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Materials Science - Physics - 24.05.2022
Secret to treating 'Achilles' heel' of alternatives to silicon solar panels revealed
Secret to treating ’Achilles’ heel’ of alternatives to silicon solar panels revealed
A team of researchers from the UK and Japan has found that the tiny defects which limit the efficiency of perovskites - cheaper alternative materials for solar cells - are also responsible for structural changes in the material that lead to degradation.

Materials Science - Innovation - 23.05.2022
Objects can now be 3D-printed in opaque resin
Objects can now be 3D-printed in opaque resin
A team of EPFL engineers has developed a 3D-printing method that uses light to make objects out of opaque resin in a matter of seconds. Their breakthrough could have promising applications in the biomedical industry, such as to make artificial arteries. Back in 2017, engineers at EPFL's Laboratory of Applied Photonic Devices (LAPD), within the School of Engineering, designed a 3D printer capable of fabricating objects almost instantaneously.

Environment - Materials Science - 19.05.2022
Low-cost battery-like device absorbs CO2 emissions while it charges
Low-cost battery-like device absorbs CO2 emissions while it charges
Researchers have developed a low-cost device that can selectively capture carbon dioxide gas while it charges. Then, when it discharges, the CO2 can be released in a controlled way and collected to be reused or disposed of responsibly. We found that that by slowly alternating the current between the plates we can capture double the amount of CO2 than before Alexander Forse The supercapacitor device, which is similar to a rechargeable battery, is the size of a two-pence coin, and is made in part from sustainable materials including coconut shells and seawater.

Materials Science - Physics - 17.05.2022
New Silicon Nanowires Can Really Take the Heat
New Silicon Nanowires Can Really Take the Heat
A game-changing discovery could speed up computer processors simply by conducting more heat Scientists have demonstrated a new material that conducts heat 150% more efficiently than conventional materials used in advanced chip technologies. The device - an ultrathin silicon nanowire - could enable smaller, faster microelectronics with a heat-transfer-efficiency that surpasses current technologies.

Physics - Materials Science - 13.05.2022
Quantum one-way street in topological insulator nanowires
Very thin wires made of a topological insulator could enable highly stable qubits, the building blocks of future quantum computers. Scientists see a new result in topological insulator devices as an important step towards realising the technology's potential / publication in 'Nature Nanotechnology' An international group of scientists have demonstrated that wires more than 100 times thinner than a human hair can act like a quantum one-way street for electrons when made of a peculiar material known as a topological insulator.

Materials Science - Physics - 12.05.2022
Black holes as noise traps
Black holes as noise traps
Anyone who lives in an old building with wooden floors knows the problem: Even if the neighbors from above glide across the floor with graceful elegance, it sounds as if you were living under a bowling alley. Impact sound is a challenge even for the most modern wooden buildings. Scientists at Empa are now tinkering with a solution.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 10.05.2022
Nature-inspired self-sensing materials could lead to engineering breakthoughs
Nature-inspired self-sensing materials could lead to engineering breakthoughs
The cellular forms of natural materials are the inspiration behind a new lightweight, 3D printed smart architected material developed by an international team of engineers. The team, led by engineers from the University of Glasgow, mixed a common form of industrial plastic with carbon nanotubes to create a material which is tougher, stronger and smarter than comparable conventional materials.

Physics - Materials Science - 05.05.2022
Glowing glass droplets on the ISS
Glowing glass droplets on the ISS
Together with researchers from Ulm and Neuchâtel, Empa will soon be studying material samples on the ISS. The material in question are super-hard and corrosion-resistant alloys of palladium, nickel, copper and phosphorus - also known as "metallic glasses". A high-tech company from La Chaux-de-Fonds, which produces materials for the watch industry, is also involved.

Materials Science - 03.05.2022
A solution to perovskite solar cell scalability problems
A solution to perovskite solar cell scalability problems
Scientists at EPFL have found a way to overcome power loss and the manufacturing complexity of scaling up perovskite solar cells. Perovskites are hybrid materials made from metal halides and organic compounds. They have attracted a lot of interest in the field of solar energy because of their light-harvesting capacities combined with a low cost of manufacturing, making them prime candidates for overtake the market from their silicon counterparts.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 02.05.2022
Researchers Transform an Amorphous Solid Into a New Lithium-Ion Battery Material
Researchers at the University of California San Diego and Boise State University have developed a new approach to making novel lithium-ion battery materials. The approach transforms a non-crystalline material into a crystalline one—by cycling it with lithium. Using this approach, the team transformed a non-crystalline (amorphous) material called niobium oxide into a novel crystalline Nb2O5 anode with exceptional lithium storage and fast cycling.

