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May 24, 2021

New Quantum Material Discovered – With Surprising Properties

Posted by in categories: materials, quantum physics

A research team from TU Wien together with US research institutes came across a surprising form of ‘quantum criticality’; this could lead to a design concept for new materials.

In everyday life, phase transitions usually have to do with temperature changes — for example, when an ice cube gets warmer and melts. But there are also different kinds of phase transitions, depending on other parameters such as magnetic field. In order to understand the quantum properties of materials, phase transitions are particularly interesting when they occur directly at the absolute zero point of temperature. These transitions are called “quantum phase transitions” or a “quantum critical points.”

Such a quantum critical point has now been discovered by an Austrian-American research team in a novel material, and in an unusually pristine form. The properties of this material are now being further investigated. It is suspected that the material could be a so-called Weyl-Kondo semimetal, which is considered to have great potential for quantum technology due to special quantum states (so-called topological states). If this proves to be true, a key for the targeted development of topological quantum materials would have been found. The results were found in a cooperation between TU Wien, Johns Hopkins University, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Rice University and has now been published in the journal Science Advances.

May 22, 2021

Nanotech batteries will charge 70 times faster than lithium-ion

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology

New battery cells developed by Australia’s Graphene Manufacturing Group and the University of Queensland are said to charge up to 70 times faster than lithium-ion cells and have triple the battery life.

May 22, 2021

Researchers create new zinc-air pouch cells

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Zinc-air batteries (ZABs) are among the most promising next-generation battery technologies due to their many advantageous characteristics. Most notably, these batteries have unique half-open structures, a significant theoretical energy density (1086 and 1370 Wh kg−1 when including and excluding oxygen, respectively), flexible electrodes and an inherently aqueous electrolyte. Moreover, in contrast with other materials used in batteries, Zinc (Zn) is less harmful for the environment and more abundant.

Researchers at Hanyang University in South Korea recently designed a new type of zinc-air pouch cell that can outperform other commercially available battery technologies. These pouch cells, presented in a paper published in Nature Energy, use (101)-facet copper phosphosulfide [CPS(101)] as a cathode, anti-freezing chitosan-biocellulosics as super-ionic conductor electrolytes, and patterned Zn as the anode.

“Previous ZABs employing liquid (6 M KOH) electrolytes failed because of the sluggish kinetics for the oxygen reduction and evolution reactions (ORR/OER) and irreversibility of Zn accompanying the parasitic reactions over wide temperatures,” Jung-Ho Lee, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Tech Xplore. “This feature inspired us to develop solid-state electrolytes, such as functionalized biocellulose, capable of transferring OH- ions effectively without parasitic reactions.”

May 21, 2021

This No-Lid, Foldable Cup Could Help Reduce Plastic Waste Levels

Posted by in category: materials

This cleverly designed coffee cup can help save the planet.

May 21, 2021

Lightweight concrete roof

Posted by in category: materials

Here’s how a lightweight, prefabricated concrete slab is signaling a revolution in architecture.

May 21, 2021

Strange “Black Swan” Defect Discovered in Soft Matter for First Time

Posted by in categories: biological, materials

Using an advanced microscopy technique, Texas A&M researchers have uncovered a twin boundary defect in a soft polymer that has never been observed before.

Texas A&M University scientists have for the first time revealed a single microscopic defect called a “twin” in a soft-block copolymer using an advanced electron microscopy technique. This defect may be exploited in the future to create materials with novel acoustic and photonic properties.

“This defect is like a black swan — something special going on that isn’t typical,” said Edwin Thomas, professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. “Although we chose a certain polymer for our study, I think the twin defect will be fairly universal across a bunch of similar soft matter systems, like oils, surfactants, biological materials, and natural polymers. Therefore, our findings will be valuable to diverse research across the soft matter field.”

Continue reading “Strange ‘Black Swan’ Defect Discovered in Soft Matter for First Time” »

May 21, 2021

Why should you start thinking about 3D printed jewelry?

Posted by in category: materials

Discover the advantages of 3D printed jewelry, the best materials, and get inspired by the most interesting projects!

May 19, 2021

Unexpected ‘Black Swan’ defect discovered in soft matter for first time

Posted by in categories: biological, materials

In new research, Texas A&M University scientists have for the first time revealed a single microscopic defect called a “twin” in a soft-block copolymer using an advanced electron microscopy technique. This defect may be exploited in the future to create materials with novel acoustic and photonic properties.

“This defect is like a black swan—something special going on that isn’t typical,” said Dr. Edwin Thomas, professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. “Although we chose a certain polymer for our study, I think the twin defect will be fairly universal across a bunch of similar soft matter systems, like oils, surfactants, and natural polymers. Therefore, our findings will be valuable to diverse research across the soft matter field.”

Continue reading “Unexpected ‘Black Swan’ defect discovered in soft matter for first time” »

May 19, 2021

New Graphene Aluminum-Ion Cell May Ditch Cooling Systems

Posted by in category: materials

GMG and the University of Queensland presented a graphene aluminum-ion cell that charges faster than Li-ion batteries. It also requires no cooling.

May 18, 2021

Human tissue preserved since World War I yields new clues about 1918 pandemic

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

On 27 June 1918, two young German soldiers—one age 18, the other 17—died in Berlin from a new influenza strain that had emerged earlier that year. Their lungs ended up in the collection of the Berlin Museum of Medical History, where they rested, fixed in formalin, for 100 years. Now, researchers have managed to sequence large parts of the virus that infected the two men, giving a glimpse into the early days of the most devastating pandemic of the 20th century. The partial genomes hold some tantalizing clues that the infamous flu strain may have adapted to humans between the pandemic’s first and second waves.

The researchers also managed to sequence an entire genome of the pathogen from a young woman who died in Munich at an unknown time in 1918. It is only the third full genome of the virus that caused that pandemic and the first from outside North America, the authors write in a preprint posted on bioRxiv.

“It’s absolutely fantastic work,” says Hendrik Poinar, who runs an ancient DNA lab at McMaster University. “The researchers have made reviving RNA viruses from archival material an achievable goal. Not long ago this was, like much ancient DNA work, a fantasy.”

Continue reading “Human tissue preserved since World War I yields new clues about 1918 pandemic” »

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