Hydrogen fuel from water by harnessing red and near-infrared regions of sunlight (18/11/2017)

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.

Smart, ultra-thin microfibre sensor for real-time healthcare monitoring and diagnosis (18/11/2017)

A research team from National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a soft, flexible and stretchable microfibre sensor for real-time healthcare monitoring and diagnosis. The novel sensor is highly sensitive and ultra-thin with a diameter of a strand of human hair. It is also simple and cost-effective to mass produce.

Magnetic skyrmions found to hold the potential of storing electronic data (18/11/2017)

A team of researchers with members from the U.S., Germany and China has found that magnetic skyrmions could one day be used as a means of storing electronic data. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers describe creating a structure capable of generating skyrmions that can be reversed with a magnet while retaining its form as the magnet is withdrawn.

Surrey develops new 'supercatalyst' to recycle carbon dioxide and methane (18/11/2017)

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

Scientific advances can make it easier to recycle plastics (18/11/2017)

Most of the 150 million tons of plastics produced around the world every year end up in landfills, the oceans and elsewhere. Less than 9 percent of plastics are recycled in the United States, rising to about 30 percent in Europe.

Pine and poplar wood improve sunlight-driven water purification (16/11/2017)

Engineers at the University of Maryland have found that porous types of wood from trees like poplar and pine can greatly increase the efficiency of water-to-steam conversion under sunlight. The findings, published November 15 in the journal Joule, could be used in a simple and inexpensive biodegradable device for water purification.

How extreme shocks deform a metal’s atomic structure (16/11/2017)

A new way to observe this deformation as it happens can help study a wide range of phenomena, from meteor impacts to high-performance ceramics used in armor, as well as how to protect spacecraft from high-speed dust impacts.

Quantum computing with molecules for a quicker search of unsorted databases (16/11/2017)

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 of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now quantum mechanically implemented and successfully executed Grover's algorithm, a process for the quick finding of a search element in unsorted databases.

Ionic 'solar cell' could provide on-demand water desalination (16/11/2017)

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. 

Researchers take next step toward fusion energy (15/11/2017)

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