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[Images above] Credit: NIST


The sun rises on perovskites

With the first perovskite tandem solar cells planned for commercial sale this year, Chemistry World writer Tim Wogan looks at the long, hard road to producing stable perovskite photovoltaics.

Scientists reveal breakthrough that could lead to cleaner hydrogen energy

Chemists at the University of Kansas and Brookhaven National Laboratory used pulse radiolysis experiments to lay bare the complete reaction mechanism for an important group of “water-splitting” catalysts. The researchers hope the study could be an opening that leads to improvements in other catalysts and systems that rely on Cp* ligands.

An electric vehicle battery for all seasons

Researchers at Argonne and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories developed a fluorine-containing electrolyte for lithium-ion batteries that performs well even in sub-zero temps.


MXene hydrogel-based antibacterial epidermic sensors

Researchers created a healable, injectable, and antibacterial MXene hydrogel. It consists of an antibacterial silver nanoparticles-coated MXene nanosheets network within a polymer network of guar gum and phenylboronic acid grafted sodium alginate.

Researchers show how bending implantable medical devices can lead to bacterial growth

University of Toronto researchers showed that mechanical deformation of medically implantable materials—such as bending or twisting—can have a big impact on the formation of potentially harmful biofilms. Even slight bending of elastomeric materials opens up microscopic cracks that are perfect environments for colonizing bacteria.

The daring robot surgery that saved a man’s life

Nadine Hachach-Haram is the founding CEO of a small health-tech startup called Proximie. The company developed an augmented reality platform that allowed surgeons to collaborate remotely. A Wired article details how this technology is changing the way new surgeons are trained by providing access to a global classroom.


Novel sustainable electrochemical method converts CO2 into carbonaceous materials

Doshisha University researchers designed a method for converting CO2 into multi-walled carbon nanotubes using molten salts and sustainable electrochemistry. This environmentally friendly conversion took place through a reduction reaction that occurred at the interface of a nickel electrode, LiCl-KCl melt, and CO2.

New nontoxic powder uses sunlight to quickly disinfect contaminated drinking water

Scientists at Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory invented a low-cost, recyclable powder that kills thousands of waterborne bacteria per second when exposed to ordinary sunlight. The powder consists of nanosize flakes of aluminum oxide, molybdenum sulfide, copper, and iron oxide.


3D printing strengthens key material in aerospace, energy-generation applications

Researchers led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology milled powders of “superalloy” Inconel 718 with a small amount of ceramic nanowires. The resulting powder was then used to create parts via laser powder bed fusion. These parts were significantly less porosity and had fewer cracks than parts made of Inconel 718 alone.


Lithography-free photonic chip offers speed and accuracy for AI

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University created a novel photonic device that provides programmable on-chip information processing without lithography, thus offering the speed of photonics augmented by superior accuracy and flexibility for artificial intelligence applications.

Revealing interactions between micaceous minerals weathering and cesium adsorption

Researchers from the Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources of the Chinese Academy of Sciences investigated interactions between weathering of micaceous minerals and adsorption of radiocesium to see how radiocesium fares in the ecosystem. They determined decontamination should be done as soon as radiocesium enters the soil.

Novel way to convert heat to electricity

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology fabricated a novel device to convert heat into electricity. They deposit hundreds of thousands of microscopic columns of gallium nitride atop a silicon wafer. Layers of silicon are then removed until only a thin sheet of material remains. The interaction between the pillars and silicon sheet slows the transport of heat in the silicon, enabling more heat to convert to electric current.

Development of self-healing lens material to prevent traffic accidents in self-driving cars

Researchers from the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology developed a transparent lens material that can remove scratches on an autonomous vehicle’s sensor surface within 60 seconds when focused sunlight is irradiated using a simple tool, such as a magnifying glass.