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Physics - Materials Science - 07.10.2019
Modified quantum dots capture more energy from light and lose less to heat
Modified quantum dots capture more energy from light and lose less to heat
Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers discover a new approach for capturing energy from light-generated, 'hot' electrons, avoiding wasteful heat loss This discovery can potentially enable novel, highly-efficient solar cells, light detectors, photocathodes and light-driven chemical reactions. Victor Klimov LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Oct.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 07.10.2019
Slow Decay
Slow Decay
"Corrosion" comes from Latin "corrodere": to gnaw something to pieces. This refers to the gradual destruction of a substance due to the influence of other substances in the environment. Specialists at Empa take a close look at such processes and can find timely ways to prevent material failure due to corrosion - long before disasters such as those in Genoa occur.

Physics - Materials Science - 07.10.2019
'Picoscience' and a plethora of new materials
’Picoscience’ and a plethora of new materials
The revolutionary tech discoveries of the next few decades, the ones that will change daily life, may come from new materials so small they make nanomaterials look like lumpy behemoths. These new materials will be designed and refined at the picometer scale, which is a thousand times smaller than a nanometer and a million times smaller than a micrometer (which itself is smaller than the width of a human hair).

Materials Science - Environment - 07.10.2019
The Wood Paradox
The Wood Paradox
It can be deformed as required and is three times stronger than natural wood: the wood material developed by Marion Frey, Tobias Keplinger and Ingo Burgert at Empa and ETH Zurich has the potential to become a high-tech material. In the process, the researchers remove precisely the part of the wood that gives it its stability in nature: lignin.

Materials Science - Health - 07.10.2019
The Screw That Dissolves
The Screw That Dissolves
Where bones fracture, surgeons often have to join the fragments with implants. Magnesium orthopaedic screws, which over time dissolve in the body, spare patients another operation after healing is completed and reduce the risk of infection. What happens inside the body during this process, though, is still largely unknown.

Physics - Materials Science - 04.10.2019
New metasurface design can control optical fields in three dimensions
New metasurface design can control optical fields in three dimensions
A team led by scientists at the University of Washington has designed and tested a 3D-printed metamaterial that can manipulate light with nanoscale precision. As they report in a paper published Oct. 4 Advances, their designed optical element focuses light to discrete points in a 3D helical pattern. The team's design principles and experimental findings demonstrate that it is possible to model and construct metamaterial devices that can precisely manipulate optical fields with high spatial resolution in three dimensions.

Materials Science - 02.10.2019
New 3D printing technique for biomaterials
A new way of 3D printing soft materials such as gels and collagens offers a major step forward in the manufacture of artificial medical implants. Developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham, the technique could be used to print soft biomaterials that could be used to repair defects in the body.

Environment - Materials Science - 30.09.2019
Reveals how hurricanes affect life below the surface
In early October 2016, a tropical storm named Nicole formed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It roamed for six days, intensifying to a powerful hurricane with 140 mph winds, before hitting the island of Bermuda as a Category 3 storm. Hurricanes like Nicole can cause significant damage to human structures on land, and often permanently alter terrestrial landscapes.

Environment - Materials Science - 30.09.2019
New treatment prevents wildfires
New treatment prevents wildfires
Scientists and engineers worked with state and local agencies to develop and test a long-lasting, environmentally benign fire-retarding material. If used on high-risk areas, the simple, affordable treatment could dramatically cut the number of fires that occur each year. A preventive treatment developed by Stanford researchers could greatly reduce the incidence and severity of wildfires.

Physics - Materials Science - 30.09.2019
Quantum material goes where none have gone before ?
Quantum material goes where none have gone before ?
Alloy behaves strangely while traversing potential 'spin liquid' state Rice University physicist Qimiao Si began mapping quantum criticality more than a decade ago, and he's finally found a traveler that can traverse the final frontier. The traveler is an alloy of cerium palladium and aluminum, and its journey is described in a study published online this week by Si, a theoretical physicist and director of the Rice Center for Quantum Materials (RCQM), and colleagues in China, Germany and Japan.

