[Image above] Credit: NIST
When struck by neutrons emitted by nuclear material, stilbene crystals lights up. Paired with a simple light detector, the crystals can become a tool for identifying nuclear material. Stilbene crystals are especially good at detecting fast neutrons, which are given off by weapons-grade nuclear materials, like plutonium. Developing a useful domestic supply of stilbene for scintillators is one of the goals of DHS’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office.
Scientists at the DOE’s Berkeley Lab have published the world’s largest set of data on the complete elastic properties of inorganic compounds. This data set is expected to help develop new materials where mechanical properties are important, such as for hard coatings or stiff materials for cars and airplanes. While there is previously published experimental data for approximately a few hundred inorganic compounds, Berkeley Lab scientists have calculated the complete elastic properties for 1,181 inorganic compounds, with dozens more being added every week.
New research shows how inkjet-printing technology can be used to mass-produce electronic circuits made of liquid-metal alloys for soft robots and flexible electronics. A new potential manufacturing approach, called mechanically sintered gallium-indium nanoparticles, focuses on harnessing inkjet printing to create devices made of liquid alloys. A printable ink is made by dispersing the liquid metal in a non-metallic solvent using ultrasound, which breaks up the bulk liquid metal into nanoparticles.
Imagine you need to have an almost exact copy of an object. Now imagine that you can just pull your smartphone out of your pocket, take a snapshot with its integrated 3-D imager, send it to your 3-D printer, and within minutes you have reproduced a replica accurate to within microns of the original object. This feat may soon be possible because of a new, tiny high-resolution 3-D imager developed at Caltech.
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University and the University of North Texas have made what they believe is the first metal-free bifunctional electrocatalyst that performs as well or better than most metal and metal oxide electrodes in zinc-air batteries. Zinc-air batteries are expected to be safer, lighter, cheaper and more powerful and durable than lithium-ion batteries common in mobile phones and laptops and increasingly used in hybrid and electric cars.