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Physics - Materials Science - 01.12.2022
Detecting defects in semiconductors at the atomic level
Detecting defects in semiconductors at the atomic level
Modern solar cells work with thin layers of semiconductors that convert sunlight into electrical energy. The key to increasing their efficiency even further lies in the composition and structure of the material. Due to the way the material is manufactured, it can have defects that have a disruptive effect.

Materials Science - 01.12.2022
Evidence at last for long-awaited new liquid crystal phase
Evidence at last for long-awaited new liquid crystal phase
Fifty years after scientists predicted a new liquid crystalline phase, it has been observed by Utrecht researchers. The observations were made in model systems of colloidal rods, rod-like particles that are larger than molecules and therefore easier to study. The researchers provide guidance on a way to realize the material with rod-shaped molecules as well.

Health - Materials Science - 29.11.2022
A sensitive drill
A sensitive drill
Hearing-impaired people whose auditory nerve is still intact can often be helped with a cochlear implant. But inserting the implant into the inner ear is not without risks, as facial nerves can be damaged in the process. researchers have developed a novel smart drill that minimizes the risk by automatically shutting off when it comes near nerves.

Physics - Materials Science - 23.11.2022
Electron pairing in quantum dots as new approach to qubit research
Electron pairing in quantum dots as new approach to qubit research
Publication in Nature demonstrates promising method towards building the foundation for a future quantum computer. Scientists from QuTech and Eindhoven University of Technology have taken a next step in qubit research. Qubits are one of the building blocks of a future quantum computer. The researchers - including Sasa Gazibegovic, Ghada Badawy and Erik Bakkers from TU/e - have published their results in Nature on 23 November 2022.

Materials Science - Physics - 18.11.2022
How '2D' materials expand
How ’2D’ materials expand
A new technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices. Two-dimensional materials, which consist of just a single layer of atoms, can be packed together more densely than conventional materials, so they could be used to make transistors, solar cells, LEDs, and other devices that run faster and perform better.

Materials Science - Physics - 16.11.2022
Ceramic coatings do not fatigue
Ceramic coatings do not fatigue
What determines the durability of high-performance coatings for turbines or highly stressed tools? Surprising results from TU Wien show: It is not material fatigue. Extremely thin ceramic coatings can completely change the properties of technical components. Coatings are used, for example, to increase the resistance of metals to heat or corrosion.

Materials Science - 14.11.2022
With new heat treatment, 3D-printed metals can withstand extreme conditions
With new heat treatment, 3D-printed metals can withstand extreme conditions
A technique that transforms the metals' microscopic structure may enable energy-efficient 3D printing of blades for gas turbines or jet engines. A new MIT-developed heat treatment transforms the microscopic structure of 3D-printed metals, making the materials stronger and more resilient in extreme thermal environments.

Materials Science - Microtechnics - 08.11.2022
The VR glove from the 3D printer
The VR glove from the 3D printer
Together with EPFL and ETH Zurich colleagues, an Empa team is developing next-generation VR gloves that will make virtual worlds tangible. The glove is to be tailored to each user and capable of being produced largely automatically - using a 3D printing process. Research sometimes needs a sacrifice.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 07.11.2022
A technology that 'sees' inside commercial batteries
A technology that ’sees’ inside commercial batteries
Controlling and studying the chemistry of batteries is crucial to improving their design. Scientists have developed an optical fibre based method for monitoring the evolving chemistry of a commercial battery in real time during charging and discharging. These results pave the way for easier and improved battery design.

Physics - Materials Science - 04.11.2022
Low-cost terahertz camera
Low-cost terahertz camera
The device provides greater sensitivity and speed than previous versions, and could be used for industrial inspection, airport security, and communications. Terahertz radiation, whose wavelengths lie between those of microwaves and visible light, can penetrate many nonmetallic materials and detect signatures of certain molecules.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 04.11.2022
New materials could enable longer-lasting implantable batteries
New materials could enable longer-lasting implantable batteries
Pacemakers and other medical devices, as well as long-distance drones and remote sensors, could require fewer battery replacements with new approach. For the last few decades, battery research has largely focused on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are used in everything from electric cars to portable electronics and have improved dramatically in terms of affordability and capacity.

Environment - Materials Science - 03.11.2022
Shining new light on solar cell development
Shining new light on solar cell development
An increase in the efficiency of solar panels may be on the horizon, as research from The Australian National University (ANU) reduces their current limitations. ANU researchers have found a way to improve the performance of silicon photovoltaic (PV) or solar cells.

Materials Science - Electroengineering - 03.11.2022
New material will make locally flexible diodes possible
New material will make locally flexible diodes possible
Researchers find new material with significant potential for electronics applications Diodes allow directed flows of current. Without them, modern electronics would be inconceivable. Until now, they had to be made out of two materials with different characteristics. A research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now discovered a material that makes it possible to create a diode with a simple change in temperature.

Physics - Materials Science - 03.11.2022
A new quantum component made from graphene
A new quantum component made from graphene
For the first time, researchers have been able to make a superconducting component from graphene that is quantum coherent and sensitive to magnetic fields. This step opens up interesting prospects for fundamental research. Less than 20 years ago, Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim first created two-dimensional crystals consisting of just one layer of carbon atoms.

Materials Science - Electroengineering - 27.10.2022
'Grätzel' solar cells achieve a new record
’Grätzel’ solar cells achieve a new record
Scientists at EPFL have increased the power conversion efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells ("Grätzel cells") beyond 15% in direct sunlight and 30% in ambient light conditions. Mesoscopic dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) were invented in 1990s by Brian O'Regan and Michael Grätzel, taking on the latter's name - the world-famous Grätzel cells.

Materials Science - 26.10.2022
The nonsense of lasers in Hollywood
The nonsense of lasers in Hollywood
Professor Gert-Willem Römer of the University of Twente says it's one of his pet peeves: in many science fiction and action films, lasers are used in a way that completely defy the laws of physics. Take lasers that blow up spaceships. These lasers make a sound when they are fired, but space consists of a vacuum, so sound doesn't travel there.

Physics - Materials Science - 26.10.2022
Building with nanoparticles, from the bottom up
Building with nanoparticles, from the bottom up
Researchers develop a technique for precisely arranging nanoscale particles on a surface, such as a silicon chip, that doesn't damage the material. Researchers at MIT have developed a technique for precisely controlling the arrangement and placement of nanoparticles on a material, like the silicon used for computer chips, in a way that does not damage or contaminate the surface of the material.

Materials Science - 25.10.2022
Stable in all kinds of shapes
Stable in all kinds of shapes
Researchers have developed a structure that can switch between stable shapes as needed while being remarkably simple to produce. The key lies in a clever combination of base materials. For a great many years, researchers have been trying to create structures that can assume different stable shapes as required.

Physics - Materials Science - 25.10.2022
New approach to 'cosmic magnet' manufacturing could reduce reliance on rare earths in low-carbon technologies
New approach to ’cosmic magnet’ manufacturing could reduce reliance on rare earths in low-carbon technologies
Researchers have discovered a potential new method for making the high-performance magnets used in wind turbines and electric cars without the need for rare earth elements, which are almost exclusively sourced in China.

Materials Science - 24.10.2022
Penguin feathers may hold an effective anti-icing solution
McGill University research team develops chemical-free solution that could be used to de-ice electrical wires, wind turbines and even airplane wings In 1998, ice build-up on electrical towers and wires caused the ice storm that paralyzed eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, leaving many people in the dark and cold for days and even weeks.
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