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[Image above] Credit: NIST


‘Rubber material’ discovered that could lead to scratch-proof paint for car

An international team of researchers have found superlubricity in a few layers of graphene—a concept where friction vanishes or very nearly vanishes. The experts also found that a few layers of hexagonal boron nitride are as strong as diamond but are more flexible, cheaper, and lighter.

A new way to directly convert methane to methanol using gold-palladium nanoparticles

Researchers at Cardiff Catalysis Institute and Lehigh University have discovered a new approach that allows direct conversion of methane to methanol using molecular oxygen under mild reaction conditions. They used colloidal gold-palladium nanoparticles to directly oxidize methane to methanol with high selectivity in aqueous solution at low temperatures.

First on-chip nanoscale optical quantum memory developed

Engineers have built a chip capable of storing and retrieving individual photons of light, with all of their quantum properties left intact. The chip represents the first nanoscale optical quantum memory device, and could one day be used to create more secure Internet communications.

Integrated quantum optical circuits soon a reality

A Swedish research group in quantum nanophotonics has developed a new method that represents a significant step toward enabling optical quantum information processing on a chip. The group has managed to create the building blocks of such a system by integrating quantum dots in silicon-based photonic chips.


Defects in next-generation solar cells can be healed with light

Researchers have shown that defects in the molecular structure of perovskites—a material which could revolutionise the solar cell industry—can be “healed” by exposing it to light and just the right amount of humidity.

Advanced organic material could enable ultra-stable, high-capacity rechargeable batteries

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore has successfully designed a novel organic material of superior electrical conductivity and energy retention capability for use in battery applications. This invention paves the way for the development of ultra-stable, high capacity and environmental friendly rechargeable batteries.

Tools enable shared power from renewable energy sources during outages

If you think you can use the solar panels on your roof to power your home during an outage, think again. During an outage, while your home remains connected to the grid, the devices that manage your solar panels are powered down for safety reasons.

Water-based lithium-ion batteries don’t explode

Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the University of Maryland have developed a lithium-ion battery that uses a water-salt solution as its electrolyte and reaches the 4.0 volt mark desired for household electronics—without the fire and explosive risks associated with some commercially available non-aqueous lithium-ion batteries.

Cooling system works without electricity by sending heat into space

Stanford scientists cooled water without electricity by sending excess heat where it won’t be noticed—space. The specialized optical surfaces they developed are a major step toward applying this technology to air conditioning and refrigeration.

More durable, less expensive fuel cells

A team of engineers at the University of Delaware has developed a technology that could make fuel cells cheaper and more durable, a breakthrough that could speed up the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles.


New acid-free magnet recycling process created

A new rare-earth magnet recycling process developed by researchers at the Critical Materials Institute dissolves magnets in an acid-free solution and recovers high purity rare-earth elements. For shredded magnet-containing electronic wastes, the process does not require pre-processing.

Cotton gin trash finding new life for electrical power

Finding sustainable markets for gin trash, wood chips, and other waste products could be viable in producing more electrical power for a growing global population. A recent demo at Texas A&M University showcased a biomass-fueled fluidized bed gasifier, utilizing cotton gin trash and wood chips to power an electric generator.

A sweeter way to make green products

A University of Delaware research team has invented a more efficient process for extracting the sugars from wood chips, corn cobs, and other organic waste. This biorenewable feedstock could serve as a cheaper, sustainable substitute for the petroleum used in manufacturing tons upon tons of consumer goods annually.

Researchers report new way to make dissolving electronics

Researchers from the University of Houston and China have reported a new type of electronic device that can be triggered to dissolve through exposure to water molecules in the atmosphere.


This spacecraft is thinner than a human hair and can capture space debris

Called Brane Crafts, the tiny ships are about a yard across and thinner than a human hair. Each one would wrap around a chunk of debris and yank it down to into the atmosphere, where it would heat up and eventually be incinerated about 155 miles above the Earth’s surface.

Lighter plastic foam could mean more fuel-efficient cars

An international team of researchers developed a compression-molding-based processing method for syntactic foam comprising of glass microballoons or fly ash cenospheres permeating high-density polyethylene. The team achieved a 36% weight reduction in these plastics while conferring better mechanical properties.

Scientists unravel new insights into promising semiconductor material

Researchers from the National University of Singapore have established new findings on the properties of 2-D molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). In two separate studies, the researchers uncovered the role of oxygen in MoS2, and a novel technique to create multiple tunable, inverted optical band gaps in the material.

Green light for ultra-fine LED display colors

Chemical engineers from ETH Zurich have succeeded in generating ultra-pure green light for the first time. The new LED will pave the way for visibly improved color quality in a new generation of ultra-high definition displays for TVs and smartphones.

Newly-discovered semiconductor dynamics may help improve energy efficiency

Researchers examining the flow of electricity through semiconductors have uncovered another reason these materials seem to lose their ability to carry a charge as they become more densely ‘doped.’

Microscopy method allows quick, reliable 3-D imaging of curvilinear nanostructures

EPFL scientists have developed a scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) method that generates fast and reliable 3-D images of curvilinear structures from a single sample orientation.