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[Image above] Credit: NIST


Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered that oxide nanostructures with a diameter below 3 nm could exhibit an oxidation resistance much more superior than larger nanostructures. By investigating the oxidation mechanism at the atomic level, the team proposed a “dynamic size effect” that determines the stability of supported nanoparticles.

Controlling the stiffness of a material at the nanoscale

Oak Ridge National Lab researchers have discovered giant elastic tunabilty in BiFeO3 epitaxial thin films through an atomic force microscopy study utilizing band-excitation piezroresponse spectroscopy. These findings may lead to the development of high-performance tunable microwave filter devices as well as help to further identify and/or design functional materials.

Scientists decipher the nanoscale architecture of a beetle’s shell

Beetles wear a body armor that should weigh them down—but those hard shells are surprisingly light. University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers have revealed that beetle shells have a surface of cross-sections of fibers at different orientations. The researchers were able to analyze the fibers’ mechanical properties with the aid of an atomic force microscope.

Improved polymer and new assembly method for ultra-conformable ‘electronic tattoo’ devices

A group of researchers at Waseda University has developed processes and materials for ultrathin stick-on electronic devices using elastomeric “nanosheet” film, achieving ease of production while also preserving high elasticity and flexibility fifty times better than previously reported polymer nanosheets.

Using nanoparticles and ultraviolet light to turn carbon dioxide into fuel

Duke University researchers have developed tiny rhodium nanoparticles that help convert carbon dioxide into methane using only ultraviolet light as an energy source. Having found a catalyst that can do this important chemistry using ultraviolet light, the team now hopes to develop a version that would run on natural sunlight, a potential boon to alternative energy.

Three layers of graphene reveals a new kind of magnet

Scientists at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research have discovered the magnetism of electrons in three layers of graphene. This study reveals a new kind of magnet and provides insight on how electronic devices using graphene could be made for fundamental studies as well as various applications.

Organic material self-assembles next to borophene with nearly perfect interface

Almost one year ago, borophene didn’t even exist. Now, just months after a Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory team discovered the material, another team is already making strides toward understanding its complicated chemistry and realizing its electronic potential.

As thin as an atom: A revolutionary semiconductor for electronics

A 2-D material developed by researchers from the University of Bayreuth and international partners could revolutionize electronics. This new material contains carbon, boron, and nitrogen, and its chemical name is “hexagonal boron-carbon-nitrogen (h-BCN).”


Waste silicon sawdust recycled into anode for lithium-ion battery

A joint research team from Tohoku University and Osaka University has developed a practical and mass-producible method of recycling unwanted silicon sawdust into a high-performance anode material for lithium-ion batteries.

New hydronium-ion battery presents opportunity for more sustainable energy storage

A new type of battery developed by scientists at Oregon State University shows promise for sustainable, high-power energy storage. It’s the world’s first battery to use only hydronium ions as the charge carrier. The new battery provides an additional option for researchers, particularly in the area of stationary storage.

Dream of energy-collecting windows is one step closer to reality

Researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of Milano-Bicocca are using nanoparticles to develop windows that can efficiently collect solar energy. The researchers developed technology to embed silicon nanoparticles into efficient luminescent solar concentrators, the key element of windows that can efficiently collect solar energy.

Looking for the next leap in rechargeable batteries

University of Southern California researchers may have found a solution for one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the next wave of rechargeable batteries. The team developed an alteration to the lithium-sulfur battery that could make it more than competitive with the industry standard lithium-ion battery.

New solar glass can bring crops to world’s inhospitable environments

In partnership with the Australian-based company ClearVue Technologies, scientists from Edith Cowan University’s Electron Science Research Institute have developed a form of energy harvesting that could become a revolutionary alternative to solar panels. ESRI’s solar glass distinguishes itself from its counterparts by being the only energy harvesting glass that’s clear.

Making sodium-ion batteries that last

Sodium-ion batteries are potentially a safer and less expensive alternative to lithium-ion batteries, but current versions don’t last long enough yet for practical use. Now, scientists have developed an anode material that enables sodium-ion batteries to perform at high capacity over hundreds of cycles, according to their report.

Stabilizing energy storage with redox flow batteries

University of Utah and University of Michigan chemists predict a better future for a type of battery for grid storage called redox flow batteries. Using a predictive model of molecules and their properties, the team has developed a charge-storing molecule around 1,000 times more stable than current compounds.

Nano-sized hydrogen storage system increases efficiency

Lawrence Livermore scientists have collaborated with an interdisciplinary team of researchers to develop an efficient hydrogen storage system that could be a boon for hydrogen powered vehicles. The team showed that the presence of internal “nano-interfaces” within nanoconfined hydrides can alter which phases appear when the material is cycled.


Scalable 100% yield production of conductive graphene inks

A new method for producing high quality, water-based conductive graphene inks with high concentrations has been developed by researchers from the Graphene Flagship working at the University of Cambridge. The novel method uses ultrahigh shear forces in a microfluidization process to exfoliate graphene flakes from graphite.

Liquid metal nanoprinting set to revolutionize electronics

A new technique using liquid metals to create integrated circuits that are just atoms thick could lead to the next big advance for electronics. The process opens the way for the production of large wafers around 1.5 nm in depth.


Oxygen migration in complex oxide material illuminates new kind of memories

Researchers at Aalto University in Finland have visualized how oxygen ion migration in a complex oxide material causes the material to alter its crystal structure in a uniform and reversible fashion, prompting large modulations of electrical resistance. Resistance-switching random access memories could utilize this effect.

Designing new materials from ‘small’ data: Unique workflow to design new materials

Researchers have developed a novel workflow combining machine learning and density functional theory calculations to create design guidelines for new materials that exhibit useful electronic properties, such as ferroelectricity and piezoelectricity.

Metamaterial is world’s first to achieve performance predicted by theoretical bounds

Researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara and the University of Virginia have developed a metamaterial and proved that its 3-D pyramid-and-cross cell geometry is the first of its kind to achieve the performance predicted by theoretical bounds.

Engineers overcome a hurdle in growing a revolutionary optical metamaterial

University of Pennsylvania engineers have produced an elusive diamond crystal structure that could revolutionize photonics. This has put them on the path to achieving a material that is the “holy grail of directed particle self-assembly.”

Sound-shaping super-material invented

A research team from the Universities of Sussex and Bristol have invented a super-material that bends, shapes, and focuses sound waves that pass through it. The collaborative research team assembled an acoustic metamaterial layer out of lots of small bricks that each coil up space, which act to slow down sound, transforming incoming sound waves into any sound field.