarized pulses

Researchers led by the University of Southampton demonstrated efficient ultrafast laser nanostructuring with elliptical polarization in silica glass. Despite the nonlinear absorption being about 2.5 times weaker, elliptically polarized pulses result in about twice the birefringence of linearly polarized light.


Glass sensors being developed to withstand fusion environment

Researchers led by Bangor University, in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University, will identify whether glass sensors developed in the 1960s could function in the extreme conditions of a nuclear fusion reaction. If not, they will develop new glass sensors.

An energy breakthrough: Researchers create new type of fuel cell

Michigan Technological University researchers changed the conventional path of a fuel cell by creating an interface between the electrolyte and melted carbonate as an ultrafast channel for oxygen ion transfer.

Flow batteries for grid-scale energy storage

A modeling framework developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology can help speed the development of flow batteries for large-scale, long-duration electricity storage on the future grid.

Major storage capacity in water-based batteries

Researchers at Texas A&M University reported a 1,000% difference in the storage capacity of metal-free, water-based battery electrodes.

Tiny movements, deep inside a battery

Argonne National Laboratory researchers used a cutting-edge X-ray technique to view the movements of components inside an operating battery cell. The study is one of the first times that such movements have been directly observed in fine detail—at the scale of a millionth of a meter—while a battery charges and discharges.

New atomic-scale understanding of catalysis could unlock massive energy savings

University of Wisconsin-Madison chemical engineers developed a model of how catalytic reactions work at the atomic scale. Their experimental collaborators at the University of California, Berkeley, confirmed the models, which showed defects in the catalyst’s structure can influence how single metal atoms pop loose and how reaction sites form.


Fully recyclable printed electronics ditch toxic chemicals for water

Duke University engineers produced the world’s first fully recyclable printed electronics that replace the use of chemicals with water in the fabrication process. The cyclical process involves rinsing the device with water, drying it in relatively low heat, and printing on it again.

MXenes improve water permeability and rejection performance of RGO membranes

Researchers at Dalian University of Technology constructed electroconductive MXene-intercalated reduced graphene oxide membranes that showed improved water permeability and electro-enhanced rejection performance.


Recycling rubble left behind by war could help rebuild key infrastructure

University of Sheffield researchers found a way to recycle concrete rubble to help rebuild key infrastructure in Syria quicker and more sustainably. Guidelines could now also help Syria recover from the devastating earthquake as well as support other countries rebuilding from war and natural disasters.

Novel ultramicrosupercapacitor with ultrahigh charge storage capability

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science designed a novel ultramicrosupercapacitor. It consists of field effect transistors made from alternating layers of molybdenum disulfide and graphene that are connected to gold contacts. A solid gel electrolyte is used between the two transistors, and the entire structure is built on a silicon dioxide/silicon base.

Discovery of ferroelectricity in an elementary substance

National University of Singapore researchers discovered that 2D black phosphorus-like bismuth, a single-element material, demonstrates ferroelectric properties. The discovery changes the conventional understanding of ferroelectric materials, which are commonly made up of compounds with opposing charges to allow the formation of an electric field.

A new quantum approach to solve electronic structures of complex materials

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago explored the possibility of solving the electronic structures of complex molecules using a quantum computer. In their approach, between four and six qubits perform part of the calculations, and the results are then further processed using a classical computer.

AI-equipped eyeglasses read silent speech

Cornell University researchers developed a silent-speech recognition interface that uses acoustic-sensing and artificial intelligence to continuously recognize up to 31 unvocalized commands, based on lip and mouth movements.