OMS header

[Image above] Credit: NIST

Cyclic healing removes defects in metals while maintaining strength

An international team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Xi’an Jiaotong University, MIT, and Johns Hopkins University has developed a new technique called cyclic healing that uses repetitive, gentle stretching to eliminate pre-existing defects in metal crystals. The team found that gentle cyclic deformation helps to unpin or shakedown rows of dislocations in the metal and move these dislocations closer to free surfaces in the sample.

Order and composition of snake scales protect against abrasion

Snakes can slither smoothly over almost any surface, from jungle branches to desert sands, without damaging their skin—an ability that has fascinated researchers. Researchers have now found that on the belly scales lipid molecules are lined up in a highly ordered fashion, in uniform rows and columns perpendicular to the surface of the scale, making the surface extremely stiff and strong. The stiff surface prevents tiny abrasive particles from coming into contact with the skin underneath.

Academic–industry research boosts optical fiber data speeds

In the latest advance to boost the speed of the Internet, a research team including the City College of New York, University of Southern California, University of Glasgow, and Corning Incorporated demonstrates a way to increase the data speeds of optical fibers. To digitally re-twist the data, the researchers borrowed a well-known technique of radio communication, referred to as ‘MIMO,’ used by cell phones and wi-fi routers every day.

Perovskite memristor may replace flash storage

​The memristor, a new electronics component that could one day replace flash memory, could also be used one day in new types of computers. Researchers have now built a memristor based on a slice of perovskite just 5 nm thick. They have shown that the component has three stable resistive states. As a result, it can not only store the 0 or 1 of a standard bit, but can also be used for information encoded by three states—the 0, 1 and 2 of a “trit”.

New graphene based inks for high-speed manufacturing of printed electronics

A low-cost, high-speed method for printing graphene inks using a conventional roll-to-roll printing process could open up a wide range of practical applications. Developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge in collaboration with Cambridge-based technology company Novalia, the method allows graphene and other electrically conducting materials to be added to conventional water-based inks and printed using typical commercial equipment.

Next-generation perovskite solar cells made stable by metal oxide ‘sandwich’

UCLA professor Yang Yang is a world-renowned innovator of solar cell technology whose team in recent years has developed next-generation solar cells constructed of perovskite, which has remarkable efficiency converting sunlight to electricity. Yang’s team has now conquered the primary difficulty of perovskite by protecting it between two layers of metal oxide.