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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Study shows potential for efficiently controlling 2-D materials with light

A team led by researchers from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has demonstrated for the first time that energy transfer in 2-D materials excited with light is very fast and extremely efficient. The researchers looked at a sample made of two layers of molybdenum diselenide.

Tuning the wavelength of fluorescent carbon tubes

A research team has studied the fluorescence of carbon nanotubes made from graphene sheets a single atom thick. The wavelength of infrared emission from the CNTs could be tuned depending on which elements were attached to organic molecules bonded to CNTs’ outer wall, and at which position.

2-D materials unlock the path to ultra-low-power transistors

The semiconductor industry struggles to contain overheating in devices. Now researchers from the University of York and Roma Tre University believe the solution lies in composite materials built from monolayers of graphene and transition metal dichalcogenide.

Novel graphene–quantum dot hybrid material may inspire highly efficient next-gen displays

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science have created a novel hybrid of graphene and quantum dots, a breakthrough that may inspire highly efficient and controllable next-generation displays and LEDs.

Quantum dots amplify light with electrical pumping

Los Alamos scientists have shown that they can successfully amplify light using electrically excited films of the chemically synthesized semiconductor nanocrystals known as quantum dots.

Tuning the optical, photocatalytic properties of so-called carbon dots

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München have precisely tuned the optical and photocatalytic properties of so-called carbon dots by controlling the positions of nitrogen atoms introduced into their structure.

Graphene nano ‘tweezers’ can grab individual biomolecules

Researchers from the University of Minnesota have found yet another remarkable use for the wonder material graphene—tiny electronic “tweezers” that can grab biomolecules floating in water with incredible efficiency.


Watching atoms move in hybrid perovskite crystals reveals clues to improving solar cells

The discovery of nanoscale changes deep inside hybrid perovskites could shed light on developing low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells. Using X-ray beams and lasers, a team of researchers discovered how the movement of ions in hybrid perovskites causes certain regions within the material to become better solar cells than other parts.

Researchers develop semi-transparent solar cell for possible window coating

Researchers at The University of Tokyo have developed a semi-transparent solar cell that uses the organic-inorganic hybrid material perovskite to generate electricity. This material efficiently absorbs blue light, while nanocubes of metallic silver improve the capture of red light, letting visually important green light through.

Activity descriptors for electrocatalysts in energy storage applications

Scientists from State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructure, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Materials Genome Institute Shanghai University reviewed some representative activity descriptors to screen high-activity catalysts in future high-throughput calculations and experiments.


Transfer technique produces wearable gallium nitride gas sensors

A transfer technique based on thin sacrificial layers of boron nitride could allow high-performance gallium nitride gas sensors to be grown on sapphire substrates and then transferred to metallic or flexible polymer support materials. The technique could facilitate the production of low-cost wearable, mobile, and disposable sensing devices.

Turning emissions into fuel

MIT researchers have developed a new system that could potentially be used for converting power plant emissions of carbon dioxide into useful fuels for cars, trucks, and planes, as well as into chemical feedstocks for a wide variety of products.

Climate change could cause substantial losses for manufacturing in China by mid-21st century

To date, most empirical evidence on climate change impacts have focused on the agricultural sector. Little is known about the effects on, say, manufacturing in, say, China, which is in many ways “the factory of the world.”

Photosynthesis informs solar energy, materials science, nanotechnology, and photonics

Scientists explore new methods to capitalize on Nature’s light-harvesting secrets. Their new study outlines the design of a synthetic system for energy gathering, conversion and transport that may point the way to innovations in solar energy, materials science, nanotechnology and photonics.

New spin on old technique to engineer better absorptive materials

A team of University of Illinois bioengineers has taken a new look at an old tool to help characterize a class of materials called metal organic frameworks (MOFs). MOFs are used to detect, purify, and store gases, and could help solve some of the world’s most challenging energy, environmental and pharmaceutical challenges.


Uranium to replace plastic? Chemistry breakthrough could pave the way for new materials

Uranium can perform reactions that previously no one thought possible, which could transform the way industry makes bulk chemicals, polymers, and the precursors to new drugs and plastics, according to new findings from the University of Manchester.

How extreme shocks deform a metal’s atomic structure

When hit by a powerful shock wave, materials can change their shape—a property known as plasticity—yet keep their lattice-like atomic structure. Now scientists have used an X-ray laser to see how a material’s atomic structure deforms when shocked by extreme pressures.

Spin current from heat: New material increases efficiency

Physicists have found a way to use waste heat energy from electronics: They apply the heat to generate magnetic signals known as ‘spin currents’.  In a new study, they tested which materials can generate this spin current most effectively from heat by determining the strength of the spin current for various combinations of thin films.

How to get sprayed metal coatings to stick: Surprisingly, melting hurts rather than helps

When bonding two pieces of metal, either the metals must melt a bit where they meet or some molten metal must be introduced between the pieces. A solid bond then forms when the metal solidifies again. But researchers at MIT have found that in some situations, melting can actually inhibit metal bonding rather than promote it.

Innovative, ideal liquid-repellent surfaces developed by scientists

Scientists have developed a robust liquid-repellent structure and the fabrication of porous surfaces by an innovative microfluidic-droplet-based technique. Materials such as textiles, metals, and glasses covered by a layer of this robust porous surface can then become liquid-repellent.

Monitoring security glass panes: Smart alarm system recognizes attempted break-ins

Fraunhofer researchers have created a new type of glass break alarm system that recognizes any attempt to manipulate the window. It registers temperature changes in real time as well as vibrations caused by external interference with the glass, leaving burglars with no chance.

Wafer to chip: X-ray imaging for reduced defect rate

Using non-destructive imaging methods, a team of scientists at KIT has obtained 3-D insights into the interior of crystals. They determine important data about line-shaped defects that largely influence the deformation behavior of crystals. These so-called dislocations impede the production of computer chips.

Novel layered superconductor based on tin and arsenic

The layered superconducting material is characterized by a crystal structure in which a SnAs layer (wherein Sn and As are 2-D bonded to develop superconductivity) and a Na layer (the spacer layer) are alternately laminated.