• The Best Topological Conductor Yet: Spiraling Crystal Is the Key to Exotic Discovery

    X-ray research at Berkeley Lab reveals samples are a new state of matter
    The realization of so-called topological materials – which exhibit exotic, defect-resistant properties and are expected to have applications in electronics, optics, quantum computing, and other fields – has opened up a new realm in materials discovery.Screenshot from an animation which appears in the source article. The animation shows how Fermi arc states form a spiraling structure in a crystal material th
  • Solid electrolytes in solar cells, in place of organic-based gelators and ionic liquids

    Study shows pressure induces unusually high electrical conductivity in polyiodide
    A study into the effects of high mechanical pressure on the polyiodide TEAI showed that it brings unusually high electrical conductivity starting from insulating state, suggesting that the material may be useful as a switchable semiconductor. This system could represent an alternative to gel electrolytes and ionic liquids in dye-synthesized solar cells. The paper, Pressure-induced Polymerization and Electrical
  • One transistor for all purposes

    In mobiles, fridges, planes – transistors are everywhere. But they often operate only within a restricted current range. LMU physicists have now developed an organic transistor that functions perfectly under both low and high currents.Christoph Hohmann, Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM)
    Transistors are semiconductor devices that control voltage and currents in electrical circuits. To reduce economic and environmental costs, electronic devices must become smaller and more effective. This
  • Cricket Bacteria Break Down Lignin, Highlighting Ecology’s Utility in Applied R&D

    Studying nature could help us ID new industrial materials
    Researchers have discovered that a bacterium found in camel crickets is capable of breaking down lignin – the stuff that makes wood tough – opening new research pathways for the development of biofuels and chemical manufacturing. The study also highlights the potential inherent in using ecosystem analysis as a tool for targeting research into the identification of commercially valuable microorganisms with industrial applicatio
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  • UNSW to develop hydrogen storage for renewables

    A system that stores renewable energy as hydrogen and is safer for home use than lithium-ion batteries is on the horizon for researchers at UNSW Sydney.Residential hydrogen storage system.Researchers at UNSW Sydney with partners H2Store have received a $3.5 million investment from Providence Asset Group to develop a first-of-its-kind hydrogen storage system that could mean cheaper, safer storage for renewable energy.
    Professor Kondo-Francois Aguey-Zinsou and his team at UNSW’s School of Ch
  • Novel form of graphene-based optical material developed

    Ultrathin film offers new concept for solar energy
    The graphene-based material is 1000 times thinner than a human hair and can be tuned for use in solar cells, solar desalination, infrared lights and optical components.Schematic of graphene-based metamaterial absorber. Source: Nature Photonics
    Researchers at the University of Sydney, Swinburne University of Technology and the Australian National University have collaborated to develop a solar absorbing, ultrathin film with unique properties that
  • Speeding the development of fusion power to create unlimited energy on Earth

    Can tokamak fusion facilities, the most widely used devices for harvesting on Earth the fusion reactions that power the sun and stars, be developed more quickly to produce safe, clean, and virtually limitless energy for generating electricity? Physicist Jon Menard of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has examined that question in a detailed look at the concept of a compact tokamak equipped with high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets. S
  • Jet fuels made from plants could be cost competitive with conventional fossil fuels

    With an estimated daily fuel demand of more than 5 million barrels per day, the global aviation sector is incredibly energy-intensive and almost entirely reliant on petroleum-based fuels. Unlike other energy sectors such as ground transportation or residential and commercial buildings, the aviation industry can’t easily shift to renewable energy sources using existing technologies.Project Scientist Daniel Mendez works on lab-scale bio-jet fuel production at JBEI in Emeryville, CA. Credit:
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  • Levitating Objects with Light

    Nanoscale patterning could enable precise manipulation of objects on many scales.
    Researchers at Caltech have designed a way to levitate and propel objects using only light, by creating specific nanoscale patterning on the objects’ surfaces.Conceptual illustration of a nano-patterned object reorienting itself to remain in a beam of light. Credit: Courtesy of the Atwater laboratory
    Though still theoretical, the work is a step toward developing a spacecraft that could reach the nearest plane
  • Researchers Find Cost-Effective Method for Hydrogen Fuel Production Process

    Nanoparticles composed of nickel and iron have been found to be more effective and efficient than other, more costly materials when used as catalysts in the production of hydrogen fuel through water electrolysis.
    The discovery was made by University of Arkansas researchers Jingyi Chen, associate professor of physical chemistry, and Lauren Greenlee, assistant professor of chemical engineering, as well as colleagues from Brookhaven National Lab and Argonne National Lab.The researchers demonstrated
  • Semimetals are High Conductors

