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Materials Science - Physics - 10.02.2021
Captured lithium
Captured lithium
Neutrons show effective lithium and electrolyte distribution in lithium-ion cells In our smartphones, our computers and in our electric cars: We use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries everywhere. But their capacity drops after a while. Now a German-American research team has investigated the structure and functionality of these batteries using neutron diffraction: They discovered that the electrolyte fluid's decomposition products capture mobile lithium in the battery and that the distribution of lithium within the cell is surprisingly uneven.

Materials Science - Physics - 08.02.2021
Newly-developed material could lead to lighter, safer car designs
A new form of 3D-printed material made by combining commonly-used plastics with carbon nanotubes is tougher and lighter than similar forms of aluminium, scientists say. The material could lead to the development of safer, lighter and more durable structures for use in the aerospace, automotive, renewables and marine industries.

Materials Science - Physics - 08.02.2021
Two-phase material with surprising properties
Two-phase material with surprising properties
Microstructure and macroscopic electro-mechanical properties are closely coupled in so-called ferroelectric polymers. An explanation for the high temperature dependence of this coupling has now been found at TU Wien. In certain materials, electrical and mechanical effects are closely linked: for example, the material may change its shape when an electrical field is applied or, conversely, an electrical field may be created when the material is deformed.

Materials Science - Physics - 08.02.2021
Droplets perform daredevil feats on gel surfaces
Droplets perform daredevil feats on gel surfaces
Scientists have succeeded in making droplets flow just as fast on soft surfaces as on hard ones by changing the surface texture. Welcome to the amazing world of soft substrates. These materials are made of silicon gels and have the same texture as panna cotta - but without the delicious flavor. They are used in a range of applications, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, because their biocompatible and antiadhesive properties make them resistant to corrosion and bacterial contamination.

Physics - Materials Science - 08.02.2021
Design of a nanometric structure that improves solar cell efficiency
Design of a nanometric structure that improves solar cell efficiency
Researchers at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have developed a new nanometric structure that can cover the surface of some silicon solar panels and improve their performance by up to 40%. This design could be applied to future solar installations to achieve a better energy efficiency. This new design is based on a "metasurface', in other words a surface made up of small structures that are repeated in a pattern.

Health - Materials Science - 04.02.2021
Safe to cross: low risk of coronavirus infection from high-touch surfaces
Safe to cross: low risk of coronavirus infection from high-touch surfaces
Surfaces which are frequently touched by many different people may be contaminated with the coronavirus, but the risk of infection via this route is low. However, regular collection of samples from door handles, buttons or keypads could be useful for monitoring the course of the pandemic. Have you ever tried pressing the button at a pedestrian crossing with your elbow?

Life Sciences - Materials Science - 01.02.2021
Origami with DNA
Origami with DNA
A team at TU Wien was able to answer important questions about the immune system - with a trick reminiscent of paper folding. T-cells are an important component of our immune system: with the receptors they carry on their surface, they can recognise highly specific antigens. Upon detection of an intruder, an immune response is triggered.

Environment - Materials Science - 29.01.2021
Climate-Relevant Exchange Processes between Atmosphere and Ocean
Climate-Relevant Exchange Processes between Atmosphere and Ocean
Environmental physicist Bernd Jähne from Heidelberg University is pursuing a new approach to exploring the processes that ensue with the exchange of climatically relevant gases and volatiles between the atmosphere and the ocean. To this end, the scientist will use two imaging measurement procedures for experiments in the Heidelberg Aelotron, a wind-wave tank.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 29.01.2021
Comparative Study on Lithium-ion Battery Series Manufacturing and Alternative Technologies
Comparative Study on Lithium-ion Battery Series Manufacturing and Alternative Technologies
Research on manufacturing battery cells is gaining momentum - and there is a strong need, considering the future demand for energy storage: For the year 2030, global production of rechargeable batteries will double from today's 750 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year to 1,500 GWh. A recently published review article in the magazine "Nature Energy" on cell production of various battery types suggests that the currently established lithium-ion batteries (LIB) dominate the market of rechargeable high-energy batteries in the coming years.

Earth Sciences - Materials Science - 26.01.2021
Geologic history written in garnet sand
Geologic history written in garnet sand
Research team with participation from Göttingen University use secrets trapped in grains of sand to reveal rock journey and formation On a remote island in Papua New Guinea, an international research team including the University of Göttingen has made an important geological discovery from a garnet-rich sand.

