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[Images above] Credit: NIST


New nanodevices could withstand extreme environments in space and on earth

By developing heat-, corrosion- and radiation-resistant electronics, researchers at the Stanford Extreme Environment Microsystems Laboratory hope to move research into extreme places in the universe—including here on Earth. And it all starts with tiny, nanoscale slices of material.

Advances make reduced graphene oxide electronics feasible

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a technique for converting positively charged reduced graphene oxide into negatively charged reduced graphene oxide, creating a layered material that can be used to develop transistors for use in electronic devices.

Insights pave way for solar cells and photodetectors based on tunable nanoparticles

Solar cells and photodetectors could soon be made from new types of materials based on semiconductor quantum dots, thanks to new insights based on ultrafast measurements capturing real-time photoconversion processes.

How graphene could cool smartphone, computer, other electronics chips

With graphene, Rutgers researchers have discovered a powerful way to cool tiny chips. Using graphene combined with a boron nitride crystal substrate, the researchers demonstrated a more powerful and efficient cooling mechanism.

Researchers uncover secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier

Using sunlight to drive chemical reactions, such as artificial photosynthesis, could soon become much more efficient thanks to metal nanoparticles. Researchers at Imperial College London have investigated an artificial photocatalyst material using nanoparticles and found out how to make it more efficient.

Promising results obtained with a new electrocatalyst that reduces the need for platinum

A group of Aalto University researchers has developed a manufacturing method for electrocatalysts that only uses one hundredth of the amount of platinum generally used in commercial products. The method is based on the special characteristics of carbon nanotubes.

Hydrogen freed by metal sulfide nanoparticle duo

Metal sulfide nanoparticle catalysts developed by Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research researchers can help split water to produce hydrogen, a clean-burning fuel that provides a convenient way to store renewable energy.


How does oxygen get into a fuel cell?

Teams at TU Wien have made targeted alterations to the surface of ceramic fuel cells on an atomic scale and took measurements at the same time. As a result, it is now possible to explain important phenomena for the first time, including why strontium atoms are problematic and the fact that cobalt can be useful in a fuel cell.

Air could be the world’s next battery

What if less fortunate countries and regions could use air instead of water as a way of storing energy? Under the auspices of the European Union, scientists from all over Europe are attempting to turn this concept into a viable prospect.

Graphene-based electrode prototype could be answer to solar energy storage challenge

Inspired by an American fern, RMIT University researchers have developed a prototype that could be the answer to the storage challenge still holding solar back as a total energy solution. The new type of electrode could boost the capacity of existing storage technologies by 3,000%.

Research group developing a rechargeable magnesium/iodine battery for daily consumer use

Researchers at the University of Maryland have developed a new battery chemistry based on the coupling of a magnesium cathode and an iodine anode. Magnesium batteries have the potential for much higher energy density—roughly 10 times current technology.

Next generation perovskite solar cells with new world-record performance

A recent study affiliated with UNIST has presented a new cost-efficient way to produce inorganic-organic hybrid perovskite solar cells, which sets a new world-record efficiency performance, in particular photostability.


Chemists ID catalytic ‘key’ for converting carbon dioxide to methanol

Results from experiments and computational modeling studies that definitively identify the ‘active site’ of a catalyst commonly used for making methanol from carbon dioxide will guide the design of improved catalysts for transforming this pollutant to useful chemicals.

New device produces hydrogen peroxide for water purification

Scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Lab and Stanford University have created a small device for hydrogen peroxide production that could be powered by renewable energy sources, like conventional solar panels.

Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future

A new class of carbon nanotubes could be the next-generation clean-up crew for toxic sludge and contaminated water, say researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology. Their work applies carbon nanotubes to environmental problems in a specific new way.


Flexible electronic devices with roll-to-roll overmolding technology

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has, for the first time, performed all manufacturing stages for a flexible in-molded LED foil in roll-to-roll process. This proves the suitability of the technique for highly cost-effective manufacture of products such as flexible LED displays containing printed electronics.

Reinventing metal 3-D printing with new direct writing process

Lawrence Livermore National Lab researchers, along with collaborators at Worchester Polytechnic Institute, are taking a wholly new approach to metal 3-D printing with a process they call direct metal writing, in which semisolid metal is directly extruded from a nozzle.


Testing the performance of semiconductors—with light

The traditional test for assessing the quality of a semiconductor, called the Hall method, measures the number of freely moving charge carriers in a material. But a new, quicker technique makes this measurement by exposing the semiconductor to terahertz light, which shines straight through pure silicon and other semiconductor materials.

Legos and origami inspire next-generation materials

Inspired by the fun of playing with Legos, an international team of researchers from Tianjin University of Technology and Harvard University have used the idea of assembling building-blocks to make the promise of next-generation materials a practical reality.

Atomic ‘re-packing’ behind metallic glass mystery

An international collaboration has solved a puzzle about the atomic structure of metallic glasses that has baffled scientists for four decades. Combined measurements revealed that Pd-Ni-P metallic glass has a hidden amorphous phase within a certain temperature range and the thermodynamic inconsistency is the consequence of a phase transition.

Artificial materials created atom-by-atom

Researchers at Aalto University have manufactured artificial materials with engineered electronic properties. By moving individual atoms under their microscope, the scientists were able to create atomic lattices with a predetermined electrical response—bringing ‘designer quantum materials’ one step closer to reality.

The power of one: Single crystals provide clarity

When it comes to creating new materials, single crystals play an important role in presenting a clearer picture of a material’s intrinsic properties. A typical material will be comprised of lots of smaller crystals and the grain boundaries between these crystals can act as impediments, affecting properties such as electrical or thermal resistance.