Friday, November 24, 2017

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

Researchers have discovered that dense ensembles of quantum spins can be created in diamond with high resolution using an electron microscopes, paving the way for enhanced sensors and resources for quantum technologies. This work demonstrates an improvement in the densities of Nitrogen-Vacancy (NV) centers in a variety of diamond types, foreshadowing future improvements in the sensitivity of diamond magnetic measurements, as well as promising directions in the study of solid state physics and quantum information theory.

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important ferromagnetic semiconductor synthesized

Scientists have developed a method for synthesizing Europium (II) oxide nanoparticles -- a ferromagnetic semiconductor that is relevant for data storage and data transport.

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New X-ray spectroscopy explores hydrogen-generating catalyst

Using a newly developed technique, researchers have identified a key step in production of hydrogen gas by a bacterial enzyme. Understanding these reactions could be important in developing a clean-fuel economy powered by hydrogen.

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Dipstick technology could revolutionize disease diagnosis

New dipstick technology that enables pathogen detection and the rapid diagnosis of human, animal and plant disease in even the most remote locations. The technology could extract DNA and RNA from living organisms in as little as 30 seconds without specialized equipment or personnel.

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Scientists develop artificial photosynthesis device for greener ethylene production

A newly developed device could reduce the carbon footprint of ethylene production, report scientists.

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World's smallest tape recorder is built from microbes

Through a few clever molecular hacks, researchers have converted a natural bacterial immune system into a microscopic data recorder, laying the groundwork for a new class of technologies that use bacterial cells for everything from disease diagnosis to environmental monitoring.

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Systems of change behind everything from climate to health discovered by scientists

A new field of science is being developed by researchers who are discovering the underlying mechanisms of interaction behind everything from the human body to climate change.

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Highly charged molecules behave paradoxically

Chemistry researchers have now discovered how certain small biomolecules attach to one another. The researchers’ study also overturns the standard picture – particles with the same electrical charge appear to be drawn together and not vice versa. The results may be important for the development of new drugs.

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New batteries with better performance, improved safety

Currently the most important technology for batteries is the lithium-ion battery technology, but the technology is expensive and contains a flammable liquid. To satisfy the growing demand from emerging markets, researchers have devised a new battery prototype: known as "all-solid-state," this battery has the potential to store more energy while maintaining high safety and reliability levels.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Lightning, with a chance of antimatter

Researchers find that lightning strikes causes photonuclear reactions in the atmosphere, creating antimatter.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Watching atoms move in hybrid perovskite crystals reveals clues to improving solar cells

The discovery of nanoscale changes deep inside hybrid perovskites could shed light on developing low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells. Using X-ray beams and lasers, a team of researchers discovered how the movement of ions in hybrid perovskites causes certain regions within the material to become better solar cells than other parts.

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Bridging the gap: Potentially low-cost, low-emissions technology that can convert methane without forming carbon dioxide

A potentially low-cost, low-emissions technology has been designed that can convert methane without forming carbon dioxide.

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New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

Chemists have developed another catalyst that can selectively activate a carbon-hydrogen bond, part of an ongoing strategy to revolutionize the field of organic synthesis and open up new chemical space.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Survey taps students' motivation in STEM

Researchers are learning more about undergraduates' experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes and sharing a set of survey questions that will help researchers and educators at other universities do the same.

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Underwater Sniffing of Star-Nosed Moles Is Mimicked for Chemical-Detecting ‘Electronic Nose’

The star-nosed mole has several unusual abilities. One of them is “sniffing” underwater by blowing bubbles and quickly re-inhaling them, detecting odors of its prey through the water. The moles’ “star” nose features a ring of tiny, pink tentacles and is the most sensitive known touch organ of any mammal.

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Artificial photosynthesis gets big boost from new catalyst

A new catalyst brings researchers one step closer to artificial photosynthesis -- a system that, just like plants, would use renewable energy to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into stored chemical energy. By both capturing carbon emissions and storing energy from solar or wind power, the invention provides a one-two punch in the fight against climate change.

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A curious quirk brings organic diode lasers one step closer

Since their invention in 1962, semiconductor diode lasers have revolutionized communications and made possible information storage and retrieval in CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray devices. These diode lasers use inorganic semiconductors grown in elaborate high vacuum systems. Now, a team of researchers has taken a big step toward creating a diode laser from a hybrid organic-inorganic material that can be deposited from solution on a laboratory benchtop.

