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Published on April 20th, 2016 | By: April Gocha, PhD


Other materials stories that may be of interest

Published on April 20th, 2016 | By: April Gocha, PhD

[Image above] Credit: NIST




Researchers discover way to make nanotubes into aligned, wafer-scale films

A simple filtration process helped Rice University researchers create flexible, wafer-scale films of highly aligned and closely packed carbon nanotubes. In the right solution of nanotubes and under the right conditions, the tubes assemble themselves by the millions into long rows that are aligned better than once thought possible, the researchers reported.


Penn engineers develop first transistors made entirely of nanocrystal ‘inks’

University of Pennsylvania engineers have shown a new approach for making transistors—sequentially depositing their components in the form of liquid nanocrystal “inks.” The researchers’ nanocrystal-based field effect transistors were patterned onto flexible plastic backings using spin coating but could eventually be constructed by additive manufacturing systems, like 3-D printers.


Material based on hafnium oxide offers new type of non-volatile memory

The team of researchers from MIPT’s Laboratory of Functional Materials and Devices for Nanoelectronics, with the participation of their colleagues from the University of Nebraska and the University of Lausanne, have for the first time experimentally demonstrated that polycrystalline alloyed films of hafnium and zirconium oxides with a thickness of just 2.5 nm retain their ferroelectric properties.


Transparent luminous oxide pigments provide protection against counterfeiting

Research scientists at INM have developed luminous particles that can also withstand high temperatures. Using luminous pigments made of yttrium oxide or gadolinium oxide, the scientists created printed designs in white or transparent that glow orange red in UV light or X-rays. With different manufacturing conditions, particles of 7–600 nm can be achieved.


Ultra-long, one-dimensional carbon chains are synthesized for the first time

Researchers involved in an international study have stabilized chains of more than 6,400 carbon atoms using double-walled nanotubes. The new route produces carbyne (infinitely long carbon chains whose mechanical properties surpass those of diamond and graphene) by using double-walled carbon nanotubes to protect the carbon chain due to its extreme instability in ambient conditions.





Scientists improve perovskite solar-cell absorbers by giving them a squeeze

Solar cells made of artificial crystalline structures called perovskites have shown great promise in recent years. Now Stanford University scientists have found that applying pressure can change the properties of these inexpensive materials and how they respond to light.


Perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells with highest power conversion efficiency

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has successfully developed perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells with the world’s highest power conversion efficiency of 25.5%. The team used low-temperature annealing to reduce the impact of perovskite defects and fabricated a tri-layer of molybdenum trioxide/gold/molybdenum trioxide with optimized thickness of each layer.


Riddle of missing efficiency in zinc oxide-based dye-sensitised solar cells solved

To convert solar energy into electricity or solar fuels, you need specialized systems of materials such as those consisting of organic and inorganic thin films. Now a team of researchers has used ultra-short laser pulses and observed for the first time directly how boundary states form between the organic dye molecules and a zinc-oxide semiconductor layer, temporarily trapping the charge carriers.


A step towards new, faster-charging, and safer batteries

Researchers found a simple solution to the limited durability in aluminum-ion batteries—an electrode composed of graphite. In this research, the internal gaps in the foam allowed faster motion of the ions inside the negative electrode that enhance the rate of charging. Also, the electrodes are connected by a safe salt that is liquid at room temperature, rather than a flammable liquid as in conventional lithium-ion batteries.





Researchers develop LED covering full visible light spectrum

Researchers have developed the first standard LED covering the full visible light. AIST and Nichia Corp. have developed a standard LED having sufficient light intensity over the full visible light by introducing multiple LED dies with different central wavelengths in combination with multiple fluorescent substances.


3-D microwave video camera takes a look inside

Missouri University of Science and Technology researchers have developed a real-time, portable and 3-D microwave video camera prototype. Because microwave signals can penetrate non-metallic materials, this system is expected to find significant use in inspecting ceramics, fiberglass, plastics and high-density polyethylene pipes.


MOF enables sensitive fiber sensor for real-time detection of water contaminants

Now by integrating metal organic framework (MOF) materials with optical fibers, researchers from Victoria University and Monash University, Australia, have co-developed a novel, highly sensitive chemical sensor based on an optical fiber coated with a thin film of a specific MOF, which could be potentially used for real-time detection of heavy organic contaminants such as herbicides or pesticides in water.


Scientists creates antibacterial geopolymer for the construction industry

Through an antibacterial geopolymer, called Antibac, researchers at the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo in Mexico, were able to repel pathogens. It has a lot of potential in the construction industry. The polymer is an inorganic resin that inhibits microorganisms; used as a cement, it can adhere to metal surfaces, ceramics, or glass.


Clearing the way for real-world applications of superhydrophobic surfaces

Researchers from Aalto University say that agreeing on a unified testing method is needed to allow community-wide comparison between published results on superhydrophobic materials. This would significantly progress development of superhydrophobic materials and their transfer to commercial products in, for instance, self-cleaning and anti-icing applications.


Reacting protactinium with ubiquitous water explains an elemental oddity

Protactinium is an extremely rare element that could reveal new trends among nearby actinide elements, including uranium. Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory demonstrated that a positively charged protactinium dioxide ion may not exist in aqueous solution like other highly charged actinides, such as uranium and plutonium.


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