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Focused energy of lasers breaks microscopic adhesion

July 2, 2015 | by NSF | News | Comments

When small objects get stuck to you, a vacuum or lint roller can help remove them. But small, clingy objects are a serious problem in the growing field of nanomanufacturing. So what do engineers use when they have to build circuits that will fit on a piece of confetti? Researchers supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) have a solution: lasers.

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quantum computer

Quantum teleportation? Producing spin-entangled electrons

July 2, 2015 11:11 am | by RIKEN | News | Comments

Researchers have successfully produced pairs of spin-entangled electrons and demonstrated that they remain entangled even when they are separated from one another on a chip. This research could contribute to creation of futuristic quantum networks operating using quantum teleportation, which could allow information contained in qubits to be shared between many elements on chip, a key requirement to scale up quantum computer power.

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New micro-supercapacitor structure inspired by the intricate design of leaves

July 2, 2015 10:58 am | by Institute for Basic Science | News | Comments

Researchers have devised a new technique for creating a solid-state micro-supercapacitor (MSC) that delivers high electrochemical performance. Sometimes the best inspiration is one already found in nature. The team modeled their MSC film structure on natural vein-textured leaves in order to take advantage of the natural transport pathways which enable efficient ion diffusion parallel to the graphene planes found within them.

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Controlling liquids at micro and nano scales

July 2, 2015 10:47 am | by Northumbria University | News | Comments

From targeted drug delivery to the self-assembly of nano robots, new research is using super-sized atoms to reveal the behavior of liquids in microscopic channels. Using the already established “lab on a chip” device, which can perform complex laboratory functions in a tiny space, the team has unveiled how fluids behave under extreme confinement by using micron-sized particles known as colloids to act as oversized atoms.

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This experiment involved the injection of 4.2 tons of CO2 into to a site 11 meters below the sea bed, and overlying water-column 15 meters in depth in Ardmucknish Bay, West Scotlan. Courtesy of Henrik Stahl, SAMS

World first: Carbon capture and storage safety investigated

July 2, 2015 10:39 am | by National Oceanography Centre | News | Comments

A significant step has been made for potential Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) deployment, with the publication of the results from the world's first experiment into the realistic simulation of the potential environmental impact of a submarine CO2 leakage. The research found that, for a leak of this scale, the environmental impact was limited; restricted to a small area and with a quick recovery of both the marine chemistry and biology.

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Structure of the cadmium chloride nanocrystal

Engineering the world’s smallest nanocrystal

July 2, 2015 10:24 am | by RIKEN | News | Comments

In the natural world, proteins use the process of biomineralization to incorporate metallic elements into tissues, using it to create diverse materials such as seashells, teeth, and bones. However, the way proteins actually do this is not well understood. Now, scientists have used an artificially designed protein to create a cadmium chloride nanocrystal—the smallest crystal reported so far—sandwiched between two copies of the protein.

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Magnetic skyrmions

Evidence for stable room-temperature skyrmions found

July 2, 2015 10:17 am | by RIKEN | News | Comments

Researchers have identified a class of materials that displays clear evidence for stable skyrmions at room temperature and above, paving the way for the development of useful spintronics devices. Magnetic skyrmions are tiny, nanometer-sized magnetic-spin vortices that emerge in magnetic materials. Because they are so small, they could potentially be used as extremely dense memory devices.

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Study: Targeted LEDs could provide efficient lighting for plants grown in space

July 2, 2015 8:54 am | by Purdue University | News | Comments

A Purdue University study shows that targeting plants with red and blue LEDs provides energy-efficient lighting in contained environments, a finding that could advance the development of crop-growth modules for space exploration.

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Improving insulation materials, down to wetting crossed fibres

July 2, 2015 8:52 am | by Springer | News | Comments

Sandcastles are a prime example of how adding a small amount of liquid to a granular material changes its characteristics. But understanding the effect of a liquid wetting randomly oriented fibers in a fibrous medium remains a mystery. Now, scientists have demonstrated that the spreading of the liquid is controlled by three key parameters: the amount of liquid on the fibers, the fibres’ orientation and the minimum distance between them. 

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Implantable 'artificial pancreas' could help diabetes patients control their blood sugar

July 2, 2015 8:48 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Scientists are reporting the development of an implantable "artificial pancreas" that continuously measures a person's blood sugar, or glucose, level and can automatically release insulin as needed.

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Ultra-stable JILA microscopy technique tracks tiny objects for hours

July 2, 2015 8:44 am | by NIST | News | Comments

​JILA researchers have designed a microscope instrument so stable that it can accurately measure the 3D movement of individual molecules over many hours--hundreds of times longer than the current limit measured in seconds.

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Team develops new storage cell for solar energy storage, nighttime conversion

July 2, 2015 8:41 am | by UT Arlington | News | Comments

A University of Texas at Arlington materials science and engineering team has developed a new energy cell that can store large-scale solar energy even when it's dark. The innovation is an advancement over the most common solar energy systems that rely on using sunlight immediately as a power source. 

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We're not alone, but the universe may be less crowded than we think

July 2, 2015 8:38 am | by Michigan State University | News | Comments

Over the years, the Hubble Space Telescope has allowed astronomers to look deep into the universe. There may be far fewer galaxies further out in the universe then might be expected, according to a new study led by Michigan State University.

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Technologists John Kelton and Daniel Ray perform inspection of the Falling Particle Receiver during a cloud delay atop the National Solar Thermal Test Facility at Sandia National Laboratories. Courtesy of Randy Montoya

Testing heats up at Sandia’s Solar Tower with high temperature falling particle receiver

July 1, 2015 1:56 pm | by Sandia National Laboratories | News | Comments

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are working to lower the cost of solar energy systems and improve efficiencies in a big way, thanks to a system of small particles. This month, engineers lifted Sandia’s continuously recirculating falling particle receiver to the top of the tower at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility, marking the start of first-of-its-kind testing that will continue through 2015.

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Muon tomography images of a valve allowed researchers to differentiate between an open and closed valve. Courtesy of Matt Durham, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Using muons from cosmic rays to find fraying infrastructure

July 1, 2015 12:58 pm | by Laurel Hamers, American Institute of Physics | News | Comments

In the United States, electricity comes with the flip of a switch and heat arrives with the push of a button. Behind such convenience lies a massive infrastructure network that produces and distributes energy. And just like roads wear down and need to be repaved occasionally, this energy infrastructure degrades over time. Pipes can corrode and concrete can wear thin. Failure can be catastrophic...

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Smaller is more stable. Smaller Mg nanoparticles display better mechanical performance that is good for structural stability during cycling and also hydrogen storage kinetics. Courtesy of Qian Yu/Zhejiang University

Physical study may give boost to hydrogen cars

July 1, 2015 12:21 pm | by Jason Bardi, American Institute of Physics | News | Comments

A team of researchers describes the physics of magnesium hydride, one type of material that potentially could be used to store hydrogen fuel in future automobiles and other applications. Using a technique known as in situ transmission electron microscopy, the team tested different sized nanoparticles of magnesium hydride to gauge their mechanical properties and discovered how one might engineer the nanoparticles to make them better.

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