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Published on August 9th, 2017 | By: April Gocha, PhD

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

Published on August 9th, 2017 | By: April Gocha, PhD

[Image above] Credit: NIST

 

NANOMATERIALS

 

From greenhouse gas to 3-D surface-microporous graphene

Tiny dents in the surface of graphene greatly enhances its potential as a supercapacitor. Even better, it can be made from carbon dioxide. A material scientist at Michigan Technological University invented a novel approach to take carbon dioxide and turn it into 3-D graphene with micropores across its surface.

 

Chemists make laser-induced graphene from wood

Rice University scientists have made wood into an electrical conductor by turning its surface into graphene. The scientists used a laser to blacken a thin film pattern onto a block of pine. The pattern is laser-induced graphene, a form of the atom-thin carbon material.

 

2-D materials clean up their act

A team of researchers at the University of Manchester has shown that even the gas within which 2-D material stacks are assembled can affect structure and properties of the materials. They found that transition metal dichalcogenides had a very large gap between them and their neighbor, a distance unexplained by theoretical calculations.

 

One-nanometer trimetallic alloy particles created

Scientists have succeeded in developing precisely controlled alloy nanoparticles ‘multimetallic nanoclusters made of three metals: copper, platinum, and gold. They also discovered that the nanoclusters show catalytic activity that is 24 times greater than commercially available carbon-supported platinum catalysts in the oxidization of hydrocarbons using oxygen in the air.

 

Technique to synthesize monolayer films

A NIMS research group has developed a novel technique to synthesize monolayer films composed of neatly tiled 2-D materials, such as oxide nanosheets and graphene, on substrate surfaces in as quickly as one minute.

 

Metal instability achieves energy-efficient nanotechnology

Earlier this year, researchers reported a freestanding nanowire that could reduce the power demands of nanoresonators by a factor of one hundred. Now, the team has determined just how simple the construction of nanoresonators using VO2 freestanding nanowires could be.

 

Research and design for carbon quantum dots catalysts

A new study that provides a new approach for the rational design of carbon quantum dot modified catalysts with potential applications in energy and environmental areas. The study discusses the introduction of carbon quantum dots into Bi2WO6 photocatalyst and the demonstration of its good photocatalytic performance in pollutant degradation and hydrogen evolution.

 

 

ENERGY

 

Engineers produce long lasting, energy density battery

A new generation of manganese dioxide-zinc batteries with unprecedented cycle life and energy density is the latest innovation at The City College of New York-based CUNY Energy Institute. The discovery has made the common household battery suitable for large grid storage applications.

 

Molecular nanoparticles lead to major advancement in the development of solar cells

A new study by researchers at the University of St. Andrews could herald a major advancement in the development of solar cells. The research demonstrated that molecular nanoparticles are capable of cutting a high-energy photon into two lower-energy ones, which could benefit development of the third-generation photovoltaics.

 

Energy storage solution combines polymers, nanosheets

A new, lightweight composite material for energy storage in flexible electronics, electric vehicles, and aerospace applications has been experimentally shown to store energy at operating temperatures well above current commercial polymers, according to a team of Penn State scientists.

 

Optimization model could bring higher solar-power integration

There is a challenge to balance supply and demand to make intermittent energy sources reliable. Demand response is one promising way to increase operational flexibility and energy efficiency, and researchers have incorporated scenarios in case studies based on 100 urban low-voltage network samples to learn more.

 

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

Scientists use dichalcogenides to extract hydrogen as potential fuel source

Lawrence Livermore scientists have developed a technique that helps extract hydrogen from water efficiently and cheaply. To do so, the researchers turned to a class of catalysts based on transition-metal dichalcogenides (MX2), which have generated a great deal of interest for water splitting.

 

Big data points humanity to new minerals, new deposits

Applying big data analysis to mineralogy offers a way to predict minerals missing from those known to science, where to find them, and where to find new deposits of valuable minerals such as gold and copper, according to a groundbreaking study.

 

Materials emitted by water pipe-repair method may pose health risks

New research is calling for immediate safeguards and the study of a widely used method for repairing sewer, storm, and drinking water pipes, called cured-in-place pipe repair, to understand the potential health and environmental concerns for workers and the public.

 

New synthesis route for alternative catalysts of noble metals

Researchers have developed a new synthesis route for alternative catalysts of noble metals for versatile chemical reactions that could help address environmental concerns. The new synthesis route enables the formation of carbonaceous catalysts with controlled chemical structures like organic-based catalysts.

 

 

BIOMEDICINE

 

Nanoparticles for 3-D printing in water open door to advanced biomedical materials

Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed a new type of photoinitiator for 3-D printing in water. These novel nanoparticles could allow for the creation of bio-friendly 3-D printed structures, further the development of biomedical accessories, and drive progress in traditional industries such as plastics.

 

 

OTHER RESEARCH

 

Scientists discover unique thermoelectric properties in cesium tin iodide

A newly discovered collective rattling effect in a type of crystalline semiconductor blocks most heat transfer while preserving high electrical conductivity—a rare pairing that scientists say could reduce heat buildup in electronic devices and turbine engines, among other possible applications.

 

Ferroelectric phenomenon proven viable for oxide electrodes, disproving predictions

Flux-closure domain structures are microscopic topological phenomena found in ferroelectric thin films that feature distinct electric polarization properties. In development of thin films for new ferroelectric devices, researchers have thought that contact with commonly used oxide electrodes limits domain formation. However, a group of researchers has shown otherwise.

 

Halide perovskites, a semiconductor that can beat the heat

A team led by scientists at Berkeley Lab has discovered a collective rattling effect in a type of crystalline semiconductor called halide perovskites blocks most heat transfer while preserving high electrical conductivity—a rare pairing that scientists say could reduce heat buildup in electronic devices and turbine engines, among other possible applications.

 

Amplification on a chip: Research raises hope for erbium-based integrated photonics device

An Arizona State University researcher has made another breakthrough using the rare-earth metal erbium as the gain material for an optical amplifier. The discovery attains a decades-long goal in the field of photonic integration, in which different small optical components are tightly combined for better performance and ease of fabrication.

 

Cicada wings may inspire new surface technologies

Researchers are looking to insects—specifically cicadas—for insight into the design of artificial surfaces with de-icing, self-cleaning and anti-fogging abilities. The study focused on the water-repelling ability of cicada wings. The research team of engineers and entomologists used high-speed microscopic photography to study the wings’ ability to repel water.

 

Logic circuits with diamond-based transistors

Scientists have succeeded in developing logic circuits equipped with diamond-based MOSFETs (metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect-transistors) at two different operation modes. This achievement is a first step toward the development of diamond integrated circuits operational under extreme environments.

 

Heat-conducting plastic could lead to lighter electronics, cars

A new technique can change plastic’s molecular structure to help it cast off heat. Developed by a team of University of Michigan researchers, the process is inexpensive and scalable and could be used to develop advanced plastics that could usher in lighter, cheaper, more energy-efficient product components.

 


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