    Researchers in China and at UC Davis have measured high conductivity in very thin layers of niobium arsenide, a type of material called a Weyl semimetal. The material has about three times the conductivity of copper at room temperature, said Sergey Savrasov, professor of physics in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science. Savrasov is a coauthor on the paper published March 18 in Nature Materials. The Weyl semimetal state is induced when the opposing motions of the electro
  • Researchers discover new material to help power electronics

    Finding could change how electronic devices are built
    Electronics rule our world, but electrons rule our electronics.
    A research team at The Ohio State University has discovered a way to simplify how electronic devices use those electrons—using a material that can serve dual roles in electronics, where historically multiple materials have been necessary.Credit: CC0 Public Domain
    The team published its findings March 18 in the journal Nature Materials.
    “We have essentially found
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  • Trembling Aspen leaves could save future Mars rovers

    Researchers at the University of Warwick have been inspired by the unique movement of trembling aspen leaves, to devise an energy harvesting mechanism that could power weather sensors in hostile environments and could even be a back-up energy supply that could save and extend the life of future Mars rovers.
    .
    University of Warwick third year engineering undergraduates have in recent years been set the task of the examining the puzzle of why Aspen leaves quiver in the presence of a slightest bree
  • Advances point the way to smaller, safer batteries

    People don’t ask too much from batteries: Deliver energy when it’s needed and for as long as it is wanted, recharge quickly and don’t burst into flames.
    A rash of cell phone fires in 2016 jolted consumer confidence in lithium-ion batteries, a technology that helped usher in modern portable electronics but has been plagued by safety concerns since it was introduced in the 1980s. As interest in electric vehicles revs up, researchers and industry insiders are searching for improve
  • Stanford researchers create hydrogen fuel from seawater

    Splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen presents an alternative to fossil fuels, but purified water is a precious resource. A Stanford-led team has now developed a way to harness seawater – Earth’s most abundant source – for chemical energy.
    Stanford researchers have devised a way to generate hydrogen fuel using solar power, electrodes and saltwater from San Francisco Bay.Hongjie Dai and his research lab at Stanford University have developed a prototype that can generate hydro
  • Magnetization Reversal achieved at room temperature using only an electric field

    Scientists at Tokyo Tech achieved magnetization reversal in cobalt-substituted bismuth ferrite by applying only an electric field. Such an effect had been sought after for over a decade in order to make new types of low-power-consumption magnetic memory devices.In the era of information technology revolution, electronics demand rapid evolution facilitated by greater efforts from materials researchers to pave the way for further improvements and novel devices. In particular, a better understandin
  • Researchers eye huge supply of rare-earth elements from mining waste

    Researchers have examined a method to extract rare-earth elements from mining waste that could provide the world with a reliable supply of the valuable materials.
    The research, led by Idaho National Laboratory and Rutgers University with support from the Critical Materials Institute, is online and in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics.
    Rare-earth elements (REEs) – a class of metallic elements including neodymium and dysprosium – are necessary for the manufact
  • Nanocrystal ‘Factory’ Could Revolutionize Quantum Dot Manufacturing

    North Carolina State University researchers have developed a microfluidic system for synthesizing perovskite quantum dots across the entire spectrum of visible light. The system drastically reduces manufacturing costs, can be tuned on demand to any color and allows for real-time process monitoring to ensure quality control.Over the last two decades, colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals, known as quantum dots (QDs), have emerged as novel materials for applications ranging from biological sensing
  • New magnetic liquids to convert waste heat into energy

    EU-funded researchers are developing new liquid magnetic materials that convert waste heat into electricity. The long-term aim for these materials, which are both affordable and environmentally friendly, is to use them to harness waste thermal energy to reduce energy consumption and help tackle the global energy crisis© viperagp #54958920, 2019 source: stock.adobe.com
    Current global energy use is extremely inefficient. Across industrial sectors, 20-50 % of energy consumed is lost throu
  • Researchers measure near-perfect performance in low-cost semiconductors

    Stanford researchers redefine what it means for low-cost semiconductors, called quantum dots, to be near-perfect and find that quantum dots meet quality standards set by more expensive alternatives
    Tiny, easy-to-produce particles, called quantum dots, may soon take the place of more expensive single crystal semiconductors in advanced electronics found in solar panels, camera sensors and medical imaging tools. Although quantum dots have begun to break into the consumer market – in the form
  • Fuel cell vehicles: New sensor system safeguards fuel quality at hydrogen filling stations