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Hydrogen cars for the masses one step closer to reality, thanks to invention

A new device that can inexpensively and efficiently create and store energy and create hydrogen fuel, and that needs only sunlight to operate, has now been developed by researchers.

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Scientists capture colliding organic nanoparticles on video for first time

An American research team is the first to capture on video organic nanoparticles colliding and fusing together. This unprecedented view of 'chemistry in motion' will aid Northwestern nanoscientists developing new drug delivery methods as well as demonstrate to researchers around the globe how an emerging imaging technique opens a new window on a very tiny world.

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Electrochemistry opens up novel access to important classes of substances

Chemists have succeeded in overcoming the problem of electrochemical polymer formation and in developing a sustainable and efficient synthesis strategy for these important products for the first time.

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Breakthrough discovery in diagnostic tools that can replace commonly used and fragile antibodies

Experts have announced the development of polymeric materials with molecular recognition capabilities which hold the potential to outperform natural antibodies in various diagnostic applications

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Breakthrough could launch organic electronics beyond cell phone screens

A new discovery points the way to more widespread use of an advanced technology generally known as organic electronics.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

A new way to store thermal energy

A new phase-change material provides a way to store heat in a stable chemical form, then release it later on demand using light as a trigger.

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A photosynthetic organism's 'Water World'

Following the path of radicals and being able to identify many damaged residues because of incredibly accurate, expeditious and sensitive mass spectrometry, three scientists studied the great granddaddy of all photosynthetic organisms -- a strain of cyanobacteria -- to develop the first experimental map of that organism's water world.

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Making it easier to recycle plastics

Researchers report new approaches could dramatically increase the amount of plastic waste that can be successfully recycled.

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Hydrogen fuel from water by harnessing red and near-infrared regions of sunlight

Scientists have synthesized a compound that absorbs near-infrared light to produce hydrogen from water. The compound contains three ruthenium atoms connected by an organic molecule. The absorbed light stimulates electrons to 'jump' into orbitals that do not exist in other, similar compounds. This is the first successful use of infrared light to reduce water into hydrogen, which can be used for energy conversion and storage, and other industrial purposes in a future sustainable energy society.

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Transforming greenhouse gases: New 'supercatalyst' to recycle carbon dioxide and methane

Engineers have developed a new and cost-effective catalyst to recycle two of the main causes behind climate change -- carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4).

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Evaluation of novel hybrid membranes for carbon capture

Hybrid materials known as mixed matrix membranes are considered a promising approach to capture carbon dioxide and mitigate against global warming. These materials are derived from a polymer combined with porous nanoparticles. We show that materials prepared using porous organic polymers are resilient to the acidic impurities present in industrial gas streams, whereas other hybrid materials fail. This means that they can be effective in carbon capture applications where these impurities are present.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Replace or wait? Study says swap all incandescent bulbs now, but hold on to CFLs

LED light bulbs are getting cheaper and more energy efficient every year. So, does it make sense to replace less-efficient bulbs with the latest light-emitting diodes now, or should you wait for future improvements and even lower costs?

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Ceria nanoparticles: It is the surface that matters

Exhaust gas cleaning of passenger cars, power generation from sunlight, or water splitting: In the future, these and other applications may profit from new findings relating to ceria. Scientists have studied ceria nanoparticles with the help of probe molecules and a complex ultrahigh vacuum-infrared measurement system and obtained partly surprising new insights into their surface structure and chemical activity.

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Pulling iron out of waste printer toner

Someday, left-over toner in discarded printer cartridges could have a second life as bridge or building components instead of as trash, wasting away in landfills and potentially harming the environment. A research group reports that they have devised a method to recycle the residual powder in 'empty' cartridges into iron using temperatures that are compatible with existing industrial processes.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Next step toward fusion energy

Fusion is the process that powers the sun, and harnessing it on Earth would provide unlimited clean energy. Researchers say that constructing a fusion power plant has proven to be a daunting task because there have been no materials that could survive the grueling conditions found in the core of a fusion reactor. Now, researchers have discovered a way to make materials that may be suitable for use in future fusion reactors.

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Volatility surprises arise in removing excess hydrogen

Sometimes during catalytic hydrogenation, the partially hydrogenated products become volatile, melting and evaporating away before they can bind to more hydrogen atoms. Now, researchers have explored how and why this volatility varies during hydrogenation, suggesting that a previously underappreciated effect from carbon-hydrogen bonds is the main culprit. The new analysis can help chemists identify the ideal conditions needed for catalytic hydrogenation so they can better remove excess hydrogen.

