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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Splitting crystals for 2-D metallic conductivity

Researchers recently identified the atomic structure of a group of perovskite-related materials with interesting 2-D conductive properties. These strontium niobate compounds show promise for developing advanced electronics because of their ‘quasi-1-D metallic conductivity.

Graphene nanoflakes advance the capability of wearable tech

A team of researchers has created an ultra-stretchable sensor for smart wearables. The sensor is made by infusing graphene nanoflakes into a rubber-like adhesive. The device went through more than 10,000 cycles of stretching and relaxing while maintaining its electrical stability.

Tiny graphene membrane key to safe drinking water

Using their own specially designed form of graphene called ‘Graphair’, CSIRO scientists have supercharged water purification. The new filtering technique makes purification simpler, more effective, and quicker.

Nanomaterials—what are the environmental and health risks?

Scientists from 25 research institutions and industries in 12 different European countries have completed one of the first attempts to understand the risks nanomaterials carry throughout their life-cycle, starting from their fabrication and ending in being discarded or recycled.


Nature-inspired design for new electrode could boost supercapacitors’ performance

Engineers from UCLA and other institutions have designed a super-efficient and long-lasting electrode for supercapacitors. The device’s design was inspired by the structure and function of leaves on tree branches, and it is more than 10 times more efficient than other designs.

Clever coating opens door to smart windows

Researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne Australia have developed an ultra-thin coating that responds to heat and cold, opening the door to smart windows. The self-modifying thin coating automatically letts in more heat when it’s cold and blocks the sun’s rays when it’s hot.

Charging ahead to higher energy batteries

Researchers have developed a new way to improve lithium ion battery efficiency. Through the growth of a cubic crystal layer, the scientists have created a thin and dense connecting layer between the electrodes of the battery.

Scientists take step toward safer batteries by trimming lithium branches

Researchers have found a new way to curb some of the potential dangers of lithium-ion batteries. Their plating technology could solve issues of repeated lithium deposition/dissolution during charge/discharge and eventually achieve a compact, high-capacity battery.

Turning background room temperature heat into energy

Researchers in Japan have developed a way to recover environmental heat with a type of thin-film thermoelectric cell, based on two different materials that show changes in their redox potential on cycling of temperature.


Japanese researchers develop ultrathin, highly elastic skin display

A new ultrathin, elastic display can show the moving waveform of an electrocardiogram recorded by a breathable, on-skin electrode sensor. Combined with a wireless communication module, this integrated biomedical sensor system can transmit biometric data to the cloud.

UNIST introduces new smart contact lens for diabetics

A team of researchers has recently introduced a new biosensing contact lens capable of detecting glucose levels in patients with diabetes. The innovative smart lens has built-in pliable, transparent electronics that can monitor glucose levels from tears in the eye.

Tissue paper sensors show promise for health care and beyond

University of Washington engineers have turned tissue paper into a new kind of wearable sensor that can detect a pulse, blink of an eye, and other human movement. The sensor is light, flexible, and inexpensive, with potential applications in health care and more.

Using injectable self-assembled nanomaterials for sustained delivery of drugs

A new injectable gel delivery system forms a non-inflammatory depot that can continuously release drug carriers for months at a time after a single administration. The gel itself re-assembles into the nanocarriers, so no residual material remains after the drug is delivered.

Infection outbreaks at hospitals could be reduced by copper-coated uniforms

Material scientists have created a ‘durable and washable, concrete-like’ composite material made from antibacterial copper nanoparticles. They have also developed a way of binding the composite to wearable fabric materials.

Nanotechnology could redefine oral surgery

Researchers report a pre-clinical study showing that they could potentially reduce pain and recovery time with the aid of specialized nanotechnology. The team developed liposomal nanoparticles containing collagenase that could make it easier to shift teeth with braces.


Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality

A team led by engineers at the University of California San Diego has used data mining and computational tools to discover a new phosphor material for white LEDs that is inexpensive and easy to make. Researchers built prototype white LED light bulbs using the new phosphor.

Computer scientists and materials researchers collaborate to optimize steel classification

Using machine learning techniques, computer scientists and materials scientists in Saarbrücken have now developed a method that is much more accurate and objective than conventional quality control procedures for steel samples.

New method to replicate harsh conditions for testing materials

Noting the limits inherent in the test methods currently used for shielding materials, scientists have proposed a ground-breaking new solution: using laser-accelerated particles to stress test materials subject to harsh conditions.

New hole-punched crystal clears a path for quantum light

A collaboration of researchers has created a photonic chip that generates single photons and steers them around. The chip starts with a photonic crystal that is made by punching holes through a sheet of semiconductor.

Exciting new technology for quantum computing

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have succeeded in manufacturing a component that is able to host sought-after Majorana particles. To create the unconventional superconductor, they started with a topological insulator made of bismuth telluride.

Combining metasurface lenses with MEMS could enhance capabilities of optical systems

Lens technologies have advanced across all scales. Now, a new lens technology that could be produced using standard computer-chip technology is emerging and could replace the bulky layers and complex geometries of traditional curved lenses.

Understanding wetting of micro-textured surfaces can help give them new functionalities

Until now, understanding of exactly how the sliding behavior of liquid droplets depends on surface microstructures has been limited. Now, physicists have conducted experimental and theoretical studies on the friction of liquid droplets on micro-structured surfaces.

Engineers develop smart material that changes stiffness when twisted or bent

Scientists have developed a rubbery material that transforms itself into a hard composite when bent, twisted, or squeezed. The new material could be used in medicine to support delicate tissues or in industry to protect valuable sensors.