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[Image above] Credit: NIST 

Fuel cell-powered mobile lights tested, proven, ready for commercial use

Mobile lighting systems powered by hydrogen fuel cells are cleaner, quieter, and now are ready for commercialization and broader use. That’s the conclusion reached by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories and others after a multiyear project to develop fuel cell mobile light towers.

Novel porous silicon microfabrication technique increases sensing ability

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a novel method for improving silicon-based sensors used to detect biochemicals and other molecules in liquids. The simplified approach produces micro-scale optical detection devices that cost less to make than other designs, and provide a six-fold increase in sensitivity to target molecules.

US Patent and Trademark Office Detroit region roadshows are hitting the road in November

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will host six free public roadshows in the Mid-Atlantic/Midwest Regions from November 5–19: Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee. The agenda is focused largely on the AIA trials and includes a State-of-the-Board address, interactive AIA trial instructions, and an AIA trial workshop.

How to make a ‘perfect’ solar absorber

The key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material’s spectrum of absorption just right. Now researchers at MIT say they have developed such a material: a two-dimensional metallic dielectric photonic crystal, which absorbs sunlight from a wide range of angles, withstands extremely high temperatures, and can be manufactured cheaply.

Novel oxide-based magnetism follows electrical commands

Electricity and magnetism rule our digital world. Semiconductors process electrical information, while magnetic materials enable long-term data storage. A University of Pittsburgh research team has discovered a way to fuse these two distinct properties in a single material, paving the way for new ultrahigh density storage and computing architectures.

Coating nanotubes with aluminum oxide lowers risk of lung injury

A new study from North Carolina State University and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences finds that coating multiwalled carbon nanotubes with aluminum oxide reduces the risk of lung scarring, or pulmonary fibrosis, in mice.

Defects in materials could be key to better batteries

Michigan Technological University researchers have discovered that perfection may not be all it’s cracked up to be, at least when it comes to designing materials for the next generation of lithium ion batteries. The team has recently discovered that defects can serve as the path of least resistance for lithium ions traveling through an electrode.

Discovery of a new way to make foams could lead to lightweight, sustainable materials

A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a new type of foam called a capillary foam. The new research shows for the first time that the combined presence of particles and a small amount of oil in water-based foams can lead to exceptional foam stability when neither the particles nor the oil can stabilize the foams alone.

Improvements in fuel cell design

Researchers at the University of Basque Country are exploring possible solutions to improve the efficiency of mobile devices through improved fuel cell design. They have designed a special piece of infrastructure: a reactor comprising micro-channels and a micro-reactor a hundred times smaller than a conventional reactor system.