[Image above] Credit: NIST
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have created the first transistors made of silicene, the world’s thinnest silicon material. The team solved one of the major challenges surrounding silicene by demonstrating that it can be made into transistors. The research holds the promise of building dramatically faster, smaller and more efficient computer chips.
Thin films of cobalt have been observed to spontaneously switch their poles—something that typically doesn’t happen in the absence of an external magnetic field. Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Maryland have measured this phenomenon on the largest scale yet.
Materials scientist at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea describe improving lightweight steel by altering how metal compounds are arrayed in an alloy. By adding nickel and temperature-treating an alloy of iron, aluminium, manganese, and carbon, they created a material with impressive tensile strength. They report that the microstructure of their material is stronger and more pliable than even titanium alloys.
A straightforward and effective process for coating silver, gold and platinum nanoparticles with functionalized silica shells at room temperature has been developed by A*STAR. Crucially, unlike conventional methods for producing silica-coated metal nanoparticles, this process is based on water and does not employ alcohol, making it both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a nano-sized optical antenna that can greatly enhance the spontaneous emission of light from atoms, molecules and semiconductor quantum dots. This advance opens the door to LEDs that can replace lasers for short-range optical communications, including optical interconnects for microchips, plus a host of other potential applications.
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz dedicated the world’s most advanced light source, the National Synchrotron Light Source II at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The NSLS-II is a $912-million DOE Office of Science User Facility that produces extremely bright beams of x-ray, ultraviolet, and infrared light used to examine a wide range of materials.