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[Image above] Credit: NIST


Bowtie-shaped nanostructures may advance the development of quantum devices

Bowtie-shaped nanoparticles made of silver may help bring the dream of quantum computing and quantum information processing closer to reality. These nanostructures, created at the Weizmann Institute of Science, simplify experimental conditions for studying quantum phenomena and may one day be developed into crucial components of quantum devices.

Chemistry professor is first to use light to make gold crystal nanoparticles

A team of University of Florida researchers has figured out how gold can be used in crystals grown by light to create nanoparticles, a discovery that has major implications for industry and cancer treatment and could improve the function of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and solar panels.

A faster future: Graphene based optoelectronics

As an important step towards graphene integration in silicon photonics, researchers from the Graphene Flagship have published a paper which shows how graphene can provide a simple solution for silicon photodetection in the telecommunication wavelengths. In the new paper, graphene is interfaced with silicon on chip to make high responsivity Schottky barrier photodetectors.

Graphene hydraulic press delivers new 2-D materials

A graphene hydraulic ‘nano-press’ has proved to be capable of creating new two-dimensional materials by exerting huge pressure on compounds sealed between layers of graphene. New research from a University of Manchester research group has shown that sealing molecules between two atomically thin sheets of graphene creates extreme pressure upon the molecules to modify their state, converting them to new crystals.


Performance of cathode material improved by controlling oxygen activity

An international team of researchers has demonstrated a new way to increase the robustness and energy storage capability of a particular class of ‘lithium-rich’ cathode materials—by using a carbon dioxide-based gas mixture to create oxygen vacancies at the material’s surface. Researchers said the treatment improved the energy density of the cathode material by up to 30%–40%.

Graphene quantum dots can improve the efficiency of silicon solar cells

New research from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, shows that small flakes of graphene could expand the usable spectral region of light in silicon solar cells to boost their efficiency.

How solar energy can be transformed into fuel

For the first time, researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the ETH Zurich have unveiled a chemical process that uses the sun’s thermal energy to convert carbon dioxide and water directly into high-energy fuels: a procedure developed on the basis of a new material combination of cerium oxide and rhodium.


Researchers report record performance for bismuth-based Zintl material

An international team of researchers has reported record thermoelectric performance from rarely studied bismuth-based Zintl phases, work that could lead to a new class of thermoelectric material. The new material is non-toxic and can be used at temperatures between 500 degrees and 600 degrees Celsius, or around 1,000 degrees Farenheit.

Recycled plastic lumber invented

Imagine a material lighter than steel, longer-lasting than lumber and strong enough to support 120-ton locomotives. Now imagine that material is made from milk containers, coffee cups, and other plastics that we recycle. It’s called structural plastic lumber, and the ingenious, nontoxic material has just been invented.

New discovery could better predict how semiconductors weather abuse

Mimicking nature is not easy, but new insights by researchers at the Berkeley Lab could help create a viable artificial system of photosynthesis. Scientists have found a way to better predict how thin-film semiconductors weather the harsh conditions in systems that convert sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into fuel.

Coconuts could inspire new designs for earthquake-proof buildings

Coconuts are renowned for their hard shells, which are vital to ensure their seeds successfully germinate. But the specialized structure of coconut walls could help to design buildings that can withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Sensing trouble: New way to detect hidden damage in bridges, roads

 Engineers have documented a new approach for monitoring the structural health of roads, bridges and other structures. The method applies a noninvasive medical imaging technique to a carbon nanotube-based sensor.