Environment - Materials Science - 29.04.2022
Improving the efficiency of tandem solar cells
Improving the efficiency of tandem solar cells
Scientists in Neuchâtel have developed a tandem solar cell that can deliver a certified efficiency of 29. This achievement was made possible by combining a perovskite solar cell with a textured silicon solar cell. Solar cells made of silicon are used widely but have limited power-conversion yields. These yields will likely top out at around 27% in the foreseeable future, owing to fundamental thermodynamic limitations.

Materials Science - Health - 28.04.2022
Bones, constructed like prestressed concrete
Bones, constructed like prestressed concrete
Incorporating various minerals in collagen puts these composite materials under stress and makes them particularly hard and strong What engineers discovered only about 100 years ago has been used by nature for as long as vertebrates have existed. Just as steel wires under strain increase the fracture resistance of prestressed concrete, bones become particularly hard and strong because their collagen fibres are under stress due to embedded mineral nanoparticles.

Physics - Materials Science - 28.04.2022
Skyrmions on the Rise - New 2D Material Advances Low-Power Computing
Skyrmions on the Rise - New 2D Material Advances Low-Power Computing
New materials with exotic magnetic features could enable the next generation of tiny, fast electronic devices - By Rachel Berkowitz Two-dimensional magnetic materials have been hailed as building blocks for the next generation of small, fast electronic devices. These materials, made of layers of crystalline sheets just a few atoms thick, gain their unique magnetic properties from the intrinsic compass-needle-like spins of their electrons.

Life Sciences - Materials Science - 21.04.2022
Researchers from KU Leuven and UHasselt take important step towards development of biological dental enamel
To this day, cavities and damage to enamel are repaired by dentists with the help of synthetic filling materials. There is no natural alternative to this. A new 3D model with human dental stem cells could change this in the future. The results of the research led by KU Leuven Professor Hugo Vankelecom and Professors Annelies Bronckaers and Ivo Lambrichts from UHasselt have been published in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences .

Innovation - Materials Science - 20.04.2022
Graz Universities Present Austria's First Micro-CT Devices for In-Situ Measurements
Graz Universities Present Austria’s First Micro-CT Devices for In-Situ Measurements
The devices can be used to non-destructively observe and measure structural changes inside materials under real operating conditions. They were presented to the public by the inter-university Graz-µCT consortium on 20 April. What happens inside a piece of concrete when it comes into contact with acid?

Physics - Materials Science - 20.04.2022
Lasers trigger magnetism in atomically thin quantum materials
Researchers have discovered that light - in the form of a laser - can trigger a form of magnetism in a normally nonmagnetic material. This magnetism centers on the behavior of electrons. These subatomic particles have an electronic property called -spin,- which has a potential application in quantum computing.

Innovation - Materials Science - 19.04.2022
New process enables 3D printing of small and complex components made of glass in just a few minutes
New process enables 3D printing of small and complex components made of glass in just a few minutes
Scientists combine materials science invention with newly developed 3D printing technology Because of its outstanding transparency as well as its stability in contact with heat or chemicals, glass is relevant for many high-tech applications. However, conventional processes for shaping glass are often tedious, energy-intensive and quickly reach their limits for small and complicated components.

Materials Science - 11.04.2022
Are more protective masks less comfortable? Not as long as they fit properly
Wearing a face mask, when combined with other protective measures, has been shown to help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. But there remain many misconceptions about the relationship between a mask's level of protection and its comfort - namely that more protective models such as N95 respirators are less comfortable to wear.

Materials Science - 08.04.2022
Maintaining the structure of gold and silver in alloys
Maintaining the structure of gold and silver in alloys
EPFL engineers have developed a low-temperature annealing method that maintains the structure of gold and silver when the two metals are combined in an alloy. Their discovery will prove useful in the manufacture of contact lenses, holographic optical elements and other optical components, since the new alloys reflect the full spectral range.

Materials Science - Life Sciences - 07.04.2022
New discovery in animal exoskeletons leads to advances in designing construction materials
Researchers from Monash University have discovered a new design motif derived from the rigid external covering of invertebrates that may help create more damage tolerant materials for future building and construction. In a paper published , Professor Wenhui Duan from the Department of Civil Engineering at Monash University says the new pattern, adding to the eight known and common biological structural design patterns, can add a high strength motif to commonly used building materials such as composites and cement, and may help reduce carbon emissions.
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