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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Pollutant is the missing ingredient for transparent and stable carbon nanotube films

Researchers at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology showed that exposure to even small amounts of nitrogen dioxide gas at elevated temperatures modifies carbon nanotube films in a way that promotes both transparency and electrical conductivity, and this modification resists degradation.

Single atomic defect holds quantum information for microseconds at room temperature

University of Cambridge researchers found that a single atomic defect in 2D hexagonal boron nitride exhibits spin coherence under ambient conditions, and these spins can be controlled with light. The information stored in these spins can be held onto for a millionth of a second, making this system a promising platform for quantum applications.

Scientists develop most sensitive way to observe single molecules

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison developed the most sensitive method yet for detecting and profiling a single molecule. The method relies on a device called an optical microresonator, or microcavity.


Slight change greatly increases amount of wave energy harvested from existing tech

Researchers showed that simply repositioning the electrode in a wave energy harvesting device from the center to one of the ends dramatically increases the amount of energy that can be harvested from each wave.

Solving the problems of proton-conducting perovskites for next-generation fuel cells

Tokyo Institute of Technology researchers developed a highly oxygen-deficient perovskite, namely BaScO2.5 doped with W6+ cations, that achieves high proton conduction at low and intermediate temperatures.

Electricity-generating windows for sustainable construction

University of Aveiro researchers developed a glass window that generates electricity from sunlight or artificial lighting. Additionally, the photonic converters within the window can also be used as receivers in visible light communication systems.

High-energy, high-efficiency, all-solid-state sodium-air battery

Researchers at Pohang University of Science and Technology developed a high-energy, high-efficiency, all-solid-state sodium-air battery. The battery operated solely on metal and air without special equipment, such as an additional oxygen filtration device.


A cleaner way to produce ammonia

Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory developed a new way to produce ammonia using rare earth metals as catalysts that works at room temperature and pressure.

Piezoelectricity in distorted rutile enhances tetracycline hydrochloride degradation

Researchers induced a state of piezoelectricity in distorted rutile for enhanced tetracycline hydrochloride degradation through photopiezocatalysis. Tetracycline hydrochloride is a commonly used broad-spectrum antibiotic, and its release into water and soil causes serious environmental pollution problems.


What the heck is seaweed mining?

Preliminary research suggests seaweed can trap and store valuable minerals. An article in Hakai Magazine investigates the potential of this new mineral source.

First 3D-printed defect-free tungsten components withstand extreme temperatures

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory used an electron-beam 3D printer to produce the first defect-free complex tungsten parts for use in extreme environments.

Cheap, dirty leftovers can produce pure oxygen

Researchers at Norwegian University of Science and Technology improved the commercial application potential of hexagonal manganites for oxygen storage and separation from air. Pure oxygen is in demand from many areas in industry and medicine.

Nanoscale engineering brings light-twisting materials to more extreme settings

Researchers at the University of Michigan and Air Force Research Laboratory developed a manufacturing method that enables new classes of materials to be used in polarization optics. The key is arranging nanomaterials that do not twist light on their own onto layers that turn light waves into either left- or right-handed spirals (circular polarizations).

A new way of designing auxetic materials

Researchers at National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Chicago developed an algorithm that makes designing materials with auxetic properties easier and faster by enabling precise 3D design.

New method for multimaterial FDM 3D printing

Seoul National University researchers developed a new two-step process for fused filament 3D printing that can create parts with specific gradient material properties. The method can be achieved using standard 3D printers and filaments.


Software that detects ‘tortured acronyms’ in research could help root out misconduct

Researchers led by the University of Toulouse previously developed a range of automatic misconduct detectors on the publicly available Problematic Paper Screener. The system automatically scans scientific literature and flags papers that have nonsensical phrases. Now, the system can flag suspicious mismatches in acronyms as well.

Researchers create materials with unique combo of stiffness, thermal insulation

North Carolina State University researchers discovered that 2D hybrid organic–inorganic perovskites are both stiff and excellent thermal insulators. They also found that by introducing chirality into the organic layers, the same stiffness and thermal conductivity could be maintained even when making substantial changes to the composition.

Potential of superparaelectric materials as gate dielectrics in next-gen microelectronics

Researchers from Qilu University of Technology showed that an ultrathin film of a ferroelectric oxide in its superparaelectric state can help overcome the trilemma of polarizability, scalability, and insulation robustness in the gate layers of microelectronics.

Electromechanical material does not get ‘clamped’ down

Researchers at Rice University and the University of California, Berkeley found that antiferroelectrics may hold the key to overcoming performance limitations due to clamping in miniaturized electromechanical systems.

Speeding up calculations that reveal how electrons interact in materials

Researchers at California Institute of Technology simplified the calculations used to compute how electrons interact in materials, speeding them up by a factor of 50 or more while maintaining accuracy. They can now compute electron interactions in more complex materials and develop new calculations previously thought impossible.

Five cool tech demos from the ARPA-E summit

Nearly 400 exhibitors representing the boldest energy innovations in the U.S. came together last week at the annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit. The conference, hosted in Dallas by the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy, showcased the agency’s bets on early-stage energy technologies that can disrupt the status quo.