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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Cost effective technique for mass production of high-quality graphene

A research team led by the National University of Singapore has developed an economical and industrially viable strategy for large-scale production of graphene. The efficient new technique paves the way for sustainable synthesis of the material.

Scientists breed bacteria that make tiny high-energy carbon rings

Caltech scientists have created a strain of bacteria that can make small but energy-packed carbon rings that are useful starting materials for creating other chemicals and materials. These rings now can be “brewed” in much the same way as beer.

Scientists use carbon nanotube technology to develop robust water desalination membranes

A research team from Shinshu University in Japan has developed robust reverse osmosis membranes that can endure large-scale water desalination. A multi-walled carbon nanotube-polyamide nanocomposite membrane stabilizes the technology against chlorine.

Individual impurity atoms detectable in graphene

Physicists have succeeded in using atomic force microscopy to clearly obtain images of individual impurity atoms in graphene ribbons. Thanks to the forces measured in the graphene’s 2-D carbon lattice, they were able to identify boron and nitrogen for the first time.

World’s first biosensor chips based on copper and graphene oxide

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology have developed biosensor chips of unprecedented sensitivity that are based on copper instead of the conventionally used gold. The devices are somewhat cheaper and facilitate manufacturing.


Ultra-powerful batteries made safer, more efficient through dendrite mitigation

Researchers are laying the foundation for more widespread use of lithium metal batteries. They have developed a method to mitigate the formation of dendrites—crystal-like masses—that damage the batteries’ performance.

New technology could wean the battery world off cobalt

A research team led by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, has opened the door to using other metals in lithium-based batteries, and have built cathodes with 50% more lithium-storage capacity than conventional materials.

New sodium-ion electrolyte may find use in solid-state batteries

A newly discovered structure of a sodium-based material allows use as an electrolyte in solid-state batteries, according to researchers from Penn State and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The team is fine-tuning the material using an iterative design approach.

‘Water-in-salt’ electrolyte yields stable cathode for lithium-air battery operations

Researchers from Boston College have applied a “water-in-salt” electrolyte that enables stable lithium-air battery operation, offers superior long cycle lifetimes and presents a platform that moves lithium-ion batteries closer to their full potential.

Milestone for next-gen solid-state batteries to power future long-range electrical vehicles

Imec has fabricated an innovative type of solid-state lithium-ion battery achieving an energy density of 200 Wh/liter at a charging speed of 0.5C (2 hours). This battery is a milestone to surpass wet lithium-ion battery performance.

High efficiency solar power conversion allowed by a novel composite material

A composite thin film made of two crystal phases of bismuth, manganese, and oxygen significantly improves the performance of solar cells. The combination of phases optimizes this material’s ability to absorb solar radiation and transform it into electricity.


Carbon fiber recycling: Into the battery instead of the garbage

Carbon fiber-reinforced plastics are gaining importance as components of aircraft. The trend is increasing the need for sustainable recycling concepts. Fraunhofer presents a technology that converts recycled carbon fibers into materials for batteries and fuel cells.

Recycling experts hit milestone in quest for zero-waste phone

Researchers have perfected a process to efficiently separate fiberglass and resin—two of the most commonly discarded parts of a cellphone—bringing them closer to their goal of a zero-waste cellphone.

Cactus roots inspire creation of water-retaining material

Scientists report that they have developed a material that mimics cactus roots’ ability to rapidly absorb and retain vast amounts of water with minimal evaporation. This unique material could lead to new and improved cosmetics, medical devices, and other everyday products.

Lavas in the lab could lead miners to new iron ore deposits

Geologists have discovered that some magmas split into two separate liquids, one of which is very rich in iron. Their findings can help to discover new iron ore deposits for mining.

US power sector carbon emissions intensity drops to lowest on record

A new index developed by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and Carnegie Mellon University tracks the environmental performance of U.S. power producers and compares current emissions to more than two decades of historical data collected nationwide.


Blockchain data network to boost manufacturing

Researchers at North Carolina State University are proposing the creation of a public, open-source network that uses blockchains—the technology behind cryptocurrencies—to share verifiable manufacturing data.

3-D printing all-liquid 3-D structures

Scientists from Berkeley Lab have developed a way to print 3-D structures composed entirely of liquids. Using a modified 3-D printer, they injected threads of water into silicone oil—sculpting tubes made of one liquid within another liquid.

Automated lightweight construction reduces weight and costs

Aircraft of the future flies electrically and autonomously, is feather-light, and can be produced in a fully automated manner. Fraunhofer scientists are using digital manufacturing processes to develop new automated production technologies for lightweight construction materials.

Smart ink adds new dimensions to 3-D printing

Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed a smart ink that turns 3-D-printed structures into objects that can change shape and color. The innovation promises to add even more functionality to 3-D printing and could pave the way to a new generation of printed material.

3-D printed active metamaterials for sound and vibration control

Researchers have been pushing the capabilities of metamaterials by carefully designing precise structures that exhibit abnormal properties. Now, new 3-D printed metamaterials can be remotely switched between active control and passive states.


Superacids are good medicine for super thin semiconductors

Scientists at New York University and the Center for Functional Nanomaterials have implemented a superacid treatment for healing defects in thin MoSfilms. The chemical treatment boosts device performance by reducing the density of defects in the material.  

‘Everything-repellent’ coating could kidproof phones, homes

In an advance that could grime-proof phone screens, countertops, camera lenses, and more, materials science researchers at the University of Michigan have demonstrated a smooth, durable, clear coating that swiftly sheds water, oils, alcohols, and, yes, peanut butter.

First-of-its kind process to develop wear and corrosion resistant alloys

what if materials could be tested at the atomic level to determine exactly how and why they break down? Researchers at the University of North Texas have done just that—and are designing next generation alloys that could be used in bio-implants or even outer space.

Scientists discover a link between superconductivity and the periodic table

Scientists from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and Skoltech have demonstrated the high-temperature superconductivity of actinium hydrides and discovered a general principle for calculating the superconductivity of hydrides based on the periodic table alone.

Diamond-based circuits can take the heat for advanced applications

Scientists are researching new diamond semiconductor circuits to make power conversion systems more efficient. Researchers have now successfully fabricated a key circuit in power conversion systems using hydrogenated diamond.

Artificial intelligence accelerates discovery of metallic glass

Combining artificial intelligence with experimentation sped up the discovery of metallic glass by 200 times. The new material’s glassy nature makes it stronger, lighter, and more corrosion-resistant than today’s best steel.

A heavyweight solution for lighter-weight combat vehicles

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed and successfully tested a process called friction stir dovetailing that joins thick plates of aluminum to steel. The process will be used to make lighter-weight military vehicles that are more agile and fuel efficient.