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[Image above] Credit: NIST

How to make continuous rolls of graphene

MIT researchers have developed a new roll-to-roll manufacturing process that addresses the need for scalable and cost-effective methods to manufacture graphene and other 2-D materials. The method promises to enable continuous production, using a thin metal foil as a substrate in an industrial process where the material would be deposited onto the foil as it moves from one spool to another.

Physicists conduct most precise measurement yet of interaction between atoms and carbon surfaces

Physicists at the University of Washington have conducted the most precise and controlled measurements yet of the interaction between the atoms and molecules that comprise air and the type of carbon surface used in battery electrodes and air filters—key information for improving those technologies. The team used a carbon nanotube acting as a transistor to study what happens when gas atoms come into contact with the nanotube’s surface. 

Taking control of light emission with 2-D materials

Researchers have found a way to couple the properties of different 2-D materials to provide an exceptional degree of control over light waves. They say this has the potential to lead to new kinds of light detection, thermal-management systems, and high-resolution imaging devices. The materials have a layer of one-atom-thick graphene deposited on top of a similar 2-D layer of hexagonal boron nitride.

High-performance 3-D microbattery suitable for large-scale on-chip integration

By combining 3-D holographic lithography and 2-D photolithography, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated a high-performance 3-D microbattery suitable for large-scale on-chip integration with microelectronic devices. Enabled by multiple optical beams interfering inside a photoresist to create a desirable 3-D structure, the battery possesses well-defined, periodically structured porous electrodes that offer supercapacitor-like power.

Seashell strength inspires stress tests

Mollusks have soft innards, but their complex exteriors are engineered to protect them in harsh conditions. Engineers at the Indian Institute of Science and Rice University are beginning to understand why. By modeling the average mollusk, they are learning how shells stand up to extraordinary pressures at the bottom of the sea. The goal is to see how shells’ mechanical principles may be adapted for use in human-scale structures like vehicles and even buildings.