MaterialCards - Impulses & Inspiration
The visual appearance, the luster and the natural grained structure of this leather quality allows associations with the permanent dynamics you can observe on the surfaces of seas and oceans.
MaterialNews - Information & Innovation
Elaborate nanostructures blossom from a chemical reaction perfected at Harvard
"Spring is like a perhaps hand," wrote the poet E. E. Cummings: "carefully / moving a perhaps / fraction of flower here placing / an inch of air there... / without breaking anything."
With the hand of nature trained on a beaker of chemical fluid, the most delicate flower structures have been formed in a Harvard laboratory—and not at the scale of inches, but microns.
These minuscule sculptures, curved and delicate, don't resemble the cubic or jagged forms normally associated... more
Writing in Nature, a large international team led Dr Roman Gorbachev from The University of Manchester shows that, when graphene placed on top of insulating boron nitride, or 'white graphene', the electronic properties of graphene change dramatically revealing a pattern resembling a butterfly.
The pattern is referred to as the elusive Hofstadter butterfly that has been known in theory for many decades but never before observed in experiments.
Combining graphene with other materials in multiple-layered structures could lead to novel applications not yet explored by science or industry.
Graphene is the world's thinnest, strongest and most conductive material, and promises a vast range of diverse applications; from smartphones and ultrafast broadband to drug delivery and computer... more
Adding ionic liquid to nanotube films could build smaller gadgets, and create more cost effective “Smart Windows” that darken in bright sun
The atom-sized world of carbon nanotubes holds great promise for a future demanding smaller and faster electronic components. Nanotubes are stronger than steel and smaller than any element of silicon-based electronics—the ubiquitous component of today’s electrical devices—and have better conductivity, which means they can potentially process information faster while using less energy.
The challenge has been figuring out how to incorporate all those great properties into useful electronic... more
Northwestern University scientists have struck gold in the laboratory. They have discovered an inexpensive and environmentally benign method that uses simple cornstarch -- instead of cyanide -- to isolate gold from raw materials in a selective manner.
This green method extracts gold from crude sources and leaves behind other metals that are often found mixed together with the crude gold. The new process also can be used to extract gold from consumer electronic waste.
Current methods for gold recovery involve the use of highly poisonous cyanides, often leading to contamination of the environment. Nearly all gold-mining companies use this toxic gold leaching process to sequester the precious metal.
"The elimination of cyanide from the gold... more
Researchers use synthetic silicate to stimulate stem cells into bone cells
In new research published online May 13, 2013 in Advanced Materials, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) are the first to report that synthetic silicate nanoplatelets (also known as layered clay) can induce stem cells to become bone cells without the need of additional bone-inducing factors. Synthetic silicates are made up of simple or complex salts of silicic acids, and have been used extensively for various commercial and industrial applications, such as food additives, glass... more
High-level simulations reveal that plastic deformation in super-resilient alloys is governed by atomic zones with characteristic lengths
Quick-cooling molten atoms give metal alloys a glassy, or random, atomic structure that generates higher elasticity and better wear- and corrosion-resistance than their crystalline alloy counterparts. However, these ‘metallic glasses’ also suffer from brittleness that makes them shatter. Findings from Yong Wei Zhang of the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing in Singapore and co-workers may now make it easier to use metallic glass in practical engineering applications1. They have discovered... more
Researchers from IMDEA-Nanociencia Institute and from Autonoma and Complutense Universities of Madrid (Spain) have managed to give graphene magnetic properties.
The breakthrough, published in the journal 'Nature Physics', opens the door to the development of graphene-based spintronic devices, that is, devices based on the spin or rotation of the electron, and could transform the electronics industry.
Scientists were already aware that graphene, an incredible material formed of a mesh of hexagonal carbon atoms, has extraordinary conductivity, mechanical and optical properties. Now it is possible to give it yet one more property: magnetism, implying... more
Berkeley Lab researchers and their colleagues extend electron spin in diamond for incredibly tiny magnetic detectors
From brain to heart to stomach, the bodies of humans and animals generate weak magnetic fields that a supersensitive detector could use to pinpoint illnesses, trace drugs – and maybe even read minds. Sensors no bigger than a thumbnail could map gas deposits underground, analyze chemicals, and pinpoint explosives that hide from other probes.
Now scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California at Berkeley, working... more
Researchers have created a new tool to detect flaws in lithium-ion batteries as they are being manufactured, a step toward reducing defects and inconsistencies in the thickness of electrodes that affect battery life and reliability.
The electrodes, called anodes and cathodes, are the building blocks of powerful battery arrays like those used in electric and hybrid vehicles. They are copper on one side and coated with a black compound to store lithium on the other. Lithium ions travel from the anode to the cathode while the battery is being charged and in the reverse direction when discharging energy.
The material expands as lithium ions travel into it, and this expansion and contraction causes mechanical stresses that can... more
Researchers have discovered a technique for controlling the sensitivity of graphene chemical sensors.
The sensors, made of an insulating base coated with a graphene sheet--a single-atom-thick layer of carbon--are already so sensitive that they can detect an individual molecule of gas. But manipulating the chemical properties of the insulating layer, without altering the graphene layer, may yet improve their ability to detect the most minute concentrations of various gases.
The finding "will open up entirely new possibilities for modulation and control of the chemical sensitivity of these sensors... more
The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is unveiling its new “bd-2” sensor for thickness measurements.
Within a measurement range of several millimeters, the system can accurately measure foils, rolled strips and other metallic semi-finished products with a precision better than 100 nm. The small sensor head coupled with high-speed data processing facilitates inline measurements in the production line.
Materials and quality control must meet increasingly stringent requirements in the aerospace and automotive industries. To provide thickness measurement, for instance, sensors must now be accurate... more
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