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Published on November 22nd, 2017 | By: April Gocha

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

Published on November 22nd, 2017 | By: April Gocha

[Images above] Credit: NIST

 

NANOMATERIALS

 

Simple technique mass produces ultrathin, high-quality molybdenum trioxide nanosheets

Molybdenum trioxide (MoO3) has potential as an important 2-D material, but its bulk manufacture has lagged behind that of others in its class. Now, researchers at A*STAR have developed a simple method for mass producing ultrathin, high-quality MoO3 nanosheets.

 

Three-dimensional nanomagnets for the computer of tomorrow

Since the late 1960s, electronic devices have stored and transmitted information in 2-D circuits. Researchers at the University of Cambridge have been able to break this barrier by creating a nanoscale magnetic circuit capable of moving information along the three dimensions of space.

 

Carbon nanotube motion sensors step toward low-cost, high-performance wearable tech

Researchers from Florida State University have developed a class of breakthrough motion sensors that could herald a near future of ubiquitous, fully integrated, and affordable wearable technology. The motion sensors are made using buckypaper—razor thin, flexible sheets of pure, exceptionally durable carbon nanotubes.

 

Researchers test graphene technologies for space-related applications

Graphene Flagship researchers collaborating with the European Space Agency are testing graphene technologies for space-related applications. The research will explore benefits of graphene as a light-propulsion material in solar sails and as a smart coating in loop heat pipes for satellites.

 

Spin current from heat: Layered nanofilm material increases efficiency

Physicists have found a way to use waste heat energy by applying the heat to generate magnetic signals known as ‘spin currents’. The physicists take two such nanofilms and place a atomically thin layer of metal oxide between them. Heating causes certain electrons to pass through the metal oxide, producing spin current.

 

 

ENERGY

 

Cuttable, flexible, submersible, ballistic-tested lithium-ion battery

A team of scientists has partnered to develop a new type of flexible lithium-ion battery that can operate under extreme conditions, including cutting, submersion, and ballistic impact. The work builds upon a novel aqueous electrolyte referred to as “water-in-salt”.

 

Butterfly wing inspires photovoltaics: Light absorption can be enhanced by up to 200%

The wings of the butterfly Pachliopta aristolochiae are drilled by nanostructures that help absorb light over a wide spectrum. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have now succeeded in transferring these nanostructures to solar cells and, thus, enhancing their light absorption rate by up to 200%.

 

Post-fabrication doping can boost solar conversion of quantum dot-based photovoltaic cells

The performance of solar cells that consist of semiconductor nanoparticles surrounded by ligand molecules is now easier to control. Researchers from KAUST have developed a method that enhances the ability of these colloidal quantum dot solar cells to convert the sun’s energy into electricity by altering the surface chemistry of their functional layers in a noninvasive way.

 

Hydrogen cars for the masses one step closer to reality, thanks to 2-in-1 supercapacitor

UCLA researchers have designed a device that can use solar energy to inexpensively and efficiently create and store energy. The device produces hydrogen using nickel, iron and cobalt—elements that are much more abundant and less expensive than precious metals.

 

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

Additive manufacturing and sustainability: The environmental implications of 3-D printing

While the technological capabilities of additive manufacturing processes are studied extensively, a deep understanding of their environmental implications is still lacking. A new publication from Yale University presents cutting-edge research on this emerging field, providing important insights into its environmental, energy, and health impacts.

 

Some Chinese coal ash too radioactive for reuse

Manufacturers are increasingly using encapsulated coal ash from power plants as a low-cost binding agent in concrete, wallboard, bricks, roofing, and other building materials. But a new study cautions that coal ash from high-uranium deposits in China may be too radioactive for this use.

 

 

BIOMEDICINE

 

Kevlar-based artificial cartilage mimics the magic of the real thing

The unparalleled liquid strength of cartilage, which is about 80% water, withstands some of the toughest forces on our bodies. Synthetic materials couldn’t match it—until “Kevlartilage” was developed by researchers at the University of Michigan and Jiangnan University.

 

New self-regulating nanoparticles could treat cancer

Scientists from the University of Surrey have developed ‘intelligent’ nanoparticles that heat up to a temperature high enough to kill cancerous cells. The Zn-Co-Cr ferrite nanoparticles are self-regulating, meaning that they self-stop heating when they reach temperatures over 45°C.

 

 

OTHER RESEARCH

 

Data analytics shines light on ceramic processing

The sintering of ceramics, says Jeffrey M. Rickman, can be likened to the baking of desserts. Rickman and his research group have developed a versatile, data-analytic approach that more accurately predicts the relationships between inputs and outputs for problems in which those relationships are both linear and nonlinear.

 

‘Perfectly frustrated’ metal provides possible path to superconductivity

Ames Laboratory scientists have discovered and described the existence of a unique disordered electron spin state in a metal that may provide a unique pathway to finding and studying frustrated magnets, of interest in the development of quantum computing and high-temperature superconductivity.

 

MXenes and graphene combine to knit energy-storing clothing fibers

Scientists at Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials have developed energy-storing clothing fibers using fibers of MXene, a nanoscopic material made of carbon and titanium. MXene is typically not spinnable directly due to being made out of small sheets rather than interlocking polymers, but the researchers integrated MXene with graphene sheets.

 

Researchers tunnel to a new light source with GaN-based materials

Researchers at Ohio State University, with scientists at Wright State University and Naval Research Laboratory, describe a promising new semiconductor LED made with GaN-based materials that could boost wallsocket efficiency by reducing energy losses and self-heating.

 

Interwoven crystal structure is key to coral-crunching ability of parrotfish

A study has revealed a chain mail-like woven microstructure that gives parrotfish teeth their remarkable bite and resilience. The natural structure also provides a blueprint for creating ultra-durable synthetic materials.

 

When electronics, photonics meet on a standard chip

Electronics and light don’t go well together on a standard CMOS chip. But now researchers have succeeded in introducing a light connection into the heart of a semiconductor chip. In this way, two circuits can communicate, connecting the worlds of electronics and photonics.

 

Semiconductors with an aligned interface

The electronic characteristics of an interface between two wide bandgap semiconductors are determined by researchers at KAUST: an insight that will help improve the efficiency of light-emitting and high-power electronic devices.

 

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures called schwarzites

Rice University engineers are using 3-D printers to turn structures that have until now existed primarily in theory into strong, light, and durable materials with complex, repeating patterns. The porous structures called schwarzites are designed with computer algorithms, but Rice researchers can print macroscale polymer models for testing.

 


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