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Materials Science - Physics - 17.02.2021
In step toward autonomous materials, researchers design patterns in self-propelling liquid crystals
Materials capable of performing complex functions in response to changes in the environment could form the basis for exciting new technologies. Think of a capsule implanted in your body that automatically releases antibodies in response to a virus, a surface that releases an antibacterial agent when exposed to dangerous bacteria, a material that adapts its shape when it needs to sustain a particular weight, or clothing that senses and captures toxic contaminants from the air.

Physics - Materials Science - 17.02.2021
Novel sandwich technology improves sensitivity of rapid tests
Novel sandwich technology improves sensitivity of rapid tests
Scientists have developed a method for boosting the sensitivity of rapid-detection tests like those used for the new coronavirus. The results of their feasibility study have just been published in Nano Letters. Pregnancy tests and rapid-detection tests for the new coronavirus work in the same way. They contain a surface - usually made of metal - on which chemical nanosensors detect specific compounds in a sample of urine, saliva or blood that indicate the presence of a given protein or part of a virus.

Physics - Materials Science - 16.02.2021
A sharper look at the interior of semiconductors
A sharper look at the interior of semiconductors
A research team is developing a high-resolution imaging technique that can be used to investigate materials in a non-destructive manner and with nanometre precision Images provide information - what we can observe with our own eyes enables us to understand. Constantly expanding the field of perception into dimensions that are initially hidden from the naked eye, drives science forward.

Physics - Materials Science - 15.02.2021
The transforming power of light
A group of researchers from the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society and the Humboldt University of Berlin have found out that semiconductors can be converted to metals and back more easily and more quickly than previously thought. This discovery may increase the processing speed and simplify the design of many common technological devices.

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.