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Graphene imperfections key to creating hypersensitive 'electronic nose'

24-09-2014

Researchers have discovered a way to create a highly sensitive chemical sensor based on the crystalline flaws in graphene sheets. The imperfections have unique electronic properties that the researchers were able to exploit to increase sensitivity to absorbed gas molecules by 300 times. The study ...

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Toward making lithium-sulfur batteries a commercial reality for a bigger energy punch

19-09-2014

A fevered search for the next great high-energy, rechargeable battery technology is on. Scientists are now reporting they have overcome key obstacles toward making lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries, which have the potential to leave today's lithium-ion technology in the dust. Their study appears in ...

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The future face of molecular electronics

Thin layer of picene molecules attached to a silver surface maintain their structure and function, demonstrating potential for electronic applications

18-09-2014

The emerging field of molecular electronics could take our definition of portable to the next level, enabling the construction of tiny circuits from molecular components. In these highly efficient devices, individual molecules would take on the roles currently played by comparatively-bulky wires, ...

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Advanced light source sets microscopy record

Berkeley Lab researchers achieve highest resolution ever with X-ray microscopy

15-09-2014

A record-setting X-ray microscopy experiment may have ushered in a new era for nanoscale imaging. Working at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), a collaboration of researchers used low energy or "soft" X-rays to image structures only five ...

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Rethinking the basic science of graphene synthesis

Discovery shows route to super-strong material's industrial-scale production

10-09-2014

A new route to making graphene has been discovered that could make the 21st century's wonder material easier to ramp up to industrial scale. Graphene -- a tightly bound single layer of carbon atoms with super strength and the ability to conduct heat and electricity better than any other known ...

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New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits

01-09-2014

A new research platform uses a laser to measure the "nanomechanical" properties of tiny structures undergoing stress and heating, an approach likely to yield insights to improve designs for microelectronics and batteries. This new technique, called nanomechanical Raman spectroscopy, reveals ...

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Recycling old batteries into solar cells

Proposal could divert a dangerous waste stream while producing low-cost photovoltaics

21-08-2014

This could be a classic win-win solution: A system proposed by researchers at MIT recycles materials from discarded car batteries — a potential source of lead pollution — into new, long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power. The system is described in a paper in the journal ...

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Eco-friendly 'pre-fab nanoparticles' could revolutionize nano manufacturing

UMass Amherst team invents a way to create versatile, water-soluble nano-modules

21-08-2014

A team of materials chemists, polymer scientists, device physicists and others at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report a breakthrough technique for controlling molecular assembly of nanoparticles over multiple length scales that should allow faster, cheaper, more ecologically friendly ...

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Spinach could lead to alternative energy more powerful than Popeye

01-08-2014

Spinach gave Popeye super strength, but it also holds the promise of a different power for a group of scientists: the ability to convert sunlight into a clean, efficient alternative fuel. Purdue University physicists are part of an international group using spinach to study the proteins involved ...

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The birth of topological spintronics

31-07-2014

The discovery of a new material combination that could lead to a more efficient approach to computer memory and logic will be described in the journal Nature on July 24, 2014. The research, led by Penn State University and Cornell University physicists, studies "spin torque" in devices that ...

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