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Published on February 7th, 2018 | By: April Gocha

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

Published on February 7th, 2018 | By: April Gocha

[Images above] Credit: NIST

 

NANOMATERIALS

 

Scientists catch light squeezing and stretching next-gen data storage material

Combining X-ray and electron data from two cutting-edge SLAC instruments, researchers observe the rapid atomic response of iron-platinum nanoparticles to light, which could help control future magnetic data storage devices.

 

Silk fibers could be high-tech ‘natural metamaterials’

New research has demonstrated how the nano-architecture of a silkworm’s fiber causes “Anderson localization of light,” a discovery that could lead to various innovations and a better understanding of light transport and heat transfer.

 

 

ENERGY

 

Flexing for the next silicon wave: Flexible solar cells for wearables and more

KAUST researchers have developed a strategy that uses a screen-printed aluminum circuit to make silicon solar cells extremely flexible. This could enable portable power sources to satisfy the growing demand for wearable devices, vehicle-integrated solar panels, and more.

 

NREL scientists demonstrate remarkable stability in perovskite solar cells

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Lab created an environmentally stable, high-efficiency perovskite solar cell. NREL’s unencapsulated solar cell held onto 94% of its starting efficiency after 1,000 hours of continuous use under ambient conditions.

 

New technology heralds easy and innovative ways to catch rays

A research team at the Ångström Laboratory in Uppsala has shown that a new technology using quantum dots can be used to produce a new type of extremely lightweight, flexible, and environmentally friendly solar cells.

 

Engineers develop flexible lithium battery for wearable electronics

Columbia engineering researchers have developed a prototype of a high-performance flexible lithium-ion battery shaped like the human spine that allows remarkable flexibility, high energy density, and stable voltage no matter how it is flexed or twisted.

 

 

MANUFACTURING

 

Changing the color of 3-D printed objects

Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have presented ColorFab, a method for repeatedly changing the colors of 3-D printed objects, after fabrication.

 

Rutgers engineers 3-D print shape-shifting smart gel

Rutgers engineers have invented a 4-D printing method that involves printing a 3-D object with a hydrogel that changes shape over time when temperatures change. It could help develop “living” structures in human organs and tissues, soft robots, and targeted drug delivery.

 

 

OTHER RESEARCH

 

New concrete safer during disasters

Researchers are developing a new type of concrete that could significantly lower death tolls during disasters. The international team is working to create a tougher form of concrete using 3-D fiber reinforcement rather than the traditional 2-D variety.

 

Weak hydrogen bonds key to strong, tough infrastructure

The right mix of hydrogen bonds in polymer and cement composites is critical to making strong, tough and ductile infrastructure material, according to Rice University scientists who want to mimic the mechanics of natural composites with synthetic materials.

 

NASA optics poised to topple a planet-finding barrier

NASA optics experts are well on the way to toppling a barrier that has thwarted scientists from achieving a long-held ambition: building an ultra-stable telescope that locates and images Earth-like planets beyond the solar system and scrutinizes their atmospheres for signs of life.

 

KAIST team develops flexible vertical micro LED

A KAIST research team has developed flexible vertical micro LEDs (f-VLEDs) using anisotropic conductive film-based transfer and interconnection technology. The team also succeeded in controlling animal behavior via optogenetic stimulation of the f-VLEDs.

 

​NTU scientists create customizable, fabric-like power source for wearable electronics

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore have created a customizable, fabric-like power source that can be cut, folded, or stretched without losing its function. The team created a wearable power source, a supercapacitor, that works like a fast-charging battery.

 

Research gives optical switches the ‘contrast’ of electronic transistors

​​​​​​​Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have taken an important step: precisely controlling the mixing of optical signals via tailored electric fields, and obtaining outputs with a near perfect contrast and extremely large on/off ratios.

 

Research advances spintronics technology

Engineers at the University of California, Riverside, have developed methods to detect signals from spintronic components made of low-cost metals and silicon, which overcomes a major barrier to wide application of spintronics.

 

Researchers observe electrons zipping around in crystals

For the first time, scientists have tracked electrons moving through exotic materials that may make up the next generation of computing hardware, revealing intriguing properties not found in conventional, silicon-based semiconductors.

 


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