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Tuning the optical, photocatalytic properties of so-called carbon dots

The optical and photocatalytic properties of so-called carbon dots can be precisely tuned by controlling the positions of nitrogen atoms introduced into their structure, physicists have demonstrated in a new study.

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Ionic 'solar cell' could provide on-demand water desalination

Modern solar cells, which use energy from light to generate electrons and holes that are then transported out of semiconducting materials, have existed for over 60 years. Little attention has been paid, however, to the promise of using light to drive the transport of oppositely charged protons and hydroxides obtained by dissociating water molecules. Researchers report such a design, which has promising application in producing electricity to turn brackish water drinkable.

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Quantum computing with molecules for a quicker search of unsorted databases

Scrapbooks or social networks are collections of mostly unsorted data. The search for single elements in very large data volumes, i.e. for the needle in the data haystack, is extremely complex for classical computers. Scientists have now quantum mechanically implemented and successfully executed Grover's algorithm, a process for the quick finding of a search element in unsorted databases.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Manganese dioxide shows potential in micromotors

Manganese dioxide could make the preparation of micromotors increasingly cost-effective, opening up new avenues for their use.

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Biocatalysts are a bridge to greener, more powerful chemistry

New research is building a bridge from nature's chemistry to greener, more efficient synthetic chemistry.

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Molecular magnetism packs power with 'messenger electron'

A UW-Madison lab has made a molecule that gains magnetic strength through an unusual way of controlling those spins, which could lead to a breakthrough in quantam computing.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

The unbelievable speed of electron emission from an atom

In a unique experiment, researchers have clocked how long it takes for an electron to be emitted from an atom. The result is .00000000000000002 seconds, or 20 billionths of a billionth of a second. The researchers' stopwatch consists of extremely short laser pulses. Hopefully, the results will help to provide new insights into some of the most fundamental processes in nature.

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Fuel cell X-ray study details effects of temperature and moisture on performance

To find the right balance of moisture and temperature in a specialized type of hydrogen fuel cell, scientists have used X-rays to explore the inner workings of its components at tiny scales.

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Nw spin on old technique to engineer better absorptive materials

A team bioengineers has taken a new look at an old tool to help characterize a class of materials called metal organic frameworks -- MOFs for short. MOFs are used to detect, purify and store gases, and could help solve some of the world's most challenging energy, environmental and pharmaceutical challenges -- they can even pull water molecules straight from the air to provide relief from drought.

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Research highlights ethical sourcing of materials for modern technology

Researchers have identified methods to predict the environmental and social cost of resourcing new deposits of rare earth minerals used in the production of mobile phones, wind turbines and electric vehicles.

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LEDs light the way for better drug therapies

A revolutionary new technique to create radioactive molecules has the potential to bring new medicines to patients much faster than before -- using light. While the previous approach took months, the new photocatalytic process replaces hydrogen with tritium in just hours.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Highly flexible organic flash memory for foldable and disposable electronics

Researchers have developed ultra-flexible organic flash memory that is bendable down to a radius of 300 micrometers. The memory exhibits a significantly-long projected retention rate with a programming voltage on par with the present industrial standards.

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Transfer technique produces wearable gallium nitride gas sensors

A transfer technique based on thin sacrificial layers of boron nitride could allow high-performance gallium nitride gas sensors to be grown on sapphire substrates and then transferred to metallic or flexible polymer support materials. The technique could facilitate the production of low-cost wearable, mobile and disposable sensing devices for a wide range of environmental applications.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Sensors applied to plant leaves warn of water shortage

Engineers have created sensors that can be printed onto plant leaves and reveal when the plants are experiencing a water shortage, which could give farmers an early warning when their crops are in danger.

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Common 'oxygen sponge' catalyst soaks up hydrogen too, neutron spectroscopy reveals

A workhorse catalyst of vehicle exhaust systems — an “oxygen sponge” that can soak up oxygen from air and store it for later use in oxidation reactions — may also be a “hydrogen sponge,” scientists have discovered.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

SMART: Facial recognition for molecular structures

Researchers have developed a method to identify the molecular structures of natural products that is significantly faster and more accurate than existing methods. The method works like facial recognition for molecular structures -- it uses a piece of spectral data unique to each molecule and then runs it through a deep learning neural network to place the unknown molecule in a cluster of molecules with similar structures.

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Chemists unlock the potential of fluoroalkenes

Researchers master chemical transformation of fluoroalkenes, paving the way for new pharmaceuticals and advanced materials.

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