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Materials Science - Environment - 25.06.2019
Researchers pioneer method to purify water using solar energy
As the global population grows, fresh water supplies are more precious than ever. While scientists and engineers know how to purify water, making those methods sustainable and energy efficient is another question. One promising approach is solar-driven distillation, or solar steam generation, which can help us get fresh water from wastewater or seawater.

Physics - Materials Science - 25.06.2019
New findings could lead to cheaper solar cells
New findings could lead to cheaper solar cells
Effective atomic interactions in complex materials picked up by on-the-fly machine-learning At the atomic scale materials can show a rich palette of dynamic behaviour, which directly affects the physical properties of these materials. For many years, it has been a dream to describe these dynamics in complex materials at various temperatures using computer simulations.

Materials Science - Environment - 21.06.2019
Perovskite solar cells tested for real-world performance - in the lab
Perovskite solar cells tested for real-world performance - in the lab
Researchers bring diurnal and seasonal variations into the lab to test the performance of perovskite solar cells under realistic conditions. It was only ten years ago that metal-halide perovskites were discovered to be photovoltaic materials. Today, perovskite solar cells made are almost as efficient as the best conventional silicon ones, and there is much hope that they will become a highly efficient and low-cost alternative, as they can be manufactured by rather simple and fast methods like printing.

Physics - Materials Science - 17.06.2019
You Don't Have to Be Perfect for TMDCs to Shine Bright
You Don’t Have to Be Perfect for TMDCs to Shine Bright
Atomically thin semiconductors known as TMDCs (transition metal dichalcogenides) could lead to devices that operate more efficiently than conventional semiconductors in light-emitting diodes, lasers, and solar cells. But these materials are hard to make without defects that dampen their performance.

Materials Science - 17.06.2019
Groundbreaking Study Maps Out Paths to New Nitride Materials
Groundbreaking Study Maps Out Paths to New Nitride Materials
Formed by elements combining with nitrogen, nitrides can possess unique properties with potential applications from semiconductors to industrial coatings. But before nitrides can be put to use, they first must be discovered - and the odds of finding them in nature are slim. Now, your chances of discovering new nitrides just got better with a groundbreaking Nature Materials study led by Berkeley Lab in close collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and a number of other institutions.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 12.06.2019
Carnegie Mellon Researchers Develop Semi-Liquid Metal Anode for Next-Generation Batteries
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's Mellon College of Science and College of Engineering have developed a semiliquid lithium metal-based anode that represents a new paradigm in battery design. Lithium batteries made using this new electrode type could have a higher capacity and be much safer than typical lithium metal-based batteries that use lithium foil as anode.

Materials Science - Physics - 11.06.2019
Pulsed Electron Beams Shed Light on Plastics Production
Pulsed Electron Beams Shed Light on Plastics Production
A new electron microscopy technique developed by Berkeley Lab provides new insight into how plastics are made; could pave way for sustainable plastics Plastics are all around us - they make up our water bottles, trash bags, packing materials, toys, containers, and more. About 300 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide each year, yet the details of what goes on at the atomic scale during the plastics production process is still unclear.

Physics - Materials Science - 29.05.2019
Quantum information gets a boost from thin-film breakthrough
Quantum information gets a boost from thin-film breakthrough
Method opens new path to all-optical quantum computers, other technologies An innovative method for controlling single-photon emission for specific locations in 2D materials may offer a new path toward all-optical quantum computers and other quantum technologies. This image shows a false-color scanning electron micrograph of the array used to create place single-photon sources in epitaxial tungsten diselenide.

Physics - Materials Science - 29.05.2019
Experts develop nanolasers on silicon
Researchers at Cardiff University have shown tiny light-emitting nanolasers less than a tenth of the size of the width of a human hair can be integrated into silicon chip design. The photonic band-edge lasers can operate at superfast speeds and have the potential to help the global electronics industry deliver a range of new applications - from optical computing to remote sensing and heat seeking, Professor Diana Huffaker is Scientific Director of Cardiff University's Institute for Compound Semiconductors , based at Cardiff University's School of Physics and Astronomy.

Materials Science - 29.05.2019
Desired deformation
Desired deformation
Since last week there is a unique wooden building in the Remstal near Stuttgart: a tower made of self-formed spruce boards. The method, which has been developed at Empa and ETH Zurich, uses the natural swelling and shrinking of wood under the influence of moisture and thus enables a new and unexpected architecture for the construction with the renewable and sustainable resource of wood.

