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[Images above] Credit: NIST


New technique reveals 3-D shape of nanostructure’s polariton interaction

Researchers have found a way to reveal the 3-D shape of the polariton interaction around a nanostructure. Their technique improves upon the common spectroscopic imaging technique known as scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM).

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

Brown University chemists have shown a technique that can identify regions in a liquid crystal system where molecular order begins to emerge just before the system fully transitions from disordered to ordered states.

Columbia researchers squeeze light into nanoscale devices and circuits

Columbia investigators have invented a novel cryogenic near-field optical microscope that has enabled them to directly image, for the first time, the propagation and dynamics of graphene plasmons at variable temperatures down to negative 250 degrees Celsius.


Flexible, highly efficient multimodal energy harvesting

A 10-fold increase in the ability to harvest mechanical and thermal energy over standard piezoelectric composites may be possible using a piezoelectric ceramic foam supported by a flexible polymer support, according to Penn State researchers.

Using 3-D X-rays to measure particle movement inside lithium-ion batteries

Researchers at the University of Illinois applied a technique using 3-D X-ray tomography of an electrode to better understand what is happening on the inside of a lithium-ion battery and ultimately build batteries with more storage capacity and longer life.

Tiny batteries built like skyscrapers

Researchers have used a non-traditional semiconductor processing technique to build a powerful 3-D lithium-ion battery that is compatible with the demands of even the smallest internet-connected devices.

Raising the heat to lower the cost of solar energy

Sandia National Laboratories will receive $10.5 million from the Department of Energy to research and design a cheaper and more efficient solar energy system—a type of solar energy technology that uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a receiver on a tower.

Only 4 out of 38 clean-energy technologies are on track to meet long-term climate goals

The International Energy Agency’s new and most comprehensive analysis of the clean-energy transition finds that only four out of 38 energy technologies and sectors were on track to meet long-term climate, energy access and air pollution goals in 2017.


“These could revolutionize the world” — Pint cracks code to cheap, small carbon nanotubes

Vanderbilt University researchers discovered the blueprint for turning carbon dioxide into carbon nanotubes with small diameters. These materials could steer the conversation from the negative impact of emissions to how we can use them in future technology.

US launches nuclear initiative to cut carbon with Canada, Japan, UK

The U.S., Canada, Japan, and the U.K. are creating a coalition aimed at promoting nuclear power as a carbon-free energy source around the world. The Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Partnership was launched last week at a ministerial summit held in Copenhagen and Malmo.


Rare element to provide better material for high-speed electronics

Purdue researchers have discovered a new two-dimensional material, derived from the rare element tellurium, to make transistors that carry a current better throughout a computer chip.

Perovskite stability gets a 2-D solution

Researchers collaborating among institutes in Canada, China, and the USA have proposed a solution to moisture and thermal instability in perovskites that should bring perovskite stability closer to practical industrial standards.

The military wants bulletproof batteries for armor

The average GI carries 18 pounds of the little power cells every day, which is just two pounds shy of how much protective gear they’re wearing. But if the batteries became the protective gear, that would be a literal weight off soldiers’ backs.

Bacteria in a pill may one day track your body’s chemistry

Scientists have created a pill-sized device that can detect bleeding deep inside a pig’s digestive tract—and relay that information via a wireless signal to a cell phone. The technology could someday create a multipurpose readout of gut health.