A team of researchers at MIT has found a way to make complex composite materials whose attributes can be fine-tuned to give various desirable combinations of properties such as stiffness, strength, resistance to impacts, and energy dissipation.
Scientists in Israel have set a new record for measuring magnetic vibrations using the spin of a single atom. Starting out by building a quantum version of a single atomic-ion detector, researchers used the ions’ spin as a sensor. They achieved a spatial resolution of a just few nanometer, 100 times more accurate than the previous record.
Radioactive iodine-129 has an extremely long half life of 15.7 million years, and is one of the most significant long term nuclear waste hazards. A researcher in England has found an easy way to lock up the slowly decaying iodine by using a material that absorbs a microwave frequency that iodine-129 does not.
In collaboration with the Ion Storage Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a physicist in Australia, Michael Biercuk, has demonstrated it is possible to use trapped atomic ions as extremely sensitive detectors of applied forces and electromagnetic fields. As a result he has measured forces down to one septillionth of a newton.
For the Maya, blue was the color of the gods, a pigment without equal with regard to boldness, beauty, and durability. Made of indigo embedded in a special clay mineral called palygorskite, Maya blue was prepared in a way that ancitipated modern syntheses of organic-inorganic hybrid materials, a recent study reports.
Scientists at Argonne National Lab and the Univ. of Wisconsin have discovered an electrochemical synthesis method for patterning metallic and semiconducting nanowires. The process, which does not require vacuum, relies on a non-sacrificial template made from ultrananocrystalline diamond.
Recently, scientists have concocted a recipe for a thermoelectric material that might be able to operate off nothing more than the heat of a car's exhaust. In a paper, a team reported on a compound that shows high efficiency at less extreme temperatures.
In the computer displays of medical equipment in hospitals and clinics, liquid crystal technologies have already found a major role. But a discovery reported from the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that micrometer-sized droplets of liquid crystal, which have been found to change their ordering and optical appearance in response to the presence of very low concentrations of a particular bacterial lipid, might find new uses in a range of biological contexts.
This economics of electric vehicles was highlighted this morning’s R&D Daily , and the major finding was that EV batteries need to get significantly cheaper (and better) before consumers will buy them in large numbers. That future might be up to researchers like the EV team at Berkeley Lab, which is trying to improve the lithium-ion battery.
Swiss researchers say they have established a new efficiency value of 18.7% for cadmium indium selenide gallium (CIGS) solar cells. The latest improvements in cell efficiency were made possible in part by improving the structural properties of the CIGS layer, improving the proprietary low-temperature deposition process, and doping with sodium.
Scientists from the National Physical Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers in Sweden, have shown that regions of graphene of different thickness can be easily identified in ambient conditions using a relatively simple and accessible form of scanning probe microscopy.
The Earth is cooling from the inside out, causing the inner core of iron to slowing solidify. But research have brought scientists to the realization that the core is also undergoing melting. Using a computer model of convection in the outer core, together with seismology data, researchers now believe they know how and why the inner core does this.
With a metamaterial cloak, researchers in Germany have achieved optical invisibility in a portion of the visible light spectrum corresponding to the red color. The cloak in question is small, less than a human hair in diameter, but it does make the curvature of a metal mirror appear flat, making the object underneath the mirror “disappear”.
This week at the Society for Information Display show, Arizona State and Universal Display Corp. are showing off their latest milestone: a full-color, full-motion video display prototype built on a flexible substrate. The device, which is intended for military use, was built using a bond-debond approach pioneered at ASU’s Flexible Display Center along with Universal Display’s proprietary encapsulation technology.
By combining high pressure with high temperature, Livermore researchers have created a nanocyrstalline diamond aerogel that could improve the optics for something as big as a telescope or as small as the lenses in eyeglasses.
Tiny energy converters being developed Oak Ridge National Lab are designed for deployment in high-performance computer chips as way to use thermal energy to generate power for much-needed cooling. The research team reports that efficiency levels of their cantilevered invention are far higher than existing harvesters.
The separation of olefins and paraffin, two hydrocarbon compounds in petroleum waste streams, is a heavy expense for the petrochemical industry. Oak Ridge National Lab research using powerful spectrometry methods reveal that silver complex-based ionic liquids have considerable promise as economical alternatives to existing solvents.
An international team of scientists have developed a new technique using a transmission electron microscope (TEM) that allows 3D mapping of the crystal structure inside a material. Unlike previous methods using x-rays, the TEM can determine structures down to a nanometer is size.
Stronger than steel or titanium—and just as tough—metallic glass is an ideal material for everything from cell-phone cases to aircraft parts. Now, researchers at Caltech have developed a new technique that allows them to make metallic-glass parts utilizing the same inexpensive processes used to produce plastic parts.
Getting two fluids to mix in small or confined spaces is a big problem in many industries, from oil extraction to lab-on-a-chip microfluidics. The latter example has in the past relied on moving components, but MIT engineers now suggest that a simpler method might be equally, if not more, effective.
As a raw material, petroleum is risky because its pricing is so volatile. By domesticating a Russian variety of dandelion and using the milky-white substance that seeps from its roots, researchers from Ford and Ohio State University believe they can create a new source of natural rubber for cupholders, floor mats, and interior trim in its cars.
The “strong force” is the essential glue that holds atomic nuclei together to form atoms. Despite its fundamental role in nature, the precise laws that govern this force are elusive. In the hope of unlocking these rules, Berkeley Lab researchers have recently discovered an extremely exotic nucleus called fluorine-14 that exists for only a fraction of a second before dripping a proton off to become oxygen-13.
One-hundred-sixty-nine years after an Austrian physicist first proposed an explanation for the basic Doppler effect, researchers have for the first time experimentally shown a different version of the phenomenon at a much smaller level: the rotation of an individual molecule.
According to its inventors at Brookhaven National Lab, the nanoscale pairings of particles they have self-assembled out of quantum dots and fullerene nanoparticles are the first demonstration of a hybrid inorganic/organic material that can convert light to electric current. Called dimers, the paired particles could serve as power-generating units for molecular electronics.
Operating temperatures for semiconductor devices range up to 125 degrees Celsius. By validating that the full spintronics process can be completed at temperature up to 225 degrees Celsius, Naval Research Lab scientists have confirmed for the first time that spin information can be transported in silicon over distances compatible with existing fabrication techniques. The breakthrough is essential to validate spin as an alternative to charge for a device technology.