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New method is 100 times faster than state of the art
Iron Man's suit. Captain America's shield. The Batmobile. These all could look a lot more realistic thanks to a new algorithm developed by a team of U.S. computer graphics experts. The researchers, led by Professor Ravi Ramamoorthi at the University of California San Diego, have created a method to improve how computer graphics software reproduces the way light interacts with extremely small details, called glints, on the surface of a wide range of materials, including metallic car paints... more
Colorado State University scientists describe their most recent innovation in engineered superomniphobic surfaces
Imagine being able to instantly diagnose diabetes, Ebola or some other disease, simply by watching how a droplet of blood moves on a surface. That's just one potential impact of new research led by Arun Kota, assistant professor in Colorado State University's Department of Mechanical Engineering and the School of Biomedical Engineering. Kota's lab makes coatings that repel not just water, but virtually any liquid, including oils and acids - a property called superomniphobicity... more
Virginia Tech and Livermore National Lab researchers develop hierarchical 3-D printed metallic materials
For years, scientists and engineers have synthesized materials at the nanoscale level to take advantage of their mechanical, optical, and energy properties, but efforts to scale these materials to larger sizes have resulted in diminished performance and structural integrity. Now, researchers led by Xiaoyu "Rayne" Zheng, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech have published a study in the journal Nature Materials that describes a new process to create lightweight... more
Every day, modern society creates more than a billion gigabytes of new data. To store all this data, it is increasingly important that each single bit occupies as little space as possible.
A team of scientists at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft University managed to bring this reduction to the ultimate limit: they built a memory of 1 kilobyte (8,000 bits), where each bit is represented by the position of one single chlorine atom. "In theory, this storage density would allow all books ever created by humans to be written on a single post stamp", says lead-scientist Sander Otte. They reached a storage density of 500 Terabits per square inch (Tbpsi), 500 times better... more
Better understanding of perovskite solar cells could boost widespread use
Researchers from the University of Houston have reported the first explanation for how a class of materials changes during production to more efficiently absorb light, a critical step toward the large-scale manufacture of better and less-expensive solar panels. The work, published this month as the cover story for Nanoscale, offers a mechanism study of how a perovskite thin film changes its microscopic structure upon gentle heating, said Yan Yao, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering... more
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces: "Multifunctional Stiff Carbon Foam Derived from Bread"
Sturdy, lightweight carbon foam has many structural and insulating applications in aerospace engineering, energy storage and temperature maintenance. Current methods to create this material run into difficulties when trying to make the product strong, lightweight, environmentally friendly and low-cost. Now, a group reports in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces a method to produce such a carbon foam by using super-toasted bread. Carbon foams have a 3-D network that allows them to be lightweight... more
With increased study of bio-adhesives, a significant effort has been made in search for novel adhesives that will combine reversibility, repeated usage, stronger bonds and faster bonding time, non-toxic, and more importantly be effective in wet and other extreme conditions.
A team of Korean scientists−made up of scientists from Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and UNIST−has recently found a way to make building flexible pressure sensors easier—by mimicking the suction cups on octopus’s tentacles. In their paper published in the current edition of Advanced Materials, the research team describes how they studied the structure and adhesive mechanism of octopus suckers and then used what they learned to develop a new type of suction based adhesive... more
Rice University shows toughened material is easier to handle, useful for electronics
Nanoscale “rivets” give graphene qualities that may speed the wonder material’s adoption in products like flexible, transparent electronics, according to researchers at Rice University. The Rice lab of chemist James Tour reported the creation of “rivet graphene,” two-dimensional carbon that incorporates carbon nanotubes for strength and carbon spheres that encase iron nanoparticles, which enhance both the material’s portability and its electronic properties. The material is the subject... more
Scientists at UMass Amherst report in the current issue of Small that they have genetically designed a new strain of bacteria that spins out extremely thin and highly conductive wires made up solely of non-toxic, natural amino acids
Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report in the current issue of Small that they have genetically designed a new strain of bacteria that spins out extremely thin and highly conductive wires made up of solely of non-toxic, natural amino acids. Researchers led by microbiologist Derek Lovely say the wires, which rival the thinnest wires known to man, are produced from renewable, inexpensive feedstocks and avoid the harsh chemical processes typically used to produce nanoelectronic... more
Approach opens a straightforward route for engineering the properties of single-wall carbon nanotubes
Just as many of us might be resigned to clogged salt shakers or rush-hour traffic, those working to exploit the special properties of carbon nanotubes have typically shrugged their shoulders when these tiniest of cylinders fill with water during processing. But for nanotube practitioners who have reached their Popeye threshold and "can't stands no more," the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has devised a cheap, quick and effective strategy that reliably enhances... more

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