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Published on June 28th, 2017 | By: April Gocha, PhD

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

Published on June 28th, 2017 | By: April Gocha, PhD

[Image above] Credit: NIST

 

 

NANOMATERIALS

 

Transformer-like carbon nanostructure engineered

A recent study affiliated with UNIST has engineered a new type of carbon nanomaterial that is capable of changing shapes and colors depending on the type of solvents used. The hybrid carbon nanosheets show a strong solvatochromic behavior with wide color tunability ranging from blue to orange and even to white in various solvents.

 

Nanoparticles and magnets offer new, efficient method of removing oil from water

Engineering researchers used magnetic nanoparticles to separate oil from water through a simple process that relies on electrostatic force and a magnet. The engineers believe their new technique could improve water treatment for oil and gas production, more efficiently clean up oil spills, and potentially remove lead from drinking water.

 

Silver atom nanoclusters could become efficient biosensors

Researchers have now managed to pinpoint what happens when light is absorbed by extremely small nanoclusters of silver atoms. The results may have useful application in the development of biosensors and in imaging.

 

Enhanced photocatalytic activity by Cu2O nanoparticles integrated H2Ti3O7 nanotubes

Compositing Cu2O nanoparticles with H2Ti3O7 nanotubes provides an effective strategy to reduce the bandgap energy and recombination of photo-generated electrons and holes. There is an obvious synergistic effect between guest nanoparticles and host nanotubes due to the interaction to form heterojunctions.

 

 

ENERGY

 

Solar material for producing clean hydrogen fuel

Osaka University researchers have created a new material to produce clean hydrogen fuel using the full spectrum of sunlight. The three-part composite maximizes light absorption and water splitting efficiency. The core is semiconductor lanthanum titanium oxide partly coated with gold nanoparticles and mixed with ultrathin sheets of black phosphorus.

 

New technique to produce more durable and longer lasting lithium-ion batteries

Researchers at A*STAR have developed a new way of producing more durable and longer lasting lithium-ion batteries. The researchers invented a generalized method of producing anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. The anodes are made from metal oxide nanosheets, which are ultrathin, 2-D materials with excellent electrochemical and mechanical properties.

 

Research collaboration brings new concepts for potassium-ion batteries

Researchers are making progress in developing rechargeable batteries based on potassium, a potential alternative to lithium that’s less expensive and far more plentiful, and also have shown how to derive carbon for battery electrodes from old tires.

 

Turning leftovers into energy

Soon, last night’s leftover meatloaf or chicken casserole can be converted into green energy. Researchers from Cornell University are utilizing two different processes to convert food waste into green energy, taking advantage of the substantial amount of carbon found in food waste.

 

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

New carbon nitride material coupled with ruthenium enhances CO2 reduction

Researchers have developed a hybrid photocatalyst with specifically high activity for the reductive conversion of carbon dioxide to formic acid under visible light irradiation. The new material consists of high-surface-area carbon nitride nanosheets combined with a metal structure known as a binuclear ruthenium(II) complex.

 

Freshwater from salt water using only solar energy

A federally funded research effort to revolutionize water treatment has yielded a direct solar distillation. The technology could provide off-grid water treatment for some of the 1 billion people who lack access to clean water.

 

Future trucks fueled by hydrogen created with solar power: Exhaust? Pure water vapor

Heavy-duty trucks will soon be driving around in Trondheim, Norway, fueled by hydrogen created with solar power, and emitting only pure water vapor as “exhaust”. Not only will hydrogen technology revolutionize road transport, it will also enable ships and trains to run emission-free.

 

 

BIOMEDICINE

 

Europium doped gadolinium oxide nanorod-based contrast agent for cancer imaging

Dual modal imaging has the ability to produce images with higher spatial resolution and higher sensitivity. Contrast agents having both magnetic and optical properties identifies cancer cells efficiently. Europium doped gadolinium oxide nanorods were synthesized and subsequently coated with silica to improve biocompatibility.

 

Artificial iris responds to light like the human eye

Researchers at Tampere University of Technology developed an artificial iris manufactured from intelligent, light-controlled polymer material that can react to incoming light in the same ways as the human eye. The artificial iris was manufactured from light-sensitive liquid crystal elastomer.

 

Sugar-coated nanomaterial excels at promoting bone growth

There hasn’t been a gold standard for how orthopedic spine surgeons promote new bone growth in patients, but now Northwestern University scientists have designed a bioactive nanomaterial that is so good at stimulating bone regeneration it could become the method surgeons prefer.

 

 

MANUFACTURING

 

Lightweight steel production breakthrough: Brittle phases controlled

High-strength, lightweight steels can finally be processed on an industrial scale, thanks to a breakthrough in controlling undesired brittle stages. Researchers at the University of Warwick have developed a processing route that allows production of low density steel-based alloys with maximum strength, whilst remaining durable and flexible.

 

Scientists make plastic from sugar and carbon dioxide

Some biodegradable plastics could in the future be made using sugar and carbon dioxide, replacing unsustainable plastics made from crude oil, following research by scientists from the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies at the University of Bath.

 

 

OTHER RESEARCH

 

Piling on pressure solves enduring mystery about lithium’s makeup

Scientists have solved a decades-old puzzle about a widely used metal, thanks to extreme pressure experiments and powerful supercomputing. Their research has solved a mystery of how lithium’s atoms are arranged—which influences properties such as its strength, malleability and conductivity.

 

A more sustainable way to refine metals

A team of chemists has developed a way to process metals without using toxic solvents and reagents. The system, which also consumes far less energy than conventional techniques, could greatly shrink the environmental impact of producing metals from raw materials or from post-consumer electronics.

 

New waterproofing, antifouling materials developed

Scientists at Swansea University have developed new materials that are nontoxic, economical, and show promise to replace more expensive and hazardous materials used for waterproofing and antifouling/fogging. The spray-coated nanomaterials provide chemical functionality that can alter the surface from superhydrophilic to superhydrophobic.

 

Research accelerates quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, and colleagues at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Arizona State University have created a topological insulator film just 25 atoms thick that adheres to an insulating magnetic film, creating a “heterostructure.”

 

New ultrasonic ZIP probe tests zinc thickness even while bathed in 450°C molten metal

New probe technology can conduct safety critical testing inside galvanizing kettles equipment while still holding molten zinc at 450°C. Zinco UK Limited and Sonemat Limited have signed an agreement to use the ultrasonic probe technology developed from research which was first conducted at the University of Warwick.

 


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