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[Image above] Credit: NIST


Coordinates of more than 23,000 atoms in iron-platinum nanoparticle mapped

UCLA physicists and collaborators have mapped the coordinates of more than 23,000 individual atoms in a iron-platinum nanoparticle to reveal the material’s defects. The results demonstrate that the positions of tens of thousands of atoms can be precisely identified to correlate imperfections and defects with material properties at the single-atom level.

Simulations demonstrate 1-D boron’s stiffness, electrical versatility

A Rice team that simulated 1-D forms of boron—both two-atom-wide ribbons and single-atom chains—found they possess unique properties. For example, if metallic ribbons of boron are stretched, they morph into antiferromagnetic semiconducting chains, and when released they fold back into ribbons. The 1-D boron materials also have mechanical stiffness on a par with the highest-performing known nanomaterials.

Ultrahigh sensitivity graphene infrared detectors for imaging and spectroscopy

Researchers at the Cambridge Graphene Centre have developed a novel graphene-based pyroelectric bolometer that detects infrared radiation to measure temperature with an ultrahigh level of accuracy. The work demonstrates the highest reported temperature sensitivity for graphene-based uncooled thermal detectors, capable of resolving temperature changes down to a few tens of µK.


Researchers flip script for lithium-ion electrolytes to simulate better batteries

A team led by the California Institute of Technology used the Cray XK7 Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to identify potential electrolyte materials and predict which ones could enhance the performance of lithium-ion batteries. Using Titan, the researchers ran hundreds of simulations—each consisting of thousands of atoms—on possible new electrolytes.

First step toward creating efficient electrolyte-free batteries

Scientists of Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University in collaboration with international researchers have found unique atomic-scale processes in crystal lattice of antiferroelectric lead zirconate during synchrotron x-ray scattering experiment. The discovery is the first step toward creating efficient electrolyte-free accumulators of electric energy.

High-resolution imaging reveals new understanding of battery cathode particles

Using advanced imaging techniques, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab have been able to observe what exactly happens inside a cathode particle as lithium-ion batteries are charged and discharged. The researchers uncovered important insights into reactions in cathode materials, including the discovery of particle cracking as the cathode is charged.

Study finds storing solar power increases energy consumption and emissions

Homes with solar panels do not require on-site storage to reap the biggest economic and environmental benefits of solar energy, according to research from The University of Texas at Austin. In fact, storing solar energy for nighttime use actually increases both energy consumption and emissions compared with sending excess solar energy directly to the utility grid.


Ultimate solar-powered water purifier built from carbon dipped paper

Researchers at the University of Buffalo have used carbon-dipped paper to build a highly efficient and inexpensive way to turn saltwater and contaminated water into potable water for personal use. The team built a small-scale solar still, a “solar vapor generator,” that cleans or desalinates water by using the heat converted from sunlight.

Technique could lead to safer, more efficient uranium extraction, aid environmental cleanup

The separation of uranium, a key part of the nuclear fuel cycle, could potentially be done more safely and efficiently through a new technique developed by chemistry researchers at Oregon State University. The technique uses soap-like chemicals known as surfactants to extract uranium from an aqueous solution into a kerosene solution in the form of hollow clusters.

Nanostructured iron hydroxide coatings take a bite out of pollutants

As one of the primary components of rust, iron hydroxides normally pose corrosive risks to health. A team at Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore, has found a way to turn these compounds into an environmentally friendly coating that repeatedly absorbs large amounts of pollutants, such as dyes, from drinking water at room temperature.


Ceramic matrix composites take flight in LEAP jet engine

Ceramic matrix composites are made of coated ceramic fibers surrounded by a ceramic matrix. They are tough, lightweight, and capable of withstanding temperatures 300–400ºF hotter than metal alloys can endure. If certain components were made with CMCs instead of metal alloys, the turbine engines of aircraft and power plants could operate more efficiently at higher temperatures, combusting fuel more completely and emitting fewer pollutants.

For first time ever, X-ray imaging at Argonne captures material defect process

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a new approach to detail the formation of material changes at the atomic scale and in near-real time. The team has captured—for the first time ever—images of the creation of structural defects in palladium when the metal is exposed to hydrogen.

Comparing GaN-on-SiC power transistor technology with GaAs and Si

For more than 15 years, much has been written about the potential of gallium nitride power devices to improve gain, bandwidth, linearity, and efficiency at very high frequencies through microwave frequencies. Now that it is mature technology, it is appropriate to review the advantages of GaN, as compared to the most common alternative technologies based on gallium arsenide and silicon.

Fluctuating forces of flight captured by new, high-tech paint

Aerospace researchers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley are refining a state-of-the-art method to precisely measure these fluctuating forces. The secret to their technique lies in a new breed of pressure-sensitive paint (PSP), called Unsteady PSP, which emits a bright crimson glow in the presence of high-pressure airflow.

‘Ghost particles’ could improve understanding the universe

New measurements of neutrino oscillations, observed at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole, have shed light on outstanding questions regarding fundamental properties of neutrinos. The findings could help fill key gaps in the Standard Model, the theory that describes the behavior of fundamental particles at every energy scale scientists have been able to measure.

New approach to 3-D holographic displays greatly improves image quality

A research team led by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has developed a 3-D holographic display that performs more than 2,600 times better than existing holographic displays. This study is expected to improve the limited size and viewing angle of 3-D images.

First demonstration of a metal-free metamaterial that can absorb electromagnetic energy

Electrical engineers at Duke University have created the world’s first electromagnetic metamaterial made without any metal. The device’s ability to absorb electromagnetic energy without heating up has direct applications in imaging, sensing and lighting.