Anyone who has a rear-view mirror that automatically dims blue in reaction to annoying high-beam headlights glaring from behind has seen an electrochromic film in action.
Now, chemists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new method to more safely and, by extension, easily produce these shear films, which change their color with the help of a tiny electric current. This could make them available to many industries that have not been able to feasibly use them before.
In manufacturing, electrochromic films are often coated onto other materials, such as the surface of a mirror, as inks. They are usually based in solvents that are flammable and have toxic fumes, making them unsuitable for many work settings that rely on printing and spraying machinery to apply colors.
Georgia Tech researchers have developed electrochromic film inks that are... more
Christian Bayens/Georgia Institute of Technology
Researchers at Rutgers and Georgia Tech develop three methods to defend against sneaky attacks
With cyberattacks on 3D printers likely to threaten health and safety, researchers at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Georgia Institute of Technology have developed novel methods to combat them, according to a groundbreaking study.
“They will be attractive targets because 3D-printed objects and parts are used in critical infrastructures around the world, and cyberattacks may cause failures in health care, transportation, robotics, aviation and space,” said Saman Aliari Zonouz, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
He co-authored a peer-reviewed study – “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Feel No Evil, Print... more
The design of aeroplane wings and storing organs for transplant could both become safer and more effective, thanks to a synthetic antifreeze which prevents the growth of ice crystals, developed by researchers at the University of Warwick.
Taking inspiration from Antifreeze Proteins (AFPs) which occur in nature, researchers from the Department of Chemistry and Warwick Medical School have developed iron-based synthetic imitations, which have been shown to slow to growth of ice crystals.
The researchers suggest that these antifreeze properties are a result of the iron complex containing separated regions with water-loving and water-hating characteristics, which mimics the properties observed in AFPs.
AFPs exist naturally in a variety of animals that live in the most extreme environments on earth - such as Artic fish, which can use AFPs to stop their blood from freezing in sub-zero conditions.
The ability to prevent the growth... more
Three-stage method could revolutionise rechargeability
University of Sydney researchers have found a solution for one of the biggest stumbling blocks preventing zinc-air batteries from overtaking conventional lithium-ion batteries as the power source of choice in electronic devices.
Zinc-air batteries are batteries powered by zinc metal and oxygen from the air. Due to the global abundance of zinc metal, these batteries are much cheaper to produce than lithium-ion batteries, and they can also store more energy (theoretically five times more than that of lithium-ion batteries), are much safer, and are more environmentally friendly.
While zinc-air batteries are currently used as an energy source in hearing aids and some film cameras and railway... more
North Carolina State University engineers have utilized vacuum to create a more efficient, hands-free method for filling complex microchannels with liquid metal.
Their work addresses two of the most common difficulties in creating liquid metal-filled microchannels and may enable broader use of liquid metals in electronic and microfluidic applications.
Liquid metals are promising as soft, stretchable electrical components such as antennas, circuits, electrodes and wires. These applications often require the ability to pattern the liquid metal into different and sometimes complicated shapes at scales smaller than 100 microns, or the width of a human hair. This is accomplished by pushing the liquid metal into microchannels – small, hollow, tube-like structures within a flexible elastomer material. The most common method for creating these patterns... more
New algorithm may make the process more reliable and efficient.
The first big case involving fingerprint evidence in the United States was the murder trial of Thomas Jennings in Chicago in 1911. Jennings had broken into a home in the middle of the night and, when discovered by the homeowner, shot the man dead. He was convicted based on fingerprints left at the crime scene, and for most of the next century, fingerprints were considered, both in the courts and in the public imagination, to be all but infallible as a method of identification.
More recently, however, research has shown that fingerprint examination can produce erroneous results. For instance, a 2009 report from the National Academy of Sciences (link is external) found that results, “are... more
A team of researchers has developed a new mechanism that uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product.
The work, led by New York University Professor Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, will be presented on Mon., Aug. 14 at the annual KDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“The underlying principle of our system stems from the idea that microscopic characteristics in a genuine product or a class of products—corresponding to the same larger product line—exhibit inherent similarities that can be used to distinguish these products from their corresponding counterfeit versions,” explains Subramanian, a professor at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.
The system described in the presentation is commercialized by Entrupy Inc., an NYU startup... more
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
The edible coating on produce has drawn a great deal of attention in the food and agricultural industry.
It could not only prolong postharvest shelf life of produce against external changes in the environment but also provide additional nutrients to be useful for human health. However, most versions of the coating have had intrinsic limitations in their practical application. First, highly specific interactions between coating materials and target surfaces are required for a stable and durable coating. Even further, the coating of bulk substrates, such as fruits, is time consuming or is not achievable in the conventional solution-based coating. In this respect, material-independent and rapid coating strategies are highly demanded.
The research team led by Professor Insung Choi of the Department... more
Saliva-powered battery could be helpful in extreme conditions
Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have developed the next step in microbial fuel cells (MFCs): a battery activated by spit that can be used in extreme conditions where normal batteries don’t function.
For the last five years, Binghamton University Electrical and Computer Science Assistant Professor Seokheun Choi has focused on developing micro-power sources for the use in resource-limited regions to power point-of-care (POC) diagnostic biosensors; he has created several paper-based bacteria-powered batteries.
"On-demand micro-power generation is required especially for point-of-care diagnostic applications in developing countries," said Choi... more
Tiny dents in the surface of graphene greatly enhances its potential as a supercapacitor. Even better, it can be made from carbon dioxide.
A material scientist at Michigan Technological University invented a novel approach to take carbon dioxide and turn it into 3-D graphene with micropores across its surface. The process is the focus of a new study published in the American Chemical Society's Applied Materials & Interfaces (DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b07381).
The conversion of carbon dioxide to useful materials usually requires high energy input due to its ultrahigh stability. However, materials science professor Yun Hang Hu and his research team created a heat-releasing reaction between carbon dioxide and sodium to synthesize 3-D surface-microporous graphene.
“3-D surface-microporous graphene is a brand-new material... more