    Fuel cell vehicles need hydrogen to operate, but that hydrogen has to be free of any contaminants that could damage the fuel cell. Professor Andreas Schütze and his research team at Saarland University are collaborating with research partners to develop a sensor system that can provide continuous in situ monitoring of hydrogen quality at hydrogen fuelling stations. The infrared measuring cell will be installed inside the hydrogen filling station and will have to operate under very challengi
  • Cause of Cathode Degradation Identified for Nickel-rich Materials

    Combination of research methods reveals causes of capacity fading, giving scientists better insight to design advanced batteries for electric vehicles
    A team of scientists including researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have identified the causes of degradation in a cathode material for lithium-ion batteries, as well as possible remedies. Their findings, published on Mar. 7 in Advanced Fun
  • Converting biomass by applying mechanical force

    Nanoscientists discovering a new reaction mechanism to cleave cellulose efficiently and environmentally friendly
    One of the greatest global challenges is the efficient use of renewable sources in order to meet the increasing demand for energy and feedstock chemicals in the future. In this context, biomass is a promising alternative to existing fossil sources such as coal or oil. Cellulose plays a decisive role here because it accounts for the largest fraction of the natural carbon storage. These
  • Earth Engine: Claim– 3 years of 40+ kW mechanical energy production from magnets

    The Earth Engine is capable of producing 40+Kw of mechanical energy. This energy can be used to generate electricity, operating pumps, compressors, and other mechanical devices.
    The Earth Engine is not a perpetual motion machine. The Earth Engine uses the force created from two opposing magnets. Magnets are a depleting resource that requires “recharging” every three years. If the engine is shut down, it will stop rotating the drive system.The Earth Engine is the only known power sour
  • Earth Engine: 3 years of 40+ kW mechanical energy production from magnets– orderable now

    …Earth Engine’s CEO is a retired president and CEO of Allied Signal Aerospace…
    The Earth Engine is capable of producing 40+Kw of mechanical energy. This energy can be used to generate electricity, operating pumps, compressors, and other mechanical devices.
    The Earth Engine is not a perpetual motion machine. The Earth Engine uses the force created from two opposing magnets. Magnets are a depleting resource that requires “recharging” every three years. If the engine
  • Solar-Powered Moisture Harvester Collects and Cleans Water from Air

    Access to clean water remains one of the biggest challenges facing humankind. A breakthrough by engineers at The University of Texas at Austin may offer a new solution through solar-powered technology that absorbs moisture from the air and returns it as clean, usable water.Credit: CC0 Public Domain
    The breakthrough, described in a recent issue of the journal Advanced Materials, could be used in disaster situations, water crises or poverty-stricken areas and developing countries. The technol
  • Renewable energy solution for industrial heat applications

    Researchers at the University of South Australia have developed a new technique that may greatly reduce industry’s dependence on natural gas, combining renewable energy and low-cost thermal storage to deliver heat for high-temperature industrial processes.Research indicates around 20 per cent of global fossil fuel emissions are currently produced by industry, largely through burning natural gas to create heat for various processes in the manufacture of products suc
  • New methods for genetically modifying plants

    Two articles reprinted below:
    MIT-led team uses nanoparticles to deliver genes into plant chloroplasts.
    MIT researchers have developed a new genetic tool that could make it easier to engineer plants that can survive drought or resist fungal infections. Their technique, which uses nanoparticles to deliver genes into the chloroplasts of plant cells, works with many different plant species, including spinach and other vegetables.MIT engineers have developed a way to deliver genes to the chloroplast
  • Powering devices — with a desk lamp?

    Batteries power most of our devices, and even some cars. But researchers now report in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces a step toward running electronic devices in homes and offices on the light coming from lamps scattered around the room. The team developed special light harvesters, like those used for solar power, optimized to produce energy from ambient indoor lighting.Light coming from lamps scattered around the room could one day be used to run electronic devices, thanks to
  • Up to 250L/ day H2 gas from a 1.6 m² solar panel: a patent attorney’s viewpoint

    [An article by a patent attorney prompted me to bump this story from its posting on RG a week ago. It is now clear that standard PV electricity is produced, even if only in existence momentarily while water is electrolyzed. Heat energy is also captured, whether directly from the sun, from electricity generation, or both. This invention can be de-bundled from its PV electricity and heat generation which are already commodity technologies (see also–> here). Let’s see an updated vers
  • Device That ‘Shakes’ Light A Breakthrough In Photonics

