Friday, March 31, 2017

Nanomagnets for future data storage

A new method for depositing single magnetizable atoms onto a surface has been developed by scientists. This is especially interesting for the development of new miniature data storage devices.

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Reliable molecular toggle switch developed

Nanotechnology constantly allows for new records in miniaturization. Reduction of the dimension of electronic components, however, has physical limits that will be reached soon. Novel materials and components are required. This is where molecular electronics comes in. Scientists have now succeeded in developing a molecular toggle switch that does not only remain in the position selected, but can also be flipped as often as desired.

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Gold standards for nanoparticles

Understanding how small organic ions stabilize gold nanoparticles may allow for better control, say researchers in a new report.

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Sculpting optical microstructures with slight changes in chemistry

In 2013, materials scientists grew a 'garden' of self-assembled crystal microstructures. Now, applied mathematicians have developed a framework to better understand and control the fabrication of these microstructures. Together, the researchers used that framework to grow sophisticated optical microcomponents.

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Modern alchemy creates luminescent iron molecules

Scientists have made the first iron-based molecule capable of emitting light. This could contribute to the development of affordable and environmentally friendly materials for e.g. solar cells, light sources and displays.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Organic-inorganic heterostructures with programmable electronic properties

Researchers have devised a novel supramolecular strategy to introduce tunable 1D periodic potentials upon self-assembly of ad hoc organic building blocks on graphene, opening the way to the realization of hybrid organic-inorganic multilayer materials with unique electronic and optical properties.

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Tracking hazardous chemicals from fast-food wrappers in the body

Just one month after major research findings showed dangerous PFAS present in more than one-third of fast food packaging tested, researchers have created a new technique to track PFASs in the body.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Heated pavement technology tested at Des moines International Airport

Engineers are testing heated pavement technologies at the Des Moines International Airport. They've installed two test slabs of electrically conductive concrete. And the pavement has effectively cleared ice and snow.

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Enzyme structures illuminate mechanism behind bacteria's bioremediation prowess

Scientists have solved the structure of an enzyme caught in the act of attacking toluene -- a chemical derived from wood and oil.

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Scientist pioneers new technology, maps giant virus

In an American laboratory, scientists took a DIY approach to build a retrofitted cryo-electron microscope that allowed them to map a giant Samba virus -- one of the world's largest viruses.

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Secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier

Using sunlight to drive chemical reactions, such as artificial photosynthesis, could soon become much more efficient thanks to nanomaterials.

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New type of sensor material developed

Scientists have succeeded in developing a nickel complex that changes color and magnetism when exposed to methanol vapor. The new material can potentially be used not only as a chemical sensor, but also with future rewritable memory devices.

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Self-assembly technique could lead to long-awaited, simple method for making smaller microchip patterns

A new interface control technique for block co-polymer self-assembly could provide long-sought method for making even tinier patterns on microchips with lines just 9 nanometers wide.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Drug development: Subtle steric differences reveal a model for Ni cross-coupling success

Researchers have developed a predictive model may enable challenging metal-catalyzed cross couplings reactions that are indispensable to drug development.

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Cancer therapy: Tracking real-time proton induced radiation chemistry in water

Proton therapy is a promising form of radiation treatment used to kill cancerous cells and effectively halt their rapid reproduction, and the fundamental understanding for it is contained in the radiation induced water chemistry that occurs immediately after the interaction. The ensuing processes are therefore a subject of considerable scientific interest.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods

Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) -- which enables the visualization of viruses, proteins, and other biological structures at the molecular level -- is a critical tool used to advance biochemical knowledge. Now researchers have extended cryo-EM's impact further by developing a new computational algorithm instrumental in constructing a 3-D atomic-scale model of bacteriophage P22 for the first time.

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The world’s first international race for molecule-cars, the Nanocar Race is on

Nanocars will compete for the first time ever during an international molecule-car race on April 28-29, 2017 in Toulouse (south-western France). The vehicles, which consist of a few hundred atoms, will be powered by minute electrical pulses during the 36 hours of the race, in which they must navigate a racecourse made of gold atoms, and measuring a maximum of a 100 nanometers in length.

