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New laser-patterning technique turns metals into supermaterials

Hierarchical nano- and microstructures transform sheets of platinum, titanium and brass into light absorbing, water repelling, self-cleaning superstars

22-Jan-2015

By zapping ordinary metals with femtosecond laser pulses researchers from the University of Rochester in New York have created extraordinary new surfaces that efficiently absorb light, repel water and clean themselves. The multifunctional materials could find use in durable, low maintenance solar ...

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Self-destructive effects of magnetically-doped ferromagnetic topological insulators

Magnetic atoms that create exotic surface property also sow the seeds of its destruction

21-Jan-2015

The discovery of "topologically protected" electrical conductivity on the surface of some materials whose bulk interior acts as an insulator was among the most sensational advances in the last decade of condensed matter physics - with predictions of numerous unusual electronic states and new ...

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Shining a light on quantum dots measurement

20-Jan-2015

Due to their nanoscale dimensions and sensitivity to light, quantum dots are being used for a number of bioimaging applications including in vivo imaging of tumor cells, detection of biomolecules, and measurement of pH changes. When quantum dots are introduced in biological media, proteins ...

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Rice-sized laser, powered one electron at a time, bodes well for quantum computing

20-Jan-2015

Princeton University researchers have built a rice grain-sized laser powered by single electrons tunneling through artificial atoms known as quantum dots. The tiny microwave laser, or "maser," is a demonstration of the fundamental interactions between light and moving electrons.The researchers ...

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Perovskites provide big boost to silicon solar cells, Stanford study finds

20-Jan-2015

Stacking perovskites onto a conventional silicon solar cell dramatically improves the overall efficiency of the cell, according to a new study led by Stanford University scientists. The researchers describe their novel perovskite-silicon solar cell in Energy & Environmental Science."We've been ...

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Liquids and glasses relax, too. But not like you thought.

20-Jan-2015

A new insight into the fundamental mechanics of the movement of molecules published by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers a surprising view of what happens when you pour a liquid out of a cup. More important, it provides a theoretical foundation for a ...

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Tattoo-like sensor can detect glucose levels without a painful finger prick

16-Jan-2015

Scientists have developed the first ultra-thin, flexible device that sticks to skin like a rub-on tattoo and can detect a person's glucose levels. The sensor, reported in a proof-of-concept study in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry, has the potential to eliminate finger-pricking for many ...

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Compact batteries enhanced by spontaneous silver matrix formations

Scientists use x-rays to map internal atomic transformations and advance promising lithium-based batteries

12-Jan-2015

In a promising lithium-based battery, the formation of a highly conductive silver matrix transforms a material otherwise plagued by low conductivity. To optimize these multi-metallic batteries - and enhance the flow of electricity - scientists needed a way to see where, when, and how these ...

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What's in the grime tarnishing the Taj Mahal?

09-Jan-2015

Every several years, workers apply a clay mask to India's iconic but yellowing Taj Mahal to remove layers of grime and reveal the white marble underneath. Now scientists are getting to the bottom of what kinds of pollutants are discoloring one of the world's celebrated wonders. Their findings, ...

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Nanowire clothing could keep people warm - without heating everything else

09-Jan-2015

To stay warm when temperatures drop outside, we heat our indoor spaces - even when no one is in them. But scientists have now developed a novel nanowire coating for clothes that can both generate heat and trap the heat from our bodies better than regular clothes. They report on their technology, ...

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