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Materials Science - Physics - 14.02.2019
Solar-powered supercapacitors could create flexible, wearable electronics
A breakthrough in energy storage technology could bring a new generation of flexible electronic devices to life, including solar-powered prosthetics for amputees. In a new paper published in the journal Advanced Science , a team of engineers from the University of Glasgow discuss how they have used layers of graphene and polyurethane to create a flexible supercapacitor which can generate power from the sun and store excess energy for later use.

Physics - Materials Science - 13.02.2019
World's finest gold specimen probed with Los Alamos neutrons
World’s finest gold specimen probed with Los Alamos neutrons
Los Alamos, New Mexico, Feb 13, 2019-Using neutron characterization techniques a team of scientists have peered inside one of the most unique examples of wire gold, understanding for the first time the specimen's structure and possible formation process. The 263 gram, 12 centimeter tall specimen, known as the Ram's Horn, belongs to the collection of the Mineralogical and Geological Museum Harvard University (MGMH).

Physics - Materials Science - 12.02.2019
Next-generation optics in just two minutes of cooking time
Next-generation optics in just two minutes of cooking time
One of the key building blocks of flexible photonic circuits and ultra-thin optics are metasurfaces. And EPFL engineers have now discovered a simple way of making these surfaces in just a few minutes - without needing a clean room - using a method already employed in manufacturing. Their findings have just been published.

Physics - Materials Science - 11.02.2019
Using artificial intelligence to engineer materials' properties
Using artificial intelligence to engineer materials’ properties
New system of "strain engineering" can change a material's optical, electrical, and thermal properties. Applying just a bit of strain to a piece of semiconductor or other crystalline material can deform the orderly arrangement of atoms in its structure enough to cause dramatic changes in its properties, such as the way it conducts electricity, transmits light, or conducts heat.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 11.02.2019
What does it take to make a better battery?
What does it take to make a better battery?
Cambridge researchers are working to solve one of technology's biggest puzzles: how to build next-generation batteries that could power a green revolution. A better battery could make all the difference. So what's holding up progress? Like many of us, when I wake up I reach for the phone on my bedside table and begin scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, email and news apps.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 10.02.2019
Turbocharged supercapacitors from new ionic liquids
Publication by Laboratoire de chimie, , on August 2019. A new article describes the discovery of a new class of electrolytes, which can improve energy storage efficiency in supercapacitors. A team of scientists from US, France, UK and Australia has worked out a way to improve energy storage devices called supercapacitors, by designing a new class of ionic liquids based on common, non-toxic chemicals.

Physics - Materials Science - 08.02.2019
Cryo-force spectroscopy reveals the mechanical properties of DNA components
Cryo-force spectroscopy reveals the mechanical properties of DNA components
Physicists from the University of Basel have developed a new method to examine the elasticity and binding properties of DNA molecules on a surface at extremely low temperatures. With a combination of cryo-force spectroscopy and computer simulations, they were able to show that DNA molecules behave like a chain of small coil springs.

Materials Science - Physics - 07.02.2019
Unleashing perovskites' potential for solar cells
Unleashing perovskites’ potential for solar cells
New results show how varying the recipe could bring these materials closer to commercialization. Perovskites - a broad category of compounds that share a certain crystal structure - have attracted a great deal of attention as potential new solar-cell materials because of their low cost, flexibility, and relatively easy manufacturing process.

Materials Science - Health - 07.02.2019
How safe is graphene?
How safe is graphene?
Graphene is considered one of the most interesting and versatile materials of our time. The application possibilities inspire both research and industry. But are products containing graphene also safe for humans and the environment? A comprehensive review, developed as part of the European graphene flagship project with the participation of Empa researchers, investigated this question.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 06.02.2019
Offers First Complete Picture of Lithium-Ion Battery Performance
Offers First Complete Picture of Lithium-Ion Battery Performance
By Ali Sundermier Note: This article was adapted from an original press release published by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. View the original release. One issue plaguing today's commercial battery materials is that they are only able to release about half of the lithium ions they contain. A promising solution is to cram cathodes with extra lithium ions, allowing them to store more energy in the same amount of space.