    The ability to control light with electronics is a critical part of advanced photonics, a field with applications that include telecommunications and precision time-keeping. But the limits of available optical materials have stymied efforts to achieve greater efficiency.
    Researchers at Yale, though, have developed a device that combines mechanical vibration and optical fields to better control light particles. The device has demonstrated an efficient on-chip shaping of photons enabled
  • Novel nanomaterial promises improvements in batteries and many more sustainable applications

    Unique nanomesh combines high porosity, unprecedented surface-to-volume ratio and ease of manufacturing
    Imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics, energy, and digital technologies and KU Leuven, both partners in EnergyVille, present a novel nanomesh material that could mean a breakthrough in a variety of sustainable-application sectors. The new nanomesh material is a three-dimensional nanometer-scale (metal) grid structure with highly regular internal dimensions. Thank
  • New membrane water treatment system to reduce toxic waste and waste disposal cost by over 90 per cent

    A new pilot plant to treat industrial wastewater is being built that could potentially reduce the amount of liquid waste by over 90 per cent.
    In addition, the new plant which will be located at a semiconductor company in Singapore can also recover precious metals from the treated water which can then be sold and reused.Dr Adil Dhalla (left), Managing Director of START Centre, holding the novel tri-bore hollow-fibre membrane, with Dr Antony Prince (right), Founder of Memsift Innovations, holding
  • Engineers Look Beyond 5G

    The worldwide race to deploy 5G wireless networks is still in its early stages, but Professor Jeyanandh Paramesh and his students in Carnegie Mellon University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) are looking. The massive interconnected web of the Internet of Things (IoT) and personal devices enabled by 5G will increase demand for higher data rates and lower latency. To support this beyond-5G network of the future, Paramesh, ECE Ph.D. student Susnata Mondal, and recent ECE
  • Joi Scientific: data-gagged scientists state only “there is potential”, “not far-fetched”

    …NB Power’s CEO is now part of Joi Scientific’s board of directors… He claims it may take two to three years before small prototypes are ready…
    Three articles reprinted below:
    Skeptical scientists face NB Power investmentOlivier Clarisse (left) and Abdelaziz Nait Ajjou (right), professors of chemistry at the Université de Moncton, are skeptical about the claims of JOI Scientific Inc., an American startup. – Acadie Nouvelle: Pascal Raiche-Nogue
    Scient
  • Movie technology inspires wearable liquid unit that aims to harvest energy

    A fascination with movie technology that showed robots perform self-repair through a liquid formula inspired a Purdue University professor to make his own discoveries—which are now helping to lead the way for advancements in self-powering devices such as consumer electronics and defense innovations.A Purdue University team created wearable technology to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. Credit: Wenzhuo Wu/Purdue University
    The Purdue team, led by Wenzhuo Wu, the Ravi and E
  • BaTiO3 nanodot coating of cathode in Li-ion batteries delivers ultra-fast charging

    Scientists at Tokyo Tech and Okayama University have greatly improved the performance of LiCoO2 cathodes in Li-ion batteries by decorating them with BaTiO3 nanodots. Most importantly, they elucidated the mechanism behind the measured results, concluding that the BaTiO3 nanodots create a special interface through which Li ions can circulate easily, even at very high charge/discharge rates.Three cathodes were fabricated: a standard bare one (left), one coated with a layer of BaTiO3
  • Quantum physicists succeed in controlling energy losses and shifts

    Achievement can be applied to speed up quantum computers and design new quantum technological devicesArtistic impression of a quantum resonator coupled to environmental modes. Figure credit: Heikka Valja.
    Quantum computers need to preserve quantum information for a long time to be able to crack important problems faster than a normal computer. Energy losses take the state of the qubit from 1 to 0, destroying stored quantum information at the same time. Consequently, scientists all over the globe
  • Controlling thermal conductivity of polymers with light

    Polymers are regularly used as thermal insulators for everything from keeping beverages hot to keeping sensitive electronics cool. In some cases, polymers can even be used as thermal conductors to enable efficient heating or cooling.Under ambient conditions or visible light (left side), the polymer is crystalline and has a high thermal conductivity. Once exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light (right side) it transforms to a low thermal conductivity liquid. Imaging performed using polarized optical mi
  • Ultrathin and ultrafast new technique for two-dimensional material analysis

    Discovery allows scientists to look at how 2D materials move with ultrafast precision
    Using a never-before-seen technique, scientists have found a new way to use some of the world’s most powerful X-rays to uncover how atoms move in a single atomic sheet at ultrafast speeds.This image shows the experimental setup for a newly developed technique: ultrafast surface X-ray scattering. This technique couples an optical pump with an X-ray free-electron laser probe to investigate molecular dynamic
  • Nature’s Own Biorefinery

