Other materials stories that may be of interest | The American Ceramic Society

Other materials stories that may be of interest

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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Taming ‘wild’ electrons in graphene

Scientists at Rutgers University-New Brunswick have learned how to tame the unruly electrons in graphene, paving the way for the ultra-fast transport of electrons with low loss of energy in novel systems.

Long nanotubes make strong fibers

To make continuous, strong and conductive carbon nanotube fibers, it’s best to start with long nanotubes, according to scientists at Rice University. The Rice lab of chemist and chemical engineer Matteo Pasquali has advanced the art of making nanotube-based materials.

New graphene nanoribbons lend gas sensors unprecedented sensitivity

When researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln integrated a film of graphene nanoribbons into the circuitry of a gas sensor, it responded about 100 times more sensitively to molecules than did sensors featuring even the best-performing carbon-based materials.

Scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films

Researchers at MIPT have conducted highly precise measurements of the optical constants of ultrathin gold films with thicknesses ranging from 20 to 200 billionths of a meter in the optical part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Thin gold films are key components of modern micro- and nanoscale optical and optoelectronic devices.

Two-dimensional materials get a new theory for control of properties

Desirable properties including increased electrical conductivity, improved mechanical properties, or magnetism for memory storage or information processing may be possible because of a theoretical method to control grain boundaries in 2-D materials.

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

Brown University researchers have improved the resolution of terahertz emission spectroscopy—a technique used to study a wide variety of materials—by 1,000-fold, making the technique useful at the nanoscale.


Novel process facilitates production of high-voltage lithium-ion cathodes

Researchers have now developed a process that allows a fast, simple, and cost-effective production of the promising cathode material lithium cobalt phosphate in high quality. A microwave synthesis process requires only a microwave oven and 30 minutes to obtain high-grade lithium cobalt phosphate.

Enhancing solar power with ‘jewels of the sea’

Researchers at Yale University hope to harness the power of diatoms to boost solar technology. The research team dispersed diatoms throughout the active layer of the solar cell, reducing the amount of material needed for the active layer while maintaining similar electrical output.

Scientists solve a magnesium mystery in rechargeable battery performance

A research team led by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab has discovered a surprising set of chemical reactions involving magnesium that degrade battery performance even before the battery can be charged up.

Loops of liquid metal can improve future fusion power plants, scientists say

Researchers have proposed an innovative design to improve the ability of future fusion power plants to generate steady energy. The design uses loops of liquid lithium to clean and recycle the tritium that fuels fusion reactions and to protect divertor plates from intense exhaust heat from the tokamak that contains the reactions.

Designer binders protect silicon battery electrodes

In an electric car’s battery, swapping in a silicon electrode could let the battery store 10 times more energy. Scientists have now designed binders to modify the surface chemistry of the silicon, improving resilience to cycling and protecting the silicon surface.

Futuristic solar-powered Dutch family car hailed ‘the future’

A futuristic Dutch family car that not only uses the sun as power but supplies energy back to the grid was hailed as “the future” at the World Solar Challenge. Cars in the race were mostly developed by universities or corporations, with teams hailing from around the world.


Reducing power plants’ freshwater consumption with new silica filter

Power plants account for more than 50% of U.S. freshwater use at about 500 billion gallons daily. To help save this water, researchers have developed a new silica filter for power plants that reduces water use by increases reuse and recycling of cooling tower water.

Surface polarization in mixed media increases attraction among rare earth elements

Researchers at Northwestern University are working to better understand why rare earths are strongly attracted to each other across long distances, making separation and extraction tediously difficult. A series of molecular simulations suggest that the medium in which the elements are suspended is partially responsible for the strong attraction.

New headway in desalination technology

Engineers at the University of Illinois have taken a step forward in developing a saltwater desalination process that borrows from battery technology. The researchers are focusing on new materials that could make desalination economically desirable and energy efficient.

Converting carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide using water, electricity

Researchers have determined how electrocatalysts can convert carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide using water and electricity. The discovery can lead to the development of efficient electrocatalysts for large scale production of synthesis gas.

Purple power: Synthetic ‘purple membranes’ transform sunlight to hydrogen fuel

Researchers at Argonne National Lab have found a new way to produce solar fuels by developing completely synthetic bionanomachinery to harvest light without the need for a living cell.

New Amazon threat? Deforestation from mining

Sprawling mining operations in Brazil are destroying much more of the iconic Amazon forest than previously thought, says the first comprehensive study of mining deforestation in the world’s largest tropical rainforest.


3-D printing of aircraft parts out of titanium

Physicists from Tomsk Polytechnic University are currently working to create hydrogen-resistant products out of titanium alloys based on additive manufacturing. The technology ensures less material consumption as well as possible development of complex geometries.

Method of hybrid 3-D printing fabricates flexible electronics

A collaboration between scientists has resulted in a new method for digital design and printing of stretchable, flexible electronics. The process, called Hybrid 3-D printing, uses additive manufacturing to integrate soft, conductive inks with a material substrate to create stretchable, wearable electronic devices.

Direct writing of pure-metal structures may advance novel light sources, sensors, more

Scientists created a novel way to 3-D print on virtually any material or shape without costly and time-consuming masking steps. In a patterned sequence, researchers used a focused electron beam to dissociate surface-bound carbon- and metal-containing molecules and deposit them with precision.


Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

Through the combined effect of flexoelectricity and piezoelectricity, researchers have found that polar materials can be made more or less resistant to dents when they are turned upside down… or when a voltage is applied to switch their polarization.

NIST develops new way to test body armor

Scientists at NIST have developed a new way to investigate the high-performance fibers used in modern body armor. The research may help increase confidence in protective apparel and lead to the development of new, lighter weight materials for body armor in the future.

New material for digital memories of the future

Scientists have developed the first material with conductivity properties that can be switched on and off using ferroelectric polarization. The research shows the phenomenon in action in three specially built molecules and proposes a model for how it works.

Researchers offer insights into lightweight material that expands with heat

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Korea Institute of Science and Technology recently found a way to exploit the properties of bubbles to create “microbombs,” a type of material that expands with heat to form “microclusters,” which fit themselves to fill their physical confinement.

Scientists reach milestone in 3-D laser writing in bulk silicon

It has taken more than 20 years, but researchers have demonstrated for the first time that femtosecond lasers can be used to structurally manipulate bulk silicon for high-precision applications.

Team clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

An interdisciplinary team of scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Lab has uncovered a direct link between sample quality and the degree of valley polarization in monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides, which are promising for electronic and optoelectronic technologies.