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Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

Hydrogen is both the simplest and the most-abundant element in the universe, so studying it can teach scientists about the essence of matter. And yet there are still many hydrogen secrets to unlock, including how best to force it into a superconductive, metallic state with no electrical resistance.

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Scientists discover new 'boat' form of promising semiconductor GeSe

Researchers have discovered a new form of the simple compound GeSe that has surprisingly escaped detection until now. This so-called beta-GeSe compound has a ring type structure like graphene and could have similarly valuable properties for electronic applications.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Artificial photosynthesis steps into the light

A new project aims to create an efficient, simple-to-manufacture oxygen-evolution catalyst that pairs well with semiconductors for advanced solar cells. The technique could lead to unique catalysts for other applications.

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Study refines filters for greener natural gas

Scientists have mapped out the best materials for either carbon dioxide capture or balancing carbon capture with methane selectivity.

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Promising results obtained with a new electrocatalyst that reduces the need for platinum

A group researchers has developed a manufacturing method for electrocatalysts that only uses one hundredth of the amount of platinum generally used in commercial products. The activity achieved using the new material is similar to that of commercial electrocatalysts. The method is based on the special characteristics of carbon nanotubes.

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Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

Milling electronic waste into nanoscale particles allows polymers, oxides and metals to be separated for recycling into new products. The process takes advantage of changes to the materials' properties in very cold conditions.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

A tough coat for silicon

Supercritical carbon dioxide delivers protective molecules to semiconductor surfaces, report researchers in a new article.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

3-D printing turns nanomachines into life-size workers

Researchers have unlocked the key to transforming microscopic nanorings into smart materials that perform work at human-scale.

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Self-sustaining bacteria-fueled power cell created

Researchers have developed the next step in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with the first micro-scale self-sustaining cell, which generated power for 13 straight days through symbiotic interactions of two types of bacteria.

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'Super sponge' promises effective toxic clean-up of lakes and more

Mercury is very toxic and can cause long-term health damage, but removing it from water is challenging. To address this growing problem scientists have created a sponge that can absorb mercury from a polluted water source within seconds.

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Rare-earths become water-repellent only as they age

Surfaces that have been coated with rare earth oxides develop water-repelling properties only after contact with air. Even at room temperature, chemical reactions begin with hydrocarbons in the air. Researchers report that it is these reactions that are responsible for the hydrophobic effect.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Research spotlights early signs of disease using infrared light: New research

Researchers have used infrared spectroscopy to spotlight changes in tiny cell fragments called microvesicles to probe their role in a model of the body's immunological response to bacterial infection.

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Electrocrystallization: Breakthrough in gold nanoparticle research

A research team as published a research study that demonstrates how it is possible to obtain very high quality crystals formed of gold nanoparticles.

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Organic electronics can use power from socket

Organic light-emitting devices and printed electronics can be connected to a socket in the wall by way of a small, inexpensive organic converter.

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New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

Scientists have developed an ultra-thin coating material that has the potential to extend the life and improve the efficiency of lithium-sulfur batteries, one of the most promising areas of energy research today.

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New catalysts mimic human vision

Light sensitive molecules trigger vision inside our retinas. This phenomenon inspired researchers to create a new family of eco-friendly catalysts activated by purple LEDs for unprecedented transformations.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Testing for Zika virus: There's an app for that

Add rapid, mobile testing for Zika and other viruses to the list of things that smartphone technology is making possible. Researchers have developed a smartphone-controlled, battery-operated diagnostic device that weighs under a pound, costs as little as $100 and can detect Zika, dengue and chikungunya within 30 minutes.

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Light-controlled gearbox for nanomachines

Rewarded with a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2016, nanomachines provide mechanical work on the smallest of scales. Yet at such small dimensions, molecular motors can complete this work in only one direction. Researchers have succeeded in developing more complex molecular machines that can work in one direction and its opposite. The system can even be controlled precisely, in the same way as a gearbox.

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Enzyme function inhibits battery aging, researchers show

It has been known in biology for a long time that the excited oxygen molecule singlet oxygen is the main cause of aging in cells. To counter this, nature uses an enzyme called superoxide dismutase to eliminate superoxide as a free radical. Superoxide also occurs in cell respiration for energy production and is the preliminary stage and thus source of singlet oxygen. A study has now stumbled upon astonishing parallels of oxygen chemistry in battery systems.

