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Repeated self-healing now possible in composite materials

17-04-2014

Internal damage in fiber-reinforced composites, materials used in structures of modern airplanes and automobiles, is difficult to detect and nearly impossible to repair by conventional methods. A small, internal crack can quickly develop into irreversible damage from delamination, a process in ...

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Converting sugarcane to a cold-tolerant, oil-producing crop

26-02-2014

A multi-institutional team reports that it can increase sugarcane's geographic range, boost its photosynthetic rate by 30 percent and turn it into an oil-producing crop for biodiesel production. These are only the first steps in a bigger initiative that will turn sugarcane and sorghum – two of ...

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Plastic shopping bags make a fine diesel fuel

14-02-2014

Plastic shopping bags, an abundant source of litter on land and at sea, can be converted into diesel, natural gas and other useful petroleum products, researchers report. The conversion produces significantly more energy than it requires and results in transportation fuels – diesel, for example – ...

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Off-the-shelf materials lead to self-healing polymers

06-02-2014

Look out, super glue and paint thinner. Thanks to new dynamic materials developed at the University of Illinois, removable paint and self-healing plastics soon could be household products. U. of I. materials science and engineering professor Jianjun Cheng, graduate student Hanze Ying and ...

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Nanotubes can solder themselves

27-11-2013

University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to heal gaps in wires too small for even the world’s tiniest soldering iron. Led by electrical and computer engineering professor Joseph Lyding and graduate student Jae Won Do, the Illinois team published its results in the journal Nano ...

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Tiny antennas let long light waves see in infrared

Nanoantennas made of semiconductor can help scientists detect molecules with infrared light

01-10-2013

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed arrays of tiny nano-antennas that can enable sensing of molecules that resonate in the infrared (IR) spectrum. “The identification of molecules by sensing their unique absorption resonances is very important for environmental ...

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Magnetic charge crystals imaged in artificial spin ice

30-08-2013

A team of scientists, led by University of Illinois physicist Peter Schiffer, has reported direct visualization of magnetic charge crystallization in an artificial spin ice material, a first in the study of a relatively new class of frustrated artificial magnetic materials-by-design known as ...

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Black locust showing promise for biomass potential

18-06-2013

Researchers from the Energy Biosciences Institute at the University of Illinois, evaluating the biomass potential of woody crops, are taking a closer look at the black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), which showed a higher yield and a faster harvest time than other woody plant species that they ...

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Whispering light hears liquids talk

University of Illinois researchers build first-ever bridge between optomechanics and microfluidics

10-06-2013

Ever been to a whispering gallery—a quiet, circular space underneath an old cathedral dome that captures and amplifies sounds as quiet as a whisper? Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are applying similar principles in the development optomechanical sensors that will ...

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Scientists develop 'green' pretreatment of Miscanthus for biofuels

21-05-2013

Two University of Illinois scientists have developed an environmentally friendly and more economical way of pretreating Miscanthus in the biofuel production process. "We pretreat the biomass with switchable butadiene sulfone in the presence of water to break down the plant cell wall, which ...

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