Environment - Materials Science - 30.09.2019
Make like a leaf: researchers developing method to convert CO2
Make like a leaf: researchers developing method to convert CO2
University of Sydney researchers are drawing inspiration from leaves to reduce carbon emissions, using nanotechnology to develop a method for 'carbon photosynthesis' that they hope will one day be adopted on an industrial-scale. Professor Jun Huang from the University of Sydney Nano Institute and the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is  developing  a carbon capture method that aims to go one step beyond storage, instead converting and recycling carbon dioxide (CO2) into raw materials that can be used to create fuels and chemicals.

Life Sciences - Materials Science - 26.09.2019
Spider silk: A malleable protein provides reinforcement
Spider silk: A malleable protein provides reinforcement
09/26/2019 Scientists from the University of Würzburg have discovered that spider silk contains an exceptional protein. It generates high bonding strength by making use of an amino acid scientists have hitherto paid little attention to. Why are the lightweight silk threads of web spiders tougher than most other materials' Scientists from the Universities of Würzburg and Mainz teamed up to find answers to this question.

Health - Materials Science - 26.09.2019
On the road to safe nanomedicine
On the road to safe nanomedicine
Tiny particles that can fight cancer or that can easily pass through any interface within our body are a great promise for medicine. But there is little knowledge thus far about what exactly will happen to nanoparticles within our tissues and whether or not they can cause disease by themselves. Within an international research consortium, Empa scientists have now developed guidelines that should enable the safe development of nanoparticles for medical use.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 24.09.2019
A battery with a twist
A battery with a twist
Markus Niederberger's team of researchers at ETH has used stretchable materials to develop a battery that can be bent, stretched and twisted. For applications in bendable electronic devices, this is precisely the kind of battery they need. Today's electronics industry is increasingly focusing on computers or smartphones with screens that can be folded or rolled.

Materials Science - 16.09.2019
Wood that Shapes Itself
Wood that Shapes Itself
Researchers from the University of Stuttgart, ETH Zurich and the Swiss Empa have presented a method with which wood panels themselves bend into a previously calculated shape in a controlled drying process without mechanical force. The procedure, which contributed to the production of the Urbach Tower at the Remstal Garden Show near Stuttgart, was reported on by the renowned scientific journal Science Advances in its issue of 13 September 2019.

Materials Science - 13.09.2019
The Enigma of Bronze Age Tin
The Enigma of Bronze Age Tin
Researchers use methods of the natural sciences to uncover geographic origin of archaeological tin artefacts from the Mediterranean The origin of the tin used in the Bronze Age has long been one of the greatest enigmas in archaeological research. Now researchers from Heidelberg University and the Curt Engelhorn Centre for Archaeometry in Mannheim have solved part of the puzzle.

Materials Science - Astronomy / Space Science - 12.09.2019
Engineers develop
Engineers develop "blackest black" material to date
Made from carbon nanotubes, the new coating is 10 times darker than other very black materials. Fast Company reporter Mark Wilson writes that a collaboration between CAST artist-in-residence Diemut Strebe and Prof. Brian Wardle led to the creation of the blackest material ever made. "It's pretty interesting that the artist in my group influenced the science," says Wardle.

Physics - Materials Science - 10.09.2019
'Human races' do not exist
’Human races’ do not exist
Physicists create plasma for the first time using nanowires and long-wavelength ultrashort pulse laser Light Physicists at the University of Jena have developed a new method for producing plasma, enabling them to deal with some of the problems that stand in the way of this extremely difficult process.

Microtechnics - Materials Science - 09.09.2019
Soft-bodied swimming robot uses only light for power and steering
In a paper in Science Robotics, materials scientists from the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering describe a new design for a swimming robot that's both powered and steered by constant light. The device, called OsciBot because it moves by oscillating its tail, could eventually lead to designs for oceangoing robots and autonomous ships.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 04.09.2019
New insulation technique paves the way for more powerful and smaller chips
Researchers at KU Leuven and imec have successfully developed a new technique to insulate microchips. The technique uses metal-organic frameworks, a new type of materials consisting of structured nanopores. In the long term, this method can be used for the development of even smaller and more powerful chips that consume less energy.