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Transport systems face disruption by extreme weather

Extreme weather conditions due to climate change pose a new threat to aging infrastructure, and authors of a new report, we need to be better prepared.

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Liquid storage of solar energy: More effective than ever before

Researchers have demonstrated efficient solar energy storage in a chemical liquid. The stored energy can be transported and then released as heat whenever needed, they say.

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Engineering team develops novel nanofibre solution for clean, fresh air

A research team has successfully concocted a novel nanofiber solution that creates thin, see-through air filters that can remove up to 90 per cent of PM2.5 particles and achieve high air flow of 2.5 times better than conventional air filters. As an added bonus, this eco-friendly air filter improves natural lighting and visibility while blocking harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Two-dimensional MXene materials get their close-up

Researchers have long sought electrically conductive materials for economical energy-storage devices. Two-dimensional (2D) ceramics called MXenes are contenders. Unlike most 2D ceramics, MXenes have inherently good conductivity because they are molecular sheets made from the carbides and nitrides of transition metals like titanium.

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New desktop reference guide highlights adverse health effects of chemicals for physicians and their patients

More than 87,000 chemicals are available commercially in the U.S., including analogues of bisphenol A (BPA), an industrial chemical that is used in consumer products. A research team has studied BPA and other chemicals and their effects on humans and animals for more than 20 years. Now, they have released Integrative Environmental Medicine, a comprehensive book outlining practical resources and tools, such as websites and smartphone apps, to help health care practitioners promote healthier choices for themselves and their patients.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Optical fingerprint can reveal pollutants in the air

More efficient sensors are needed to be able to detect environmental pollution. Researchers have proposed a new, sophisticated method of detecting molecules with sensors based on ultra-thin nanomaterials. The novel method could improve environmental sensing in the future, say investigators.

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Exhaust fumes as a resource

Chemists have developed a process in which nitrogen oxides generated during industrial processes can be used in the manufacture of colourants and medicines. Using the method, businesses will in future be able to combine the decontamination of exhaust fumes with the production of new substances.

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Making vanilla flavoring with less pollution

In small amounts, vanilla flavoring enhances the taste of our baked goods, desserts and ice cream. But making it synthetically, which is the most common route to keeping the ingredient affordable these days, creates a stream of wastewater that requires treatment before it can be released into surface waters. Now researchers report a new 'greener' way to make vanillin, the primary flavor compound in vanilla.

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Nanotube film may resolve longevity problem of challenger solar cells

Researchers have lengthened the lifetime of perovskite solar cells by using nanotube film to replace the gold used as the back contact and the organic material in the hole conductor.

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Method could speed up design of more eco-friendly fabric softeners

In the 1960s, the introduction of fabric softeners transformed rough, scratchy clothes into softer, more comfortable garments. But recently, the products' popularity has dipped in part due to concern for their potential environmental impact, according to recent news reports. Now one team has developed a better method for evaluating fabric softeners that could lead to potentially 'greener' -- and more millennial-friendly -- versions.

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Shaping the future: Iron nanocubes may be key in the future of NO2 sensing

While nanoparticles sound like a recent discovery, these tiny structures have been used for centuries. Nanoparticles can be produced using either physical or chemical methods, though physical methods are advantageous due to the absence of organic contaminants commonly introduced by chemical methods. However, uniformly sized nanocubes are difficult to produce in sufficient quantities by physical methods. Now researchers have recently discovered a new approach to overcome this problem.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Research leads to a golden discovery for wearable technology

Researchers say they have developed a way to “grow” thin layers of gold on single crystal wafers of silicon, remove the gold foils, and use them as substrates on which to grow other electronic materials.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Groundbreaking process for creating ultra-selective separation membranes

Researchers have developed a groundbreaking one-step, crystal growth process for making ultra-thin layers of material with molecular-sized pores. Researchers demonstrated the use of the material, called zeolite nanosheets, by making ultra-selective membranes for chemical separations.

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Biochemists develop new way to control cell biology with light

Researchers have developed a new method of controlling biology at the cellular level using light. The tool -- called a photocleavable protein -- breaks into two pieces when exposed to light, allowing scientists to study and manipulate activity inside cells in new and different ways.

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