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[Image above] Credit: NIST

Calling all makers: Announcing the first-ever White House 3D-printed ornament challenge

The White House is inviting makers and innovators around the country to participate in the White House 3D-Printed Ornament Challenge, which invites everyone to design a winter holiday-inspired ornament. Designs can be submitted until November 10.

Rice scientists create dual-purpose film for energy storage, hydrogen catalysis

A Rice University lab has turned molybdenum disulfide’s 2D form into a nanoporous film that can catalyze the production of hydrogen or be used for energy storage. The team has found a cost-effective way to create flexible films of the material that maximize the amount of exposed edge and have potential for a variety of energy-oriented applications.

‘Reverse engineering’ materials for more efficient heating and cooling

A research team based at the California Institute of Technology has developed a new way to analyze the electrical properties of thermoelectrics that have two or more solid phases. The new technique could help researchers better understand multi-phase thermoelectric properties and how to design new materials to get the best properties.

Atomic trigger shatters mystery of how glass deforms

A new study at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has cracked one mystery of glass to shed light on the mechanism that triggers its deformation before shattering. The study improves understanding of glassy deformation and may accelerate broader application of metallic glass.

NASA ultra-black nanocoating to be applied to 3D solar coronagraph

An emerging super-black nanotechnology that is to be tested for the first time this fall on the International Space Station will be applied to a complex, 3D component critical for suppressing stray light in a new, smaller, less expensive solar coronagraph designed to ultimately fly on the orbiting outpost or as a hosted payload on a commercial satellite.

Combining ‘Tinkertoy’ materials with solar cells for increased photovoltaic efficiency

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have received a $1.2 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative to develop a technique that combines metal-organic framework materials with dye-sensitized solar cells, which they believe will significantly improve the efficiencies of photovoltaic materials and help make solar electricity cost-competitive with other sources of energy. 

ICG hosting 1st workshop for new researchers in glass science

The International Commission on Glass will host the 1st workshop for new researchers in glass science and technology, which will take place in Shenzhen, China, from December 8–12, 2014. Its format will be based on the successful Montpellier Summer School. The workshop will overview fundamentals emphasizing optical properties and talks will focus on measurement/simulation methodologies for glass structure and properties.

3D printing incorporates quasicrystals for stronger manufacturing products

Researchers at the University of Lorraine in France say that quasicrystals, a type of complex metal alloy with crystal-like properties, can be useful in the design of new composite materials with stronger functional properties. The scientists report the use complex metal alloys as reinforcement particles or as coating materials.