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[Images above] Credit: NIST


X-rays reveal oxide islands on noble metal nanoparticles for catalytic converters

Many edges increase the efficiency of catalytic reactions, as facets of nanoparticles are often covered by growing islands of a nano-oxide, finally rendering these facets inactive. At the edges, the oxide islands cannot connect, leaving active sites for the catalytic reaction.

Twisting graphene into spirals

Researchers from Kyoto University and Osaka University report for the first time the successful synthesis of hexa-peri-hexabenzo[7]helicene, or ‘helical nanographene’. These graphene constructs previously existed only in theory.

Scientists mix the unmixable to create ‘shocking’ nanoparticles

A multi-institutional team of researchers is the first to create nanoscale particles composed of up to eight distinct elements generally known to be immiscible. The high entropy alloy nanoparticle greatly expands the landscape of nanomaterials—and what we can do with them.

New ‘nanotweezers’ open door to innovations in medicine, mobile tech

Engineers at the University of Texas at Austin have developed “nanotweezers”—a new tool for handling nanoparticles using light that could create opportunities for innovations in nanotechnology and individual health monitoring.

How holes get trapped in nanoparticles made of zinc oxide

Scientists have published a new study that identifies the process by which holes get trapped in nanoparticles made of zinc oxide, a material of potential interest for solar applications because it absorbs ultraviolet light.


Next-gen lithium-metal batteries for electric vehicles, smart grids

Dendrites made of clumps of lithium atoms can cause lithium-metal batteries to heat up, lose efficiency, and occasionally short-circuit. Using supercomputers, researchers have simulated the behavior of graphene oxide nanosheets that can limit the formation of dendrites.

Kesterite solar cells: Germanium promises better opto-electronic properties than tin

Specific changes in the composition of kesterite-type semiconductors make it possible to improve their suitability as absorber layers in solar cells, especially when tin is replaced by germanium as shown by neutron diffraction experiments.

Researchers charge ahead to develop better batteries

Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas have developed a high-powered, environmentally safe lithium-sulfur substitute that could drastically lengthen battery life. They discovered that adding molybdenum improves stability and conductivity of sulfur.

Future electric cars could recharge wirelessly while you drive

Electric vehicles may one day be able to recharge while driving down the highway, drawing wireless power directly from plates installed in the road that would make it possible to drive hundreds—if not thousands—of miles without having to plug in.

Research hints at double the driving range for electric vehicles

Researchers have discovered it’s all about the salt concentration—with the right amount of salt, right where they want it, a small lithium-metal battery can recharge about seven times more than batteries with conventional electrolytes.


Once we can capture CO2 emissions, here’s what we could do with it

The carbon dioxide emitted from power plants each year doesn’t have to go into the atmosphere. Researchers are optimistic that within the next decade we will be able to affordably capture CO2 waste and convert it into useful molecules.

Fleet of automated electric taxis could deliver environmental and energy benefits

Researchers found that shared automated electric vehicles could get the job done at a lower cost—by an order of magnitude—than present-day taxis while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption.

Artificial bio-inspired membranes for water filtration

Inspired by cellular proteins, scientists have developed membranes with asymmetric artificial channels in the interior, from which they were able to observe ‘chiral’ water. Chirality is a property that favors the flow of materials that are indispensable to filtration.


Scientists elucidate the crystal structure of sodium boride

An international team of scientists worked out the chemical composition, crystal structure, and properties of Na2B30—a compound that remains stable at standard conditions and has long been the subject of heated debate.

Now you see it: Invisibility material created

Engineers have invented materials inspired by disappearing Hollywood dinosaurs and real-life shy squid. The thin swatches can quickly change how they reflect heat, smoothing or wrinkling their surfaces in under a second after being stretched or electrically triggered.

Quantum-dot lasers are promising for integrated photonic circuits

Fiber-optic cables package everything from financial data to cat videos into light, but when the signal arrives at your local data center, it runs into a silicon bottleneck. To break through, scientists now write that the future of silicon-based lasers may be in quantum dots.

A paperlike LCD—thin, flexible, tough, and cheap

Optoelectronic engineers have manufactured a special type of LCD that is paper-thin, flexible, light and tough by focusing on two key innovations: recent development of optically rewritable LCDs, and spacers that create the separation of the plastic or glass plates.

Software technology that simulates LED devices could develop more efficient light sources

A Purdue-affiliated company is developing a new time and cost effective software technology that could offer a more efficient and realistic way to model and simulate LEDs to achieve more powerful and more efficient light sources often used in lighting and consumer electronics.

Lightweight metal foam blocks blastwave, debris from high-explosive rounds

New research shows that stainless steel composite metal foam can block blast pressure and fragmentation at 5,000 feet per second from high explosive incendiary rounds that detonate only 18 inches away.