Health - Materials Science - 26.01.2021
Heavy charge against water germs
Heavy charge against water germs
Removing pathogens from drinking water is especially difficult when the germs are too tiny to be caught by conventional filters. Researchers at Empa and Eawag are developing new materials and processes to free water from pathogenic microorganisms such as viruses. Water is life, biology teaches us. Reality teaches us something different: Water contaminated with pathogens causes hundreds of thousands of deaths each year in places where water treatment is lacking or poorly functioning.

Physics - Materials Science - 22.01.2021
Crystal structures in super slow motion
Crystal structures in super slow motion
Physicists from Göttingen first to succeed in filming a phase transition with extremely high spatial and temporal resolution Laser beams can be used to change the properties of materials in an extremely precise way. This principle is already widely used in technologies such as rewritable DVDs. However, the underlying processes generally take place at such unimaginably fast speeds and at such a small scale that they have so far eluded direct observation.

Materials Science - Environment - 22.01.2021
Secrets to solar success
Secrets to solar success
A new study shows how researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) achieved a world record in solar cell efficiency.   The study focused on perovskite solar cells - made using a special group of materials which are cheap and easy to manufacture.

Materials Science - Computer Science - 21.01.2021
New metamaterial offers reprogrammable properties
New metamaterial offers reprogrammable properties
Scientists have developed a metamaterial whose mechanical properties can be reprogrammed on demand and whose internal structure can be modified by applying a magnetic field.  Over the past 20 years, scientists have been developing metamaterials, or materials that don't occur naturally and whose mechanical properties result from their designed structure rather than their chemical composition.

Health - Materials Science - 21.01.2021
Making Masks Smarter and Safer Against COVID-19
A new tool for monitoring COVID-19 may one day be right under your nose. Researchers at the University of California San Diego are developing a color-changing test strip that can be stuck on a mask and used to detect SARS-CoV-2 in a user's breath or saliva. The project, which received $1.3 million from the National Institutes of Health, is aimed at providing simple, affordable and reliable surveillance for COVID-19 infections that can be done daily and easily implemented in resource-poor settings.

Health - Materials Science - 21.01.2021
New self-assembly method creates bioelectronics out of microscopic structures
Bringing together soft, malleable living cells with hard, inflexible electronics can be a difficult task. UChicago researchers have developed a new method to face this challenge by utilizing microscopic structures to build up bioelectronics rather than creating them from the top down-creating a highly customizable product.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 14.01.2021
New Research Technique Sheds Light on Least Understood Part of Lithium Batteries
New Research Technique Sheds Light on Least Understood Part of Lithium Batteries
One of the aspects of lithium-ion batteries least understood by scientists has now been elucidated by a new research approach, opening the door to major improvements in battery performance, according to a new study by Berkeley Lab scientists. Their study, recently published in the journal Joule, used a technique developed by Berkeley Lab battery scientists in the Energy Technologies Area to illustrate the structures of large organic molecules generated during battery operation.

Physics - Materials Science - 13.01.2021
Shine On: Avalanching Nanoparticles Break Barriers to Imaging Cells in Real Time
Shine On: Avalanching Nanoparticles Break Barriers to Imaging Cells in Real Time
Study co-led by Berkeley Lab and Columbia Engineering could lead to simple, high-resolution bioimaging in real time by overcoming a fundamental property of light Since the earliest microscopes, scientists have been on a quest to build instruments with finer and finer resolution to image a cell's proteins - the tiny machines that keep cells, and us, running.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 04.01.2021
Innovative Battery Chemistry Revolutionises Zinc-Air Battery
Innovative Battery Chemistry Revolutionises Zinc-Air Battery
High-performance, eco-friendly, safe and at the same time cost-effective: the zinc-air battery is an attractive energy storage technology of the future. Until now, the conventional zinc-air battery has struggled with a high chemical instability, parasitic reactions which rooted in the usage of alkaline electrolytes lead to electrochemical irreversibility.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 04.01.2021
Supercapacitors challenge batteries
Powerful graphene hybrid material for highly efficient supercapacitors A team working with Roland Fischer, Professor of Inorganic and Metal-Organic Chemistry at the Technical University Munich (TUM) has developed a highly efficient supercapacitor. The basis of the energy storage device is a novel, powerful and also sustainable graphene hybrid material that has comparable performance data to currently utilized batteries.