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Physicists discover mechanisms of wrinkle and crumple formation

June 8, 2012 9:09 am | News | Comments

Smooth wrinkles and sharply crumpled regions are familiar motifs in biological and synthetic sheets, such as plant leaves and crushed foils, say physicists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, but how a featureless sheet develops a complex shape has long remained elusive. Now, the physicists report that they have identified a fundamental mechanism by which such complex patterns emerge spontaneously.

Collaboration on nanoengineered synthetic diamond sets new record

June 8, 2012 5:21 am | News | Comments

Element Six working in partnership with Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, and Max-Planck Institute, has used its Element Six single crystal synthetic diamond grown by chemical vapor deposition to demonstrate the capability of quantum bit memory to exceed one second at room temperature.

Armored caterpillar could inspire new body armor

June 8, 2012 4:41 am | News | Comments

Military body armor and vehicle and aircraft frames could be transformed by incorporating the unique structure of the club-like arm of a crustacean that looks like an armored caterpillar, according to findings by a team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering.

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Teaching self-assembling structures a new trick

June 8, 2012 4:23 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a new way of making complex 3D structures using self-assembling polymer materials that form tiny wires and junctions. The work has the potential to usher in a new generation of microchips and other devices made up of submicroscopic features.

Researchers develop new graphene-based MRI contrast agent

June 8, 2012 4:00 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers has developed a new, highly efficacious, potentially safer, and more cost-effective nanoparticle-based magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent for improved disease diagnosis and detection.

'Nanocable' could be big boon for energy storage

June 7, 2012 11:43 am | News | Comments

Thanks to a little serendipity, researchers at Rice University have created a tiny coaxial cable that is about a thousand times smaller than a human hair and has higher capacitance than previously reported microcapacitors. The nanocable was produced with techniques pioneered in the nascent graphene research field and could be used to build next-generation energy storage systems.

New twist on old chemical process could boost energy efficiency

June 7, 2012 10:17 am | News | Comments

Chemical reactions on the surface of metal oxides, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, are important for applications such as solar cells that convert the sun's energy to electricity. Now University of Washington scientists have found that a previously unappreciated aspect of those reactions could be key in developing more efficient energy systems.

Researchers develop durable plastic that may replace metals

June 7, 2012 9:06 am | News | Comments

As landfills overflow with discarded plastics, scientists have been working to produce a biodegradable alternative that will reduce pollution. Now a Tel Aviv University researcher is giving the quest for environmentally friendly plastics an entirely new dimension—by making them tougher than ever before.

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Chemists reveal new secrets from ancient warship

June 7, 2012 5:31 am | News | Comments

Discovered under the seafloor off of northeastern Sicily in 2008, a bronze rostrum, or battering ram, from a 2,300-year-old warship has been examined by several teams of chemists for clues as to its origins. First, the possible sources of the bronze was found. Now, researchers have identified the type of wooden core it has. They also found a significant threat to its further existence.

Repelling the drop on top

June 7, 2012 5:28 am | News | Comments

Life would be a lot easier if the surfaces of window panes, corrosion coatings or microfluidic systems in medical labs could keep themselves free of water and other liquids. A new simulation program developed by researchers in Germany can now work out just how such surfaces have to look for a variety of applications.

Zeroing in on the best shape for cancer-fighting nanoparticles

June 6, 2012 12:40 pm | News | Comments

As the field of nanomedicine matures, an emerging point of contention has been what shape nanoparticles should be to deliver their drug or DNA payloads most effectively. A pair of new papers by scientists at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute (TMHRI) and six other institutions suggests these microscopic workhorses ought to be disc-shaped, not spherical or rod-shaped, when targeting cancers at or near blood vessels.

Researchers love triangles

June 6, 2012 6:44 am | News | Comments

A research team at Case Western Reserve University has found that gold catalysts shaped in the form of a cube, triangle, or other higher order structures grow nanowires about twice as fast and twice as long compared to wires grown with the more typical spherically shaped catalysts.

