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[Image above] Credit: NIST


New technique produces tunable, nanoporous materials

A collaborative group of researchers describe a new technique for creating novel nanoporous materials with unique properties that can be used to filter molecules or light. They found that depending on the type of liquids used in this process, nanoparticles self-assemble into different structures.

Nanomagnets levitate thanks to quantum physics

Quantum physicists have now shown that, despite Earnshaw’s theorem, nanomagnets can be stably levitated in an external static magnetic field owing to quantum mechanical principles. The quantum angular momentum of electrons, which also causes magnetism, is accountable for this mechanism.

Effect of nano-diamond on magnetorheological fluids

Chinese researchers have found that nano-diamond has significant impact on the performance of magnetorheological fluids. The shear yield strength and settling stability of the fluids were found to have potential to be highly enhanced through the process. The higher the strength of the magnetic field, the higher the difference in the shear yield strength.

Gold nanoantennas help in creation of more powerful nanoelectronics

Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University and German colleagues are working on a technology that allows us to see how materials interact at the nanoscale, to determine local strain occurring at their interaction and even to see defects of the materials at the nanoscale—which will make it possible to improve the components of nanoelectronics.

Technique makes light metallic nanofoam

A simple method for manufacturing extremely low-density palladium nanofoams could help advance hydrogen storage technologies, reports a new study from the University of California, Davis. The wet chemistry approach is well-suited for industrial applications and adaptable to other types of lightweight metal foams as well.

Dendritic fibrous nanosilica: all-in-one nanomaterial for energy, environment and health

The unique fibrous morphology of the dendritic fibrous nanosilica family of materials bestows them with several important properties. Dendritic fibrous nanosilica provide a means to load large amount of catalytic active sites with exceptionally high accessibility compared to conventional mesoporous silica materials.


Gradation-tint smart window

NIMS, Waseda University, and Tama Art University researchers have developed smart glass capable of producing various shades on its surface. Unlike the conventional types, the newly developed tinting smart glass allows users to easily change the shaded area of a window.

Cobalt and tungsten key to cheaper, cleaner hydrogen

Electrolysis is the cleanest way to obtain hydrogen, a clean and renewable fuel. Now, researchers have designed a new catalyst that reduces the cost of electrolytic hydrogen production. Chemists discovered a compound made of cobalt and tungsten that can catalyze water splitting better than iridium.

New fast-charging, high-energy electric-car battery technology

An international team of researchers affiliated with UNIST has presented a novel hydrogen isotope separation system based on a porous metal organic framework (MOF). This MOF system could efficiently separate and store deuterium inside the pores, exhibiting the highest selectivity of any system to date.


Nano-sized gold particles have been shaped to behave as clones in biomedicine

Shaping nanometric gold particles to improve their properties in biomedicine and photonics has been made possible thanks to a special laser system in a work carried out at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Loose-fill asbestos insulation and health

A landmark study from The Australian National University into the health impacts of living in a house with loose-fill asbestos insulation has just been published. The findings could help bring attention to asbestos hazards in countries where asbestos-contaminated insulation was installed in millions of homes.

Plastic nanoparticles inspired by nature could improve cancer drug delivery

Scientists have developed a way to control the shape of polymer molecules so they self-assemble into non-spherical nanoparticles—an advance that could improve the delivery of toxic drugs to tumors. Very little in nature is perfectly spherical, but it has proved very difficult for scientists to synthesize particles that are not round until now.

Subset of carbon nanotubes poses cancer risk similar to asbestos in mice

Researchers have shown for the first time in mice that carbon nanotubes may have the same carcinogenic effect as asbestos: they can induce the formation of mesothelioma. The findings were observed in 10%–25% of the 32 animals included in the study.


Breakthrough with 3-D printed stainless steel

Researchers have achieved a breakthrough in 3-D printing one of the most common forms of marine grade stainless steel—a low-carbon type called 316L—that promises an unparalleled combination of high-strength and high-ductility properties for the ubiquitous alloy.

3-D printing gets a turbo boost from new technology

A major drawback to 3-D printing—the slow pace of the work—could be alleviated through a software algorithm developed at the University of Michigan. The algorithm allows printers to deliver high-quality results at speeds up to two times faster than those in common use, with no added hardware costs.

One-step 3-D printing of catalysts

Scientists at U Ames Laboratory have developed a 3-D printing process that creates a chemically active catalytic object in a single step, opening the door to more efficient ways to produce catalysts for complex chemical reactions in a wide scope of industries.


Optoelectronics without glass

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed the first optoelectronic circuit component that works without glass and is instead made of metal. The component, referred to as a modulator, converts electrical data signals into optical signals. It is smaller and faster than current modulators, and much easier and cheaper to make.

Laser beams for superconductivity

A new study focusing on a compound based on bucky-balls—spherical fullerenes—shows that the compound is capable of transforming into a high-temperature superconductor when struck by an extremely brief laser pulse.

New fire-resistant coating to prevent failure in steel building fires

A few extra coats of ‘paint’ could be all that the steel in a building needs to prevent itself from buckling and failing in a fire. Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Singapore’s industrial developer JTC have developed an affordable 3-in-1 coating that offers enhanced fire and corrosion protection.

Chip-based sensors with incredible sensitivity

An optical whispering gallery mode resonator developed by Penn State electrical engineers can spin light around the circumference of a tiny sphere millions of times, creating an ultrasensitive microchip-based sensor for multiple applications.