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[Image above] Credit: NIST


Innovative method creates larger sheets of 2-D materials

It is now possible to grow large-area ultrathin sheets of molybdenum disulfide, a 2-D material promising the next generation of electronic and optoelectronic devices, thanks to a new twist on a standard method developed by scientists at Agency for Science, Technology and Research.

The secret to 3-D graphene? Just freeze it

A research team comprised of engineers from the University at Buffalo, Kansas State University and the Harbin Institute of Technology in China has used a modified 3-D printer and frozen water to create lattice-shaped cubes and a 3-D truss with overhangs using graphene oxide. The structures could be an important step toward making graphene commercially viable in electronics and more.

Carbon nanotubes improve metal’s longevity under radiation

One of the main reasons for limiting the operating lifetimes of nuclear reactors is that metals exposed to the strong radiation environment near the reactor core become porous and brittle, which can lead to cracking and failure. Now, a team of researchers at MIT and elsewhere has found that, at least in some reactors, adding a tiny quantity of carbon nanotubes to the metal can dramatically slow this breakdown process.

Electricity can flow through graphene at high frequencies without energy loss

Electrical signals transmitted at high frequencies lose none of their energy when passed through the ‘wonder material’ graphene, a study led by Plymouth University has shown. Now research has shown graphene out-performs any other known material when carrying high-frequency electrical signals compared to direct current, essentially transmitting signals without any additional energy loss.


New material increases the lifetime of solar-powered electrons

An international team of scientists demonstrated a new material by combining two oxide materials on the atomic scale that could store sunlight as fuel to drive fuel cells. The interface between the two oxide materials absorbs visible light, producing electrons and holes that might be useful for catalyzing reactions, such as producing hydrogen fuel.

New research unveils graphene ‘moth eyes’ to power future smart technologies

Using a technique known as nanotexturing, which involves growing graphene around a textured metallic surface, researchers from the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute took inspiration from nature to create ultra-thin graphene sheets designed to more effectively capture light. The team used the nanopatterning to localize light into the narrow spaces between the textured surface, enhancing the amount of light absorbed by the material by about 90%.

Lithium–oxygen batteries: Super-sized storage with nanoporous graphene

By converting flat graphene sheets into 3-D architectures, AIMR researchers have developed a lightweight, metal-free electrode for lithium–oxygen batteries that may have a transformative effect on all electric vehicles. The team developed a way to coax graphene out of its planar geometry by growing it on the nanoporous surfaces of disposable nickel templates.


New form of electron-beam imaging can see elements that are ‘invisible’

Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab have developed a new imaging technique that greatly improves images of light elements using fewer electrons. The newly demonstrated technique, dubbed MIDI-STEM, for matched illumination and detector interferometry STEM, combines STEM with an optical device called a phase plate that modifies the alternating phase of the electron beam.

Device could use spin of electrons to create energy efficient electronics

A team of researchers, led by a group at the University of California, Riverside, have demonstrated for the first time the transmission of electrical signals through insulators in a sandwich-like structure, a development that could help create more energy efficient electronic devices.

‘Bending current’ opens up the way for a new type of magnetic memory

Use your computer without the need to start it up: a new type of magnetic memory makes it possible. This ‘MRAM’ is faster, more efficient and robust than other kinds of data storage. However, switching bits still requires too much electrical power to make large-scale application practicable. Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology have discovered a smart way of solving this problem by using a ‘bending current’.

Scientists invent a thermometer for the nanoscale

Scientists in Switzerland from IBM and ETH Zurich have invented a breakthrough technique to measure the temperature of nano- and macro-sized objects. IBM scientist Bernd Gotsmann and co-inventor explains, “The technique is analogous to touching a hot plate and inferring its temperature from sensing the heat flux between our own body and the heat source.”