Astronomy / Space Science - Materials Science - 27.05.2019
Europe to Mars - and back!
Europe to Mars - and back!
27 May 2019 Europe has been in orbit around Mars for more than 15 years and is almost a year away from launching its first rover mission, but ambitions are already running high to go one step further: returning a sample from the Red Planet. Has there ever been life on Mars' Reconstructing the history of our neighbouring planet and understanding how its evolution diverged from that of Earth is at the heart of Mars exploration missions.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 24.05.2019
Researchers Create Soft, Flexible Materials with Enhanced Properties
A team of polymer chemists and engineers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new methodology that can be used to create a class of stretchable polymer composites with enhanced electrical and thermal properties. These materials are promising candidates for use in soft robotics, self-healing electronics and medical devices.

Materials Science - Physics - 23.05.2019
Producing electricity at estuaries using light and osmosis
Producing electricity at estuaries using light and osmosis
Researchers at EPFL are working on a technology to exploit osmotic energy - a source of power that's naturally available at estuaries, where fresh water comes into contact with seawater. In a laboratory experiment, the team reproduced the real-world conditions that occur where rivers meet the sea (pH and salt concentration) and showed that, by shining light on a system comprising salt, water and a membrane three atoms thick, it was possible to optimize electricity production.

Physics - Materials Science - 23.05.2019
New Boost for ToCoTronics
New Boost for ToCoTronics
05/23/2019 A great success for Würzburg's physics department: its Collaborative Research Centre was rated as excellent and is now entering its second funding phase. The German Research Foundation is providing 12 million euros for this purpose. In 2015, physicists at Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany, succeeded in establishing a new Collaborative Research Centre in Würzburg.

Materials Science - Electroengineering - 23.05.2019
Washable, wearable battery-like devices could be woven directly into clothes
Washable, wearable battery-like devices could be woven directly into clothes
Researchers have developed washable, wearable 'batteries' based on cheap, safe and environmentally friendly inks and woven directly into fabrics. The devices could be used for flexible circuits, healthcare monitoring, energy conversion, and other applications. The team, led by Dr Felice Torrisi , who recently joined Imperial from the University of Cambridge, have shown how graphene - an atom-thick sheet of carbon - and other related materials can be directly incorporated into fabrics.

Materials Science - 16.05.2019
’A Day in the Light’ Videos Highlight How Scientists Use Light in Experiments
In recognition of the International Day of Light ( @IDL2019 ) on May 16, the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ( Berkeley Lab ) is highlighting how scientists use light in laboratory experiments. From nanolasers and X-ray beams to artificial photosynthesis and optical electronics, Berkeley Lab researchers tap into light's many properties to drive a range of innovative R&D.

Environment - Materials Science - 13.05.2019
Microplastics in freshwaters
Microplastics in freshwaters
Sea birds dying in agony with a belly full of plastic garbage; plastic accumulations as big as islands: Virtually everyone has seen pictures like these today. But there are also plastic particles that are barely visible to the eye - microplastics. The danger posed by these tiny particles has hardly been researched to date.

Materials Science - Innovation / Technology - 09.05.2019
Design meets research
Design meets research
In the planned project "Re-FREAM" designers develop new and innovative fashion concepts in cooperation with researchers from all over Europe and completely rethink processes, traditions, production methods as well as design and functionality of clothing. Empa is also involved as a research partner. "We live in the most exciting era of mankind", write the initiators of the "Re-FREAM" project on their website.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 06.05.2019
Plastic Gets a Do-Over: Breakthrough Discovery Recycles Plastic From the Inside Out
Plastic Gets a Do-Over: Breakthrough Discovery Recycles Plastic From the Inside Out
Scientists from Berkeley Lab have made a next-generation plastic that can be recycled again and again into new materials of any color, shape, or form Light yet sturdy, plastic is great - until you no longer need it. Because plastics contain various additives, like dyes, fillers, or flame retardants, very few plastics can be recycled without loss in performance or aesthetics.

Physics - Materials Science - 03.05.2019
New holographic technique opens the way for quantum computation
EPFL physicists have developed a method based on the principles of holograms to capture 3D images of objects beyond the reach of light. Photography measures how much light of different color hits the photographic film. However, light is also a wave, and is therefore characterized by the phase. Phase specifies the position of a point within the wave cycle and correlates to depth of information, meaning that recording the phase of light scattered by an object can retrieve its full 3D shape, which cannot be obtained with a simple photograph.
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