    Common beetle’s gut microbiome benefits forests, holds promise for bioenergy
    Insects are critical contributors to ecosystem functioning, and like most living organisms their co-evolution with microbes has been essential to support these functions. While many insects are infamous for wreaking havoc wherever they roam, many thousands of species go quietly about their business, providing important services essential to healthy ecosystems using the innovative biochemistry of their microbiomes.
  • Novel technology aims to improve lithium metal battery life, safety

    UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Rechargeable lithium metal batteries with increased energy density, performance, and safety may be possible with a newly-developed, solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI), according to Penn State researchers.A reactive polymer composite, picturing the electrochemical interface between lithium metal anode and electrolyte is stabilized by the use of a reactive polymer composite, enabling high-performance rechargeable lithium metal batteries. Image: Donghai Wang
    As the dem
  • In-plane coherent control of plasmon resonances for plasmonic switching and encoding

    Light incident on metallic nanoparticles can initiate the collective motion of electrons, causing a strong amplification of the local electromagnetic field. Such plasmonic resonances have significant roles in biosensing with ability to improve the resolution and sensitivity required to detect particles at the scale of the single molecule. The control of plasmon resonances in metadevices have potential applications in all-optical, light-with-light signal modulation and image
  • Mechanism reverses natural flow of heat, violataing 2LoT, without need for feedback control

    Researchers at the University of Florence and Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi, in Italy, have recently proved that the invasiveness of quantum measurements might not always be detrimental. In a study published in Physical Review Letters, they showed that this invasive quality can actually be exploited, using quantum measurements to fuel a cooling engine.In quantum measurement cooling, the heat current is powered by energy provided via invasive measurements on an appropriate measurement basi
  • Researchers Discover the Key to Safer Batteries Lies on the Surface

    Everyone wants smaller, cheaper, longer-lasting batteries. Find one that also has greater safety and stability, and you have the Holy Grail of better batteries.
    Lithium-ion batteries have been the hands-down favorite for smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras and rechargeable power tools for decades. But they also have drawbacks, such as “thermal runaway” in which a battery fails — or catches fire — due to the buildup of too much heat.Dr. Kyeongjae “K.J.” Cho
  • New shapes of laser beam ‘sneak’ through opaque media

    Researchers have found a way to pre-treat a laser beam so that it enters opaque surfaces without dispersing — like a headlight that’s able to cut through heavy fog at full strength.
    When a flashlight beam shines onto a strongly scattering medium such as white paint, the light diffuses in both longitudinal and lateral directions. Consequently, the transmitted beam becomes wider and the intensity is lower.
    The discovery from scientists at Yale University and the Missouri University of
  • Strategies for Toyota, and to a lessor extent Audi, affected by battery shortage

    Two articles reprinted below
    Toyota Has a Curious Justification for Not Selling Any EVs (Yet)
    The automaker’s lineup is conspicuously lacking in full battery-electric cars, and we found out whyToyota has long said it believes hybrids are a better bridge between internal-combustion vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
    Most competitors, however, have been been bullish on developing battery-electric vehicles.
    A Toyota executive finally outlines the logic behind the company&rsqu
  • Strategies for Toyota, and to a lesser extent Audi, affected by battery shortage

    Two articles reprinted below
    Toyota Has a Curious Justification for Not Selling Any EVs (Yet)
    The automaker’s lineup is conspicuously lacking in full battery-electric cars, and we found out whyToyota has long said it believes hybrids are a better bridge between internal-combustion vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
    Most competitors, however, have been been bullish on developing battery-electric vehicles.
    A Toyota executive finally outlines the logic behind the company&rsqu
  • MEMS PhD candidate Dani Levin sees potential in generating energy from vibrations

    “Everyone is trying to get free energy—from the wind, from the waves, from the sun,” said Dani Levin, a Duke MEMS PhD student in the lab of Professor Earl Dowell.
    As an aerospace engineer who specializes in designing structures to avoid destructive vibrations, it was only natural for Levin to approach the quest for sustainable energy by applying what he knows about flutter and limit cycle oscillations, or LCO.Because of its potential to cause structural failure, flutter is
  • Researchers develop sharp solution for waste glass

    A new process turning waste glass into every day products could save tens of millions of tonnes of glass from going to landfill every year.
    University of Queensland PhD candidate Rhys Pirie and Professor Damien Batstone have developed a method to extract liquid silicate from waste glass, and it can be used to make thousands of products, from concrete sealers and fertilisers to detergents and toothpaste.“We estimate the process is more than 50 per cent cheaper than convention

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