Fuel cells operating directly on ethanol

June 6, 2012 4:16 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the Center for Energy Research at the University of California, San Diego recently demonstrated the best performance for solid oxide fuel cells operating directly on ethanol without external reformation.

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New research leads to sensors that detect contaminants in water

June 6, 2012 3:51 am | News | Comments

Many organic contaminants in the air and in drinking water need to be detected at very low-level concentrations. Research published by the Kamat laboratory at the University of Notre Dame could be beneficial in detecting those contaminants. The Kamat laboratory uses surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to make use of silver nanoparticles to increase the sensitivity limit of chemical detection.

Physicists make new form of matter

June 6, 2012 3:33 am | by Max McClure, Stanford University | News | Comments

Last week's announcement by a Stanford University team that it has created the world's first dipolar quantum ferionic gas from the metal dysprosium represents a major step toward understand the behavior of these systems of particles. And this understanding makes a leap toward the supernatural-seeming applications that condensed-matter physics conjures.

Research identifies precise measurement of radiation damage

June 5, 2012 6:42 am | News | Comments

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have for the first time identified a precise measurement of the amount of radiation damage that will occur in any given material. With a full understanding of the early stages of the radiation damage process, researchers are provided with better knowledge and tools to manipulate materials to our advantage.

Low-Temperature Shift IR Bandpass Filters

June 5, 2012 5:21 am | Product Releases | Comments

Deposition Sciences Inc. has introduced low-temperature shift infrared (IR) bandpass filters for critical applications that require minimal fluctuation in center wavelength.

Artificial muscle as shock absorber

June 4, 2012 11:18 am | News | Comments

Engineers are working on intelligent materials that can diminish vibrations and extract power from the environment. These electro-active elastomers could dampen annoying vibrations in a car, for example, or supply wireless power to sensors in otherwise inaccessible places.

Scientists create faster, more sensitive photodetector by tricking graphene

June 4, 2012 4:42 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials of the University of Maryland have developed a new type of hot electron bolometer, a sensitive detector of infrared light, that can be used in a huge range of applications. The bolometer was developed using bilayer graphene.

Nanoparticles seek, destroy groundwater toxins

June 4, 2012 4:25 am | News | Comments

Iron nanoparticles encapsulated in a rust-preventing polymer coating could hold potential for cleaning up groundwater contaminated with toxic chemicals, a leading water expert from the University of New South Wales says.

Researchers achieve RNA interference in a lighter package

June 4, 2012 3:36 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Using a technique known as "nucleic acid origami," chemical engineers have built tiny particles made out of DNA and RNA that can deliver snippets of RNA directly to tumors, turning off genes expressed in cancer cells.

Free-electron lasers reveal detailed architecture of proteins

June 4, 2012 3:33 am | News | Comments

An international team of researchers has recently analyzed protein crystals using short pulses of X-ray light from the world’s first hard X-ray free-electron laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. The facility’s ultrashort flashes of X-radiation allow atomic structures of macromolecules to be obtained even from tiny protein crystals

New compound could become 'cool blue' for energy efficiency in buildings

June 1, 2012 8:20 am | News | Comments

A new type of durable, environmentally benign blue pigment discovered at Oregon State University has also been found to have unusual characteristics in reflecting heat—it's a "cool blue" compound that could become important in new approaches to saving energy in buildings. The compound was discovered about three years ago almost by chance, as OSU scientists were studying some materials for their electrical properties.

Tighter 'stitching' means better graphene

June 1, 2012 5:11 am | by Anne Ju, Cornell University | News | Comments

Similar to how tighter stitches make for a better quality quilt, the "stitching" between individual crystals of graphene affects how well these carbon monolayers conduct electricity and retain their strength, Cornell University researchers report.

New clues to high-temperature conductivity

May 31, 2012 10:58 am | News | Comments

Using ultrafast lasers, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists have tackled the long-standing mystery of how Cooper pairs form in high-temperature superconductors. With pump and probe pulses spaced just trillionths of a second apart, the researchers used photoemission spectroscopy to map rapid changes in electronic states across the superconducting transition, revealing relationships of energy and momentum never seen before in these promising, but stubborn, complex materials.

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