By combining ion processing and nanolithography, scientists from Aalto University in Finland and the University of Washington have managed to create complex 3D structures at nanoscale. The breakthrough was made while studying the irregular folding of metallic thin films after they were processed by reactive ion etching. After determining the cause, the researchers realized they could control the bending activity with an ion beam.
Glass materials may have a far less randomly arranged structure than formerly thought. Over the years, the ideas of how metallic glasses form have been evolving, from just a random packing, to very small ordered clusters, to realizing that longer range chemical and topological order exists. A team of scientists at the Ames Laboratory has been able to show for the first time there is some organization to these structures.
At a time when the value of gold has reached an all-time high, Michigan State University researchers have discovered a bacterium's ability to withstand incredible amounts of toxicity is key to creating 24-karat gold.
Diving into a pool from a few feet up allows you to enter the water smoothly and painlessly, but jumping from a bridge can lead to a fatal impact. The water is the same in each case, so why is the effect of hitting its surface so different? This seemingly basic question is at the heart of complex research by a team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology that studied how materials react to stresses, including impacts. The findings could help explain phenomena as varied as the breakdown of concrete under sudden stress and the effects of corrosion on various metal surfaces.
A coating so thin it's invisible to the human eye has been shown to make copper nearly 100 times more resistant to corrosion, creating tremendous potential for metal protection even in harsh environments. Researchers from Monash University and Rice University say these findings could mean paradigm changes in the development of anticorrosion coatings using extremely thin graphene films.
By modeling a cadmium sulfide–zinc sulfide alloy with special computational techniques, a Singapore-based research team has identified the key photocatalytic properties that enable this chemical duo to 'split' water molecules into a fuel, hydrogen gas. The breakthrough is significant because each of these semiconductors had previously been limited by their bandgap potential.
According to recent paper published by Yale University scientists, an international policy is needed for recycling scarce specialty metals that are critical in the production of consumer goods. Specialty metals account for more than 30 of the 60 metals on the periodic table, and their rapidly accelerating usage in many industries makes the complete lack of recycling a concern.
Scientists lack a reliable empirical model that adequately describes the gold-gold bond. Most previous models only accounted for interactions in the spherical electron density around the atom. Now a new study on how gold atoms bond to other atoms uses a model that takes into account bonds direction, helping physicists understand covalent bond interactions.
If recent research in Norway is successful, a coating filled with tiny lubricant capsules could come to the rescue when metal surfaces dry out and friction builds up. As part of a project at the Gemini Tribology Centre researchers are now testing whether it is possible—where two metal surfaces are in contact with each other—to apply a coating to surfaces formed of hard particles and capsules filled with liquid lubricant.
The system currently being used to test for mercury and its very toxic derivative, methyl mercury, is time-intensive, costly, and can only detect quantities at already toxic levels. Researchers at Northwestern University and in Switzerland have invented a device consisting of a strip of glass with a nanoparticle film attached that can detect heavy metals in quantities more than a million times smaller than is currently possible.
Purdue University researchers have discovered a swirling, fluid-like behavior in a solid piece of metal sliding over another, providing new insights into the mechanisms of wear and generation of machined surfaces that could help improve the durability of metal parts.
A team of researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Argonne National Laboratory carrying out research at the Advanced Photon Source have developed a new experimental approach that not only detects and distinguishes metals in proteins, but also characterizes the proteins that bind the metals, without removing them.
Northwestern University researchers have broken a world record by creating two new synthetic materials with the greatest amount of surface areas reported to date. Named NU-109 and NU-110, the materials belong to a class of crystalline nanostructure known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) that are promising vessels for natural gas storage for vehicles, catalysts, and other sustainable materials chemistry.
Mercury, when dumped in lakes and rivers, accumulates in fish, and often ends up on our plates. A Swiss-American team of researchers has devised a simple, inexpensive system based on nanoparticles, a kind of nano-velcro, to detect and trap this toxic pollutant as well as others. The particles are covered with tiny hairs that can grab onto toxic heavy metals such as mercury and cadmium.
Molybdenum plays critical roles in human health. It does not act alone but is found attached to certain proteins, called molybdenum enzymes, by a very large and extraordinarily complex organic molecule. A research group has found that the molecule occurs in nature in two forms based on its appearance: flat or distorted. The forms, it turns out, have very different functions.
A team of researchers has recently been successful in synthesizing and characterizing monodisperse gold-core silver-shell nanoparticles utilizing a bio-template that has potential as a water soluble catalyst for converting biomass such as dead trees, branches and tree stumps, yard clippings, wood chips, and even municipal solid waste into fuels.
By measuring the unique properties of light on the scale of a single atom, researchers from Duke University and Imperial College London believe that they have characterized the limits of metal's ability in devices that enhance light.
Flat panel displays and mobile phones require thin, efficient, and low-cost light emitters, which are typically made from pixels wired to complex electronic circuits. Engineers in Singapore have now developed a display technology that requires a much simpler architecture: a thin perforated gold film with a liquid crystal layer.
Ornamental nursery and floral crops require micronutrients like iron, manganese, copper and zinc. But fertilizers that provide these micronutrients often include synthetic compounds that bind with the micronutrients to make them available to the roots. They also extract metals from sediments, contributing to heavy metals in runoff. A Dept. of Agriculture scientist has found a biodegradable alternative to these agents.
Most metals are made of crystals. In many cases the material is made of tiny crystals packed closely together, rather than one large crystal. Indeed, for many purposes, making the crystals as small as possible provides significant advantages in performance, but such materials are often unstable. Now, Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have found a way to avoid that problem.
Carnegie Institution for Science scientists are the first to discover the conditions under which nickel oxide can turn into an electricity-conducting metal. Nickel oxide is one of the first compounds to be studied for its electronic properties, but until now, scientists have not been able to induce a metallic state.
Materials scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, Etrema Products Inc., and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division have developed new ways to form a high-tech metal alloy which promise new advances in sensing and energy harvesting technologies.
Powder metallurgy is increasingly common in general industry and entails extracting base metal composition from precursor ores, then melting and alloying the metals to form flowable metal powder. Unfortunately, this is an energy-intensive and expensive process that is simply not possible for creating alloys of certain high-value metals, such as titanium, magnesium, zirconium, and lithium. Meltless Formed Alloy Metal Powder, however, created by Materials & Electrochemical Research Corp. (Tucson, Ariz.), can produce these and other alloys because it is not limited by the melting point or vapor pressure of the alloying elements.
A research team at Advanced Ceramics Research Corp., Tucson, Ariz., have developed Fibrous Monolith Composite Ceramics that are designed to fail gracefully and to be damage tolerant. Fibrous Monoliths (FMs) are produced by blending thermodynamically compatible ceramic and/or metal powders with thermoplastic polymer binders and then co-extruding them to form a “green fiber.”