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[Image above] Credit: NIST 

Fracking wastewater analyzed for first time

Rice University scientists have performed a detailed analysis of water produced by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of three gas reservoirs and suggested environmentally friendly remedies are needed to treat and reuse it. The researchers found that shale oil and gas-produced water does not contain significant amounts of polyaromatic hydrocarbons but minute amounts of other chemical compounds.

Titania-based material holds promise as new insulator for superconductors

Research from North Carolina State University shows that a type of modified titania, or titanium dioxide, holds promise as an electrical insulator for superconducting magnets, allowing heat to dissipate while preserving the electrical paths along which current flows. Superconducting magnets are being investigated for use in next-generation power generating technologies and medical devices.

First graphene-based flexible display produced

Cambridge Graphene Centre and Plastic Logic have successfully demonstrated a flexible display incorporating graphene in its pixels’ electronics. The new prototype is an active matrix electrophoretic display made of flexible plastic. In contrast to conventional displays, the pixel electronics of this display include a solution-processed graphene electrode, which replaces the sputtered metal electrode.

Sparks fly as NASA pushes the limits of 3D printing technology

NASA has successfully tested the most complex rocket engine parts ever designed by the agency and printed with additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, on a test stand at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. NASA engineers pushed the limits by designing a rocket engine injector with 3D printed design features.

Reducing contact resistance with molybdenum disulphide nanosheets

( A team of researchers with members from Rutgers University and Los Alamos National Laboratory has found a way to get around the problem of metals forming high resistance when deposited on 2H phase molybdenum disulphide (MoS2). The team describes how it came up with a process for inducing 2H phase nanosheets to the metallic 1T phase, thereby reducing contact resistance.

Calcium carbonate takes multiple, simultaneous roads to different minerals

One of the most important molecules on earth, calcium carbonate, crystallizes into chalk, shells, and minerals. In a study led by the DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, researchers used a powerful microscope that allows them to see the birth of crystals in real time, giving them a peek at how different calcium carbonate crystals form.

Rethinking the basic science of graphene synthesis

A new route to making graphene has been discovered that could make the 21st century’s wonder material easier to ramp up to industrial scale. A team of Penn State scientists has discovered a route to making single layer graphene called intercalation, in which guest molecules or ions are inserted between the carbon layers of graphite to pull the single sheets apart.

Phosphorus a promising semiconductor

Defects damage the ideal properties of many two-dimensional materials, like graphene, but phosphorus just shrugs. That makes it a promising candidate for nano-electronic applications that require stable properties. A Rice University team has analyzed the properties of elemental bonds between semiconducting phosphorus atoms in 2D sheets.