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Published on March 22nd, 2017 | By: April Gocha

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

Published on March 22nd, 2017 | By: April Gocha

[Image above] Credit: NIST

 

NANOMATERIALS

 

Star-spangled find may lead to advanced electronics

Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas describe a material that, when heated to about 450ºC, transforms from an atomically thin, 2-D sheet into an array of 1-D nanowires. Because the nanowires are semiconductors, they might be used as switching devices, just as silicon is used in today’s transistors to turn electric current on and off in electronic devices.

 

Silk sensor could speed development of new infrastructure, aerospace and consumer materials

Researchers working at NIST have developed a way to embed a nanoscale damage-sensing probe into a lightweight composite made of epoxy and silk. The probe, known as a mechanophore, could speed up product testing and potentially reduce the amount of time and materials needed for the development of many kinds of new composites.

 

Better nanoimages ‘spin’ the path to improved magnetic memory

In work that could help make possible a faster, longer-lasting and lower-energy method of data storage for consumers and businesses, researchers at NIST and their colleagues have developed a technique for imaging and studying a promising class of magnetic devices with 10 times more detail than optical microscopes.

 

Gold coating can control luminescence of nanowires

Physicists at the University of Cincinnati are working to harness the power of nanowires to improve solar cells or revolutionize fiber optics. They built nanowire semiconductors with organic material, fired laser pulses at the sample, and measured the way light traveled across the metal; technically, the excitations of plasmon waves.

 

Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

 

New method to program nanoparticle organization in polymer thin films

Researchers have developed an original method—soft-confinement pattern-induced nanoparticle segregation (SCPINS)—to fabricate polymer nanocomposite thin films with well-controlled nanoparticle organization on a submicron scale. This new method uniquely controls the organization of any kind of nanoparticles into patterns in those films.

 

 

ENERGY

 

Researchers seek to extend nuclear fuel life and efficiency through improved fuel pellets

Researchers at Texas A&M University are working to make big impacts on energy efficiency with small materials level changes. The group is creating porous fuel pellets for use in reactors, as opposed to the currently used solid pellets, to extend fuel life, possibly reduce waste and increase the amount of energy the reactor can get out of the fuel.

 

From space to the streets: New battery model also makes electric cars more reliable

They are able to predict how much the on-board battery will in fact be utilized in the course of the satellite’s mission. The efficiency achieved here is about five times greater than with conventional systems. And electric cars on Earth are already benefiting from the procedure as well.

 

PolyU develops the most energy-efficient LED filament lamps

A research team of State Key Laboratory of Ultra-precision Machining Technology and Hong Kong Polytechnic University students has successfully developed the most energy-efficient LED filament technology with a luminous efficacy of 129lm/W, which represents 1.5 times the efficacy of traditional LED lamps.

 

Tiny redox flow battery could fuel future computers

Researchers at ETH Zurich and IBM Research Zurich have built a tiny redox flow battery. In a flow battery, an electrochemical reaction is used to produce electricity out of two liquid electrolytes, which are pumped to the battery cell from outside via a closed electrolyte loop.

 

Scientists harness solar power to produce clean hydrogen from biomass

A team of scientists at the University of Cambridge has developed a way of using solar power to generate a fuel that is both sustainable and relatively cheap to produce. It’s using natural light to generate hydrogen from biomass.

 

 

OTHER RESEARCH

 

Discovery in new material raises questions about theoretical models of superconductivity

Ames Lab scientists have successfully created the first pure, single-crystal sample of a new iron arsenide superconductor, CaKFe4As4, and studies of this material have called into question some long-standing theoretical models of superconductivity.

 

Mapping the effects of crystal defects

New research offers insights into how crystal dislocations can affect electrical and heat transport through crystals, at a microscopic, quantum mechanical level. A team at MIT has been able to learn important details about how dislocation-phonon interactions work, which could inform future efforts to develop thermoelectric devices and other electronic systems.

 

Researchers offer overview of composite metal foams and potential applications

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a range of composite metal foams (CMFs) that can be used in applications from armor to hazardous material transport – and they’re now looking for collaborators to help identify and develop new applications. To that end, the researchers are issuing a comprehensive overview and new data on their CMFs.

 

Imaging at the speed of light: Visualizing material dynamics

Researchers have used lasers to manipulate the properties of target materials. Now a University of Rochester team has developed a technique to visualize, for the first time, the complete evolution of micro- and nanoscale structural formation on a material’s surface both during and after the application of a laser pulse.

 

New flexible sensor holds potential for foldable touch screens

Scientists at the University of British Columbia have developed a sensor using a highly conductive gel sandwiched between layers of silicone that can detect different types of touch, including swiping and tapping, even when it is stretched, folded or bent. This feature makes it suited for foldable devices of the future.

 

Groundbreaking process for creating ultra-selective zeolite separation membranes

Researchers have developed a groundbreaking one-step, crystal growth process for making ultra-thin layers of material with molecular-sized pores. Researchers demonstrated the use of the material, called zeolite nanosheets, by making ultra-selective membranes for chemical separations.

 

Research leads to a golden discovery for wearable technology
Some day, your smartphone might completely conform to your wrist, and when it does, it might be covered in pure gold. Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a way to “grow” thin layers of gold on single crystal wafers of silicon, remove the gold foils, and use them as substrates on which to grow other electronic materials.

 

DARPA program envisions emergence of next-generation semiconductor materials

When it comes to transistors that generate and receive radiofrequency and millimeter-wave signals—which are central in defense-relevant domains such as communications, signals intelligence, and electronic warfare—DARPA’s new Dynamic Range-enhanced Electronics and Materials (DREaM) program is designed to provide openings to these path-breaking advances.

 


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