Materials Science - 31.01.2019
New Materials Exhibit Split Personality
New Materials Exhibit Split Personality
What's the discovery? Julia Greer , professor of materials science, mechanics and medical engineering in Caltech's Division of Engineering and Applied Science, creates materials out of microand nano-scale building blocks that are arranged into sophisticated architectures that can be periodic, like a lattice, or arbitrary.

Electroengineering - Materials Science - 28.01.2019
Converting Wi-Fi signals to electricity with new 2-D materials
Converting Wi-Fi signals to electricity with new 2-D materials
Device made from flexible, inexpensive materials could power large-area electronics, wearables, medical devices, and more. Imagine a world where smartphones, laptops, wearables, and other electronics are powered without batteries. Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have taken a step in that direction, with the first fully flexible device that can convert energy from Wi-Fi signals into electricity that could power electronics.

Materials Science - Transport - 24.01.2019
Nanotechnology enables engineers to weld previously un-weldable aluminum alloy
Nanotechnology enables engineers to weld previously un-weldable aluminum alloy
Super-strong but lightweight, AA 7075 now could be more widely used in automobiles and other manufacturing thanks to UCLA research Matthew Chin An aluminum alloy developed in the 1940s has long held promise for use in automobile manufacturing, except for one key obstacle. Although it's nearly as strong as steel and just one-third the weight, it is almost impossible to weld together using the technique commonly used to assemble body panels or engine parts.

Materials Science - 22.01.2019
Fireproofing made of recycled paper
Fireproofing made of recycled paper
Scientists at Empa teamed up with isofloc AG to develop an insulating material made of recycled paper. It is ideal for prefabricated wooden elements and even multistory timber houses, and protects the construction against fire. What's more: The additive it contains is harmless to humans, animals and the environment.

Materials Science - Innovation - 17.01.2019
Smart fabrics made possible by new metal deposition technique
Smart fabrics made possible by new metal deposition technique
Researchers have devised a way to deposit metals onto fabrics and used it to insert sensors and batteries into these materials. A multidisciplinary team of researchers from Imperial College London led by Dr Firat Güder from the Department of Bioengineering have developed an innovative technique to print metals such as silver, gold and platinum onto natural fabrics.

Materials Science - 16.01.2019
Say 'bye bye' to faulty mobile phones and solar cells
Say ’bye bye’ to faulty mobile phones and solar cells
Faulty mobile phones and solar cells could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a ground-breaking invention developed at The Australian National University (ANU). Engineers have developed a powerful new tool to help manufacturers spot defects or unwanted features in everyday technology - such as mobile phones, batteries and solar cells - more easily and much earlier in the fabrication process.

Materials Science - Health - 16.01.2019
Mechanism helps explain the ear's exquisite sensitivity
Mechanism helps explain the ear’s exquisite sensitivity
A critical gel-like structure in the inner ear moves according to a sound's frequency, researchers find. The human ear, like those of other mammals, is so extraordinarily sensitive that it can detect sound-wave-induced vibrations of the eardrum that move by less than the width of an atom. Now, researchers at MIT have discovered important new details of how the ear achieves this amazing ability to pick up faint sounds.

Materials Science - 08.01.2019
Rare metals from e-waste
Rare metals from e-waste
This year, beautifully wrapped laptops, mobile phones or even new TV sets lay under numerous Christmas trees. They are enthusiastically put into use - and the old electronic devices are disposed of. The e-waste contains resources such as neodymium, indium and gold. What happens to the valuable materials' And how much rare metal is contained in mobile phones, computers and monitors that are still in use today? Empa researchers have investigated these questions.

Physics - Materials Science - 04.01.2019
Excitons pave the way to more efficient electronics
Excitons pave the way to more efficient electronics
After developing a method to control exciton flows at room temperature, EPFL scientists have discovered new properties of these quasiparticles that can lead to more energy-efficient electronic devices. They were the first to control exciton flows at room temperature. And now, the team of scientists from EPFL's Laboratory of Nanoscale Electronics and Structures (LANES) has taken their technology one step further.

Physics - Materials Science - 31.12.2018
Physicists record "lifetime" of graphene qubits
First measurement of its kind could provide stepping stone to practical quantum computing. Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have recorded, for the first time, the "temporal coherence" of a graphene qubit - meaning how long it can maintain a special state that allows it to represent two logical states simultaneously.