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‘Upcycling’ plastic bottles could give them a more useful second life

These composite materials, developed by upcycling PET, can be used in wind turbines, snowboards, or materials such as ballistic nylon and reusable bottles that can be used multiple times before being recycled. Credit: Dennis Schroeder / NREL Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a recycling process that…

Tinier and less power-hungry quantum atomic clock push toward intelligent IoT

A newly developed compact ULPACs, mounted on small satellites, automobiles, and smartphones, accelerate the realization of seamless and on-demand mobile communication networks. Credit: Kenichi Okada Scientists at Tokyo Tech, Ricoh co. and The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology have developed an ultra-low-power atomic clock (ULPAC) for small satellites to enable future communication…

A quantum magnet with a topological twist

Researchers explored a material that has an internal structure, shown in 3D in left panel, that consists of triangles and hexagons arranged in a pattern similar to that of a Japanese kagome basket. Credit: Hasan, et. al, Princeton University Taking their name from an intricate Japanese basket pattern, kagome magnets are thought to have electronic…

Interactive surfaces enter a whole new dimension of flexibility

(left) System Overview, (right) Example of Displaying the Letter "S." Credit: Osaka University An "interactive surface" refers to an interface whose input and output share a common surface that can be manipulated intuitively with the fingers. However, ordinary multi-touch displays, e.g., liquid crystal displays (LCD), can only provide two-dimensional information, limiting expressions and interactions with…

Can a flowing liquid-like material maintain its structural order like crystals?

Chiral crystal-like droplets displaying unidirectional rotational sliding. Credit: Copyright Tokyo Tech Studying the crystalline structures of organic materials has enabled significant advances in both technology and our scientific understanding of the material world. Recently, a research team from Tokyo Tech, including Professor Takanori Fukushima, developed a new organic material with surprising and unprecedented properties. They…

Directed evolution builds nanoparticles

This is an illustration of a DNA-wrapped single-walled carbon nanotube. Credit: Benjamin Lambert, EPFL The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to three scientists who developed the method that forever changed protein engineering: directed evolution. Mimicking natural evolution, directed evolution guides the synthesis of proteins with improved or new functions. First, the original protein is…

First sypersymmetric laser array

A team of researchers at UCF have developed the first supersymmetric laser array. Credit: UCF, Karen Norum A team of University of Central Florida researchers has overcome a long-standing problem in laser science, and the findings could have applications in surgery, drilling and 3D laser mapping. Using the principle of supersymmetry, they have developed the…

When a superconductor truly becomes super

A graphic illustration of a superconductor cuprate system. Credit: Cockrell School of Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin Unraveling the mystery of superconductivity at high temperatures, specifically in copper oxide materials, remains one of the most puzzling challenges in modern solid-state physics. But an international research team of engineers and scientists may have taken…

Signals from distant lightning could help secure electric substations

Georgia Tech researchers Tohid Shekari, Raheem Beyah, Morris Cohen, and Lukas Graber hold an antenna and home-built recording equipment for the VLF radio receiver, known as AWESOME, which is capable of detecting lightning radio bursts from around the world. Credit: Christopher Moore, Georgia Tech Side channel signals and bolts of lightning from distant storms could…

With nanopore sensing, physics researchers detect subtle changes in single...

Resistive-pulse nanopore sensing is based on the idea that small changes in the current moving through a nanopore (green, left) can be used to learn about molecules contained inside. The researchers were able to trap nanoscale gold clusters with different protective agents (ligands) and these ligands would move around the gold core -- giving rise…

Researchers engineer a tougher fiber

NC State University researchers created fibers consisting of a gallium metal core surrounded by an elastic polymer sheath. When placed under stress, the fiber has the strength of the metal core. But when the metal breaks, the fiber doesn't fail - the polymer sheath absorbs the strain between the breaks in the metal and transfers…

Engineers make clear droplets produce iridescent colors

By tuning size, illumination angle, and curvature, MIT engineers can produce brilliant colors, in patterns they can predict, in otherwise transparent droplets. Credit: Felice Frankel Engineers at MIT and Penn State University have found that under the right conditions, ordinary clear water droplets on a transparent surface can produce brilliant colors, without the addition of…

Climate rewind: Scientists turn carbon dioxide back into coal

A schematic illustration showing how liquid metal is used as a catalyst for converting carbon dioxide into solid coal. Credit: RMIT University Researchers have used liquid metals to turn carbon dioxide back into solid coal, in a world-first breakthrough that could transform our approach to carbon capture and storage. The research team led by RMIT…

New therapeutic approach to treating osteoarthritis

Two-dimensional nanoparticles interacting with stem cells and directing differentiation toward cartilage-lineage. Credit: Texas A&M University College of Engineering Researchers from Texas A&M University, led by Dr. Akhilesh K. Gaharwar, have developed a new way to deliver treatment for cartilage regeneration. Gaharwar, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M, said the nanoclay-based…

Firefly-inspired surfaces improve efficiency of LED lightbulbs

Scanning electron microscope image of the asymmetric pyramids that were 3-D nanoprinted. Credit: Penn State A new type of light-emitting diode lightbulb could one day light homes and reduce power bills, according to Penn State researchers who suggest that LEDs made with firefly-mimicking structures could improve efficiency. "LED lightbulbs play a key role in clean…

How to freeze heat conduction

The atom in the cage can oscillate in two different directions. Credit: TU Wien Every day we lose valuable energy in the form of waste heat -- in technical devices at home, but also in large energy systems. Part of it could be recovered with the help of the "thermoelectric effect." The heat flow from…

Phase transition dynamics in two-dimensional materials

Molecules of monolayer molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) and tungsten diselenide (WSe2) on top of a metal substrate. Credit: National University of Singapore Two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (2D-TMDs) such as monolayer molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) are atomically thin semiconductors in which a layer of transition metal atom is sandwiched between two layers of chalcogen atoms, in the form…

Understanding high efficiency of deep ultraviolet LEDs

Deep-ultraviolet LED. Credit: Copyright Kazunobu Kojima Deep ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (DUV-LEDs) made from aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN) efficiently transfer electrical energy to optical energy due to the growth of one of its bottom layers in a step-like fashion. This finding, published in the journal Applied Physics Letters, can lead to the development of even more…

Entangling photons of different colors

By carefully engineering the geometry of a micrometer-scale, ring-shaped resonator, researchers at NIST produced pairs of entangled photons (particles of light) that have two very different colors or wavelengths. Light from a pump laser (purple regions in the resonator) generates one photon in each pair at a visible-light wavelength (red patches in and around resonator);…

Expanding the use of silicon in batteries, by preventing electrodes from...

MXene sheets combine with silicon particles to form a stable anode that could be used in Li-ion batteries. Credit: Trinity College The latest lithium-ion batteries on the market are likely to extend the charge-to-charge life of phones and electric cars by as much as 40 percent. This leap forward, which comes after more than a…

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