[Image above] Credit: NIST
When mixed with lightweight polymers, tiny carbon tubes reinforce the material, promising lightweight and strong materials for airplanes, spaceships, cars and even sports equipment. While such carbon nanotube-polymer nanocomposites have attracted enormous interest from the materials research community, a group of scientists now has evidence that a different nanotube—made from boron nitride—could offer even more strength per unit of weight.
At the University of Southampton, research from the National X-ray Crystallography Service uses innovative techniques to provide data collection and crystal structure analysis for the UK chemistry community for a wide range of applications. That work reveals five things you might not know about crystallography.
Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Lab have made advances toward affordable photoelectrochemical production of hydrogen. Previous work used precious metals as catalysts attached to semiconductors, but this approach is not cost-effective as a large-scale commercial effort. Instead, NREL scientists put a layer of titanium dioxide on the surface of the semiconductor and bond the molecular catalyst to the titanium dioxide.
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Oak Ridge National Lab have developed a new nondestructive technique for investigating these material changes by examining the acoustic response at the nanoscale. Information obtained from this technique—which uses electrically-conductive atomic force microscope probes—could guide efforts to design materials with enhanced properties at small size scales.
In a breakthrough, a super powered battery developed by Chinese scientists may revolutionize the battery-charging problem for many smartphones and electronic devices. The battery is based on a supercapacitor with better energy capacity using nitrogen and graphene-like carbon.