Ceramic Tech Today

Identify molecular ‘fingerprints’: Proposed graphene-based nanofocused sensor may improve molecular analysis

By Lisa McDonald / July 24, 2020

Mid-infrared spectroscopy is an important tool for nondestructive analysis of molecules, but it cannot analyze nanometric volumes very well. One way to improve nanometric analysis is through a technique called nanofocusing, and researchers in Spain and Russia proposed an improved nanofocusing technique using graphene.

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Video: Vitrification of human tissue

By Lisa McDonald / July 22, 2020

Vitrification is the process through which a material turns into a glass or glasslike substance by undergoing rapid cooling. Though the discovery this year that a man’s brain vitrified during the Mount Vesuvius eruption surprised some people, vitrification of human tissue is actually a well-established practice in fertility treatment.

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

By Lisa McDonald / July 22, 2020

Changing the composition of brick, first manufactured noncuttable material, and other materials stories that may be of interest for July 22, 2020.

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How effective is that mask? Depends on what materials it is made of

By April Gocha / July 21, 2020

There is no shortage of options available when shopping for nonmedical face masks, yet most provide little information about their filter efficiency and breathability—important considerations for a mask that is both efficient and comfortable. But a recent study offers more complete data on the performance of an array of common materials.

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Pursuing a cobalt-free future: Nickel-manganese-aluminum cathodes for lithium-ion batteries

By Lisa McDonald / July 17, 2020

Many electric vehicles today use lithium-ion batteries that contain cobalt, an element with high ethical and environmental costs to its production. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin explored the potential of a cobalt-free lithium-ion battery that features a nickel-manganese-aluminum cathode and found promising results.

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Data-driven approaches to materials challenges, plus more inside August 2020 ACerS Bulletin

By Lisa McDonald / July 16, 2020

The August 2020 issue of the ACerS Bulletin—featuring data-driven methods to augment experimental methods—is now available online. Plus—USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries

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Video: Forever eliminate ‘forever’ chemicals—boron nitride destroys PFOA, GenX

By Lisa McDonald / July 15, 2020

PFAS chemicals are notoriously difficult to destroy, giving them the moniker “forever” chemicals. But researchers at Rice University were recently surprised to discover that boron nitride serves as an efficient photocatalyst for degrading PFAS chemicals.

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

By Lisa McDonald / July 15, 2020

Strategies for recycling solar panels, vulnerabilities in 3D-printed carbon-fiber composites, and other materials stories that may be of interest for July 15, 2020.

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Isolating a better option—ceramic Faraday rotators improve optical isolator performance

By Lisa McDonald / July 14, 2020

Optical isolators traditionally use single crystals to polarize light—could transparent ceramics be used instead? Researchers in Japan created high-performing transparent ceramics using lanthanide rare-earth oxides, materials previously believed to not be suited for optical applications.

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Faster is not always easier—grain boundary diffusion of cations in fluorite and perovskite oxides

By Lisa McDonald / July 10, 2020

Fast grain boundary diffusion of cations is a well understood phenomenon in metals—but much less is known about this phenomenon in oxygen-ion conducting metal oxides. Researchers at RWTH Aachen University simulated this diffusion and found that although metal ions move faster along the boundaries than in bulk, the process is not necessarily less energy intensive.

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