Researchers 'stretch' the ability of 2-D materials to change technology (13/06/2019)

Two-dimensional (2-D) materials—as thin as a single layer of atoms—have intrigued scientists with their flexibility, elasticity, and unique electronic properties, as first discovered in materials such as graphene in 2004. Some of these materials can be especially susceptible to changes in their material properties as they are stretched and pulled. Under applied strain, they have been predicted to undergo phase transitions as disparate as superconducting in one moment to nonconducting the next, or optically opaque in one moment to transparent in the next.

Researchers develop semi-liquid metal anode for next-generation batteries (13/06/2019)

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's Mellon College of Science and College of Engineering have developed a semiliquid lithium metal-based anode that represents a new paradigm in battery design. Lithium batteries made using this new electrode type could have a higher capacity and be much safer than typical lithium metal-based batteries that use lithium foil as anode.

Skinflow: A soft robotic skin based on liquid transmission (13/06/2019)

Researchers at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and the University of Bristol have recently developed a new soft robotic skin-like sensor that is based on fluidic transmission. This sensor, presented at the second IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft), could have interesting applications in a variety of fields, ranging from robotics to virtual reality (VR).

Hybrid nanostructure steps up light-harvesting efficiency (13/06/2019)

To absorb incoming sunlight, plants and certain kinds of bacteria rely on a light-harvesting protein complex containing molecules called chromophores. This complex funnels solar energy to the photosynthetic reaction center, where it is converted into chemical energy for metabolic processes.

Researchers develop superconducting quantum refrigerator (07/06/2019)

Researchers have harnessed superconductivity to conceive of a quantum refrigerator that could cool atoms to nearly absolute zero temperatures.

Researchers find ways to hackproof smart meters (07/06/2019)

Smart electricity meters are useful because they allow energy utilities to efficiently track energy use and allocate energy production. But because they're connected to a grid, they can also serve as back doors for malicious hackers.

Chip design dramatically reduces energy needed to compute with light (07/06/2019)

MIT researchers have developed a novel "photonic" chip that uses light instead of electricity—and consumes relatively little power in the process. The chip could be used to process massive neural networks millions of times more efficiently than today's classical computers do.

Under the surface: Understanding the (ultra-small) structure of silicon nanocrystals (07/06/2019)

New research provides insight into the structure of silicon nanocrystals, a substance that promises to provide efficient lithium ion batteries that power your phone to medical imaging on the nanoscale.

How to speed up the discovery of new solar cell materials (07/06/2019)

A broad class of materials called perovskites is considered one of the most promising avenues for developing new, more efficient solar cells. But the virtually limitless number of possible combinations of these materials' constituent elements makes the search for promising new perovskites slow and painstaking.

Pioneering 3-D printed device sets new record for efficiency (07/06/2019)

A new 3-D printed thermoelectric device, which converts heat into electric power with an efficiency factor over 50% higher than the previous best for printed materials—and is cheap to produce in bulk—has been manufactured by researchers at Swansea University's SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre.