[Image above] Credit: NIST
In what promises to be a nail-biting event worthy of a Hollywood script, rocket scientists today will attempt the challenging task of trying to land a probe on the surface of a comet. After a decadelong trek through the solar system, the European Space Agency’s spacecraft Rosetta is in orbit just above a comet known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
A*STAR researchers are helping to advance the development of hydrogen-powered cars by producing innovative materials that could make on-board hydrogen generators a reality. They have developed an iron-promoted rhodium-based catalyst on a calcium-modified aluminum oxide support for ethanol steam reforming.
Researchers in the Critical Materials Institute at the DOE’s Ames Laboratory are looking for innovative answers to rare-earth supply problems. Using data produced during 5 million core hours of research on supercomputer Titan, a research team will design ligands that allow extraction of elements with minimal contamination from surrounding minerals.
Scientists have discovered a new technique to create synthetic nanodiamond films and patterns from graphite, with potential applications from biosensors to computer chips. The technique uses a multilayered film that includes a layer of graphite topped with a glass cover sheet, which can be converted into diamond through exposure to an ultrafast-pulsing laser.
ORNL and Washington State University scientists have developed a processing system that uses conventional heat processing with the application of powerful magnetic fields generated by superconducting magnets to change the microstructure and mechanical properties of a liquid crystalline epoxy resin. This provides a lever researchers can use to control orientation of the molecules and, ultimately, crystal alignment.
A group of North Carolina State University researchers is exploring novel ways to apply semiconductor industry processes to unique substrates, such as textiles and fabrics, to “weave together” multifunctional materials with distinct capabilities. The researchers “weaved” high-strength, highly conductive yarns made of tungsten metal on Kevlar using atomic layer deposition.
A team of scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and several other institutions has discovered a safe, inexpensive, sodium-conducting material that significantly outperforms all others in its class. The team’s discovery is a sodium-based, complex metal hydride, a material with potential as a much cheaper alternative to the lithium-based conductors used in many rechargeable batteries.