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[Image above] Credit: NIST

Extreme pressure causes osmium to change state of matter

Using metallic osmium in experimentation, an international group of researchers have demonstrated that ultra-high pressures cause core electrons to interplay, which results in experimentally observed anomalies in the compression behavior of the material. Researchers believe that the ability to affect core electrons—which do not participate in chemical bonding—in metals like osmium will open new opportunities in the search for new states of matter and the synthesis of materials with unique properties that do not exist at ambient conditions.

Ultrafast ‘electron camera’ visualizes ripples in 2-D material

New research led by scientists from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University shows how individual atoms move in trillionths of a second to form wrinkles on a three-atom-thick material. Revealed by a brand new “electron camera,” one of the world’s speediest, this unprecedented level of detail could guide researchers in the development of efficient solar cells, fast and flexible electronics and high-performance chemical catalysts.

New ORNL catalyst addresses engine efficiency, emissions quandary

A catalyst being developed by researchers at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Lab could overcome one of the key obstacles still preventing automobile engines from running more cleanly and efficiently. The mixed oxide catalyst could solve the longstanding problem of inhibition, in which nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons effectively clog the catalyst designed to cleanse a vehicle’s exhaust stream. Now, however, ORNL’s low-cost catalyst composed of copper oxide, cobalt oxide and cerium oxide shows considerable promise when tested in simulated exhaust streams.

Chemical engineers outline new approach to materials design

Virginia Tech chemical engineers have developed a new approach that will “significantly accelerate materials discovery.” The findings reveal a unique model that enables fast and accurate prediction of novel alloy materials for efficient chemical conversions. With their model and their design approach, they have identified a few promising copper multi-metallics with a higher energy conversion efficiency and possibly higher selectivity in carbon dioxide electro-reduction to ethylene, an extremely useful chemical in industry for making plastics.

Researchers create fatigue-free, stretchable conductor

Researchers have discovered a new stretchable, transparent conductor that can be folded or stretched and released, resulting in a large curvature or a significant strain, at least 10,000 times without showing signs of fatigue. Fatigue is a common problem for researchers trying to develop a flexible, transparent conductor, making many materials that have good electrical conductivity, flexibility and transparency wear out too quickly to be practical. The new material, produced by grain boundary lithography, solves that problem.

New specialty glass R&D and manufacturing hub at Adelaide

A research and development and manufacturing hub based on a new generation of specialty glass products for the global science and medical equipment market was announced at the University of Adelaide. The hub is part of a new landmark collaboration agreement between Trajan Scientific and Medical and the University of Adelaide. The strategic collaboration will help scientists commercialize their research into products that ultimately benefit human health and wellbeing.