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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Motion of 2-D materials could lead to new source of clean energy

Freestanding graphene has a rippled structure, with each ripple flipping in response to ambient temperature. Researchers at the University of Arkansas have used this concept to design a device called a vibration energy harvester, which can create an alternating current.

Engineers develop flexible, water-repellent graphene circuits for washable electronics

A graphene printing technology can produce electronic circuits that are low-cost, flexible, and water repellent. The nanotechnology “would lend enormous value to self-cleaning wearable/washable electronics that are resistant to stains, or ice and biofilm formation.”

Researchers combine spintronics and nanophotonics in 2-D material

Researchers from the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at TU Delft have now found a way to convert spin information into a predictable light signal at room temperature. The discovery brings the worlds of spintronics and nanophotonics closer together.

Nanoparticles in gel could make holograms, related devices more widespread

Researchers from the University of Michigan and the Federal University of Sao Carlos in Brazil have found that inexpensive nanoparticles in a gel can be used at room temperature to control and modulate light in magnetic fields.

Quantum dots: Extremely bright and fast light emission

A type of quantum dot that has been intensively studied in recent years can reproduce light in every color and is very bright. An international research team that includes scientists from ETH Zurich has now discovered why this is the case.

High performance carbon nanotube catalyst relating to its electroconductivity

Recent research showed biofuels were obtained from Jatropha oil using a carbon nanotube catalyst, which showed efficient cracking activity. The performance was activated by the high stability, metal sites, acid sites, electroconductivity, and coking tolerance of carbon nanotubes.


New metal-mesh membrane could solve longstanding problems with rechargeable batteries

A type of battery based on electrodes made of sodium and nickel chloride and using a new type of metal mesh membrane could be used for grid-scale installations to make intermittent power sources such as wind and solar capable of delivering reliable baseload electricity.

Experiments reveal why even inhomogeneous perovskite films are highly functional

Metal-organic perovskite layers for solar cells are frequently fabricated using a spin coating technique. Researchers have now discovered the reason that the holes in these perovskite layers do not lead to significant short circuits between the front and back contact.

Slow ‘hot electrons’ could improve solar cell efficiency

Photons with energy higher than the band gap of the semiconductor absorbing them give rise to what are known as hot electrons. Researchers have now found a material in which these hot electrons retain their high energy levels for much longer.

Coupling experiments to theory to build a better battery

A team of researchers led by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab reports that a new lithium-sulfur battery component allows a doubling in capacity compared to a conventional lithium-sulfur battery, even after more than 100 charge cycles at high current densities.

Lifespan of fuel cells maximized using small amount of metals

A new technique can improve chemical stability of electrode materials that can extend fuel cell lifespan by employing a very little amount of metals. Local compressive states around strontium atoms in a perovskite electrode lattice weaken bond strength, promoting segregation.

Highly stretchable aqueous batteries

Using a bioinspired hybrid carbon–polymer composite composite as a stretchable current collector, a UNIST research team has, for the first time, developed a highly stretchable rechargeable lithium-ion battery based on aqueous electrolytes.


Researchers pioneer water-based, eco-friendly and energy-saving air-conditioner

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore has pioneered a new water-based air-conditioning system that cools air to as low as 18ºC without use of energy-intensive compressors and environmentally harmful chemical refrigerants.

Research helps break ground to clean up land

The experiments are deceptively simple, with compressed air being injected into narrow glass cells which are tightly packed with sand and saturated with water. Not as straightforward however, are the spectacularly complex structures that appear.

From greenhouse gases to plastics: New catalyst for recycling carbon dioxide

A group of researchers pinpointed the conditions that convert carbon dioxide to ethylene most efficiently. Ethylene, in turn, is used to make polyethylene—the most common plastic used today—whose annual global production is around 80 million tonnes.

Tiny crystals could aid in volcanic eruption predictions

Researchers from Trinity College Dublin and the University of Queensland have found crystals form inside a volcano when molten rock starts moving upwards. Erupting magma carries the crystals, which continue to grow and change as they are transported to the surface.


Scientists develop a porous material for manipulating molecules

An international team of scientists has developed a novel porous material that will improve performance in a range of applications. The new material is a single crystal whose continuous crystalline structure ensures greater purity and whose porosity can be controlled.

Thin, transparent, lightweight touchscreen pressure sensor arrays

Researchers at the University of California San Diego and the University of Texas at Austin have demonstrated a new technology for ‘force sensing’ that can be added to any type of display. Potential other uses go far beyond touch screen displays on mobile devices.

Study reveals secrets of ‘fluid-like’ heat flow in solid semiconductor at nanoscale

Researchers are applying the same “hydrodynamic transport model” used to study flow in fluids to explain heat transport in a solid semiconductor, with potential implications for the design of high-speed transistors and lasers.

Identifying structural defects during driving electronic devices

A research team from Korea has discovered the blocking phenomenon of electrons generated during high-speed driving of oxide semiconductors and proved its causes for the first time. It is expected to be used for the commercialization of next-generation intelligent electronic devices.

Ultra-thin memory storage device paves way for more powerful computing

A team of engineers at The University of Texas at Austin and collaborators has developed the thinnest memory storage device with dense memory capacity, paving the way for faster, smaller and smarter computer chips for various applications.

Big energy savings: Building the world’s smallest electro-optic modulator

Researchers at Oregon State University have designed and fabricated the world’s smallest electro-optic modulator, which could mean major reductions in energy used by data centers and supercomputers.

Scientists suggest a new method for synthesizing a promising magnetic material

Scientists from Siberian Federal University and the Russian Academy of Sciences have used a new method for synthesizing iron–dysprosium garnet. Iron–dysprosium garnet is understudied and may have previously unknown properties.

Engineers create new architecture for vaporizable electronics

Engineers from Cornell and Honeywell Aerospace have demonstrated a new method for remotely vaporizing electronics into thin air, giving devices the ability to vanish—along with their valuable data—if they were to get into the wrong hands.