Archive for the ‘materials’ category: Page 7

May 25, 2024

Transparent metamaterial for energy-efficient regulation in building can clean itself like a lotus leaf

Posted by in categories: climatology, materials

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) introduce a polymer-based material with unique properties in the journal Nature Communications. This material allows sunlight to enter, maintains a more comfortable indoor climate without additional energy, and cleans itself like a lotus leaf. The new development could replace glass components in walls and roofs in the future. The research team has successfully tested the material in outdoor tests on the KIT campus.

May 25, 2024

Deciphering how crystals form in non-classical ways

Posted by in categories: innovation, materials

Recent experimental advancements have enabled more accurate and in-depth analysis of these materials during and after formation. The review article examines two decades of research on the non-classical formation pathways of soft and organic crystalline materials. It details the current theoretical understanding of how these materials form through non-classical pathways, including distinguishing the processes of nucleation and growth across models.

Advances in experimental methods, including in-line scattering/spectroscopy detection, cryo microscopy, and in situ liquid-phase characterization, and their application to studying soft and organic crystalline materials are also discussed.

These experimental techniques have provided strong evidence for non-classical crystallization pathways, leading to key breakthroughs in understanding these processes. However, the sole presence of a specific final product or intermediate does not prove that a material formed via a specific .

May 24, 2024

New Plant-Based Plastic Releases 9 Times Less Microplastics

Posted by in category: materials

Recent research shows that plant-based plastics release far fewer microplastics than traditional plastics in marine environments, suggesting they could be a more environmentally friendly option. However, continued research is crucial to fully assess their impact.

A recent study has discovered that a new plant-based plastic material releases nine times fewer microplastics compared to traditional plastic when subjected to sunlight and seawater. Conducted by researchers from the University of Portsmouth and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) in Belgium, the study examined the degradation of two different types of plastic under harsh conditions.

A bio-based plastic material made from natural feedstocks held up better when exposed to intense UV light and seawater for 76 days — the equivalent of 24 months of sun exposure in central Europe — than a conventional plastic made from petroleum derivatives.

May 24, 2024

Lab-Grown Human Eyes Are Coming Into Focus

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

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Stem cell breakthrough grows new cornea material that restores some sight to blind rabbits in an experiment.

May 23, 2024

Repurposed beer yeast may offer a cost-effective way to remove lead from water

Posted by in category: materials

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Engineered yeast-containing hydrogel capsules could be used to remove lead from contaminated water rapidly and inexpensively. The work, from MIT and Georgia Tech researchers, could be especially useful in low-income areas with high lead contamination.

May 23, 2024

UChicago scientist seeks to make plastic more recyclable

Posted by in categories: engineering, materials

Editor’s note: This story is part of ‘Meet a UChicagoan,’ a regular series focusing on the people who make UChicago a distinct intellectual community. Read about the others here.

When asked to explain the difference between recyclable plastics, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering graduate student Sam Marsden pulled out a paperclip chain and a length of small strings crudely knotted together.

The paperclip chain represented a highly recyclable plastic like the polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, found in soda bottles and the fibers in clothes. These can be broken down to the molecular level—ie., the individual paperclips—and rebuilt into like-new materials.

May 22, 2024

A Quartz Thermal Trap Harnessed the Sun—and Is About to Change Smelting Forever

Posted by in category: materials

Eco-friendly advancements promise a cleaner, greener approach to producing essential materials.

May 22, 2024

Researchers use microstructural modeling to optimize electrode materials for batteries

Posted by in categories: computing, materials

Which factors determine how quickly a battery can be charged? This and other questions are studied by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) with the help of computer-based simulations.

May 21, 2024

New method may facilitate the use of graphene nanoribbons in nanoelectronics

Posted by in categories: materials, quantum physics

However, if long and thin strips of graphene (termed ) are cut out of a wide graphene sheet, the quantum become confined within the narrow dimension, which makes them semi-conducting and enables their use in quantum switching devices. As of today, there are a number of barriers to using graphene nanoribbons in devices, among them is the challenge of reproducibly growing narrow and long sheets that are isolated from the environment.

In this new study, the researchers were able to develop a method to catalytically grow narrow, long, and reproducible graphene nanoribbons directly within insulating hexagonal boron-nitride stacks, as well as demonstrate peak performance in quantum switching devices based on the newly-grown ribbons. The unique growth mechanism was revealed using advanced molecular dynamics simulation tools that were developed and implemented by the Israeli teams.

These calculations showed that ultra-low friction in certain growth directions within the boron-nitride crystal dictates the reproducibility of the structure of the ribbon, allowing it to grow to unprecedented lengths directly within a clean and isolated environment.

May 20, 2024

Scientists Uncover Unique New 1D Superconducting State

Posted by in categories: materials, quantum physics

A team led by Chen Xianhui and Professor Xiang Ziji from the CAS Key Laboratory of Strongly-Coupled Quantum Matter Physics and the Department of Physics at the University of Science and Technology of China, uncovered a unique superconducting state characterized by one-dimensional superconducting stripes. This state is induced by the ferromagnetic proximity effect in an oxide heterostructure made up of ferromagnetic EuO and (110)-oriented KTaO3 (KTO). Their findings were published in Nature Physics.

The academic community concurs that the emergence of unconventional superconducting pairings is intricately linked to magnetism, particularly in copper oxides and iron-based high-temperature superconductors. Magnetic fluctuations are deemed pivotal in the genesis of high-temperature superconductivity, where the interplay between superconductivity and magnetism gives rise to superconducting states exhibiting unique spatial modulation. Superconducting oxide heterostructures encompassing magnetic structural units emerge as an optimal platform for investigating such superconducting states.

Building upon their prior achievements, the research team delved deeper into the superconductivity of this system and its relationship with the ferromagnetic proximity effect, meticulously adjusting the carrier concentration of the two-dimensional electron gas residing at the interface. They uncovered an intriguing in-plane anisotropy in superconductivity among samples with low carrier concentrations, which nevertheless vanished in samples exhibiting higher carrier concentrations.

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