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Host-guest nanowires for efficient water splitting and solar energy storage

05-Feb-2016

California is committed to 33 percent energy from renewable resources by 2020. With that deadline fast approaching, researchers across the state are busy exploring options. Solar energy is attractive but for widespread adoption, it requires transformation into a storable form. Researchers report ...

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Researchers discover new phase of boron nitride and a new way to create pure c-BN

05-Feb-2016

Researchers at North Carolina State University have discovered a new phase of the material boron nitride (Q-BN), which has potential applications for both manufacturing tools and electronic displays. The researchers have also developed a new technique for creating cubic boron nitride (c-BN) at ...

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Phosphine as a superconductor?

Sure, but the story may be complicated

05-Feb-2016

Phosphine is one of the newest materials to be named a superconductor, a material through which electricity can flow with zero resistance. In 2015, scientists reported that they had liquefied the chemical and squeezed it under high pressure in a diamond vice to achieve superconductivity. Now, a ...

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Making fuel from thin air

Carbon dioxide captured from air converted directly to methanol fuel for the first time

04-Feb-2016

For the first time, researchers there have directly converted carbon dioxide from the air into methanol at relatively low temperatures. The work, led by G.K. Surya Prakash and George Olah of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, is part of a broader effort to stabilize the ...

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Risk of lead poisoning from urban gardening is low, new study finds

04-Feb-2016

Using compost is the single best thing you can do to protect your family from any danger associated with lead in urban soils. Good compost will also guarantee that you will have plenty of vegetables to harvest. The University of Washington-led study looked at potential risks associated with ...

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Cornell researchers create first self-assembled superconductor

02-Feb-2016

Building on nearly two decades' worth of research, a multidisciplinary team at Cornell has blazed a new trail by creating a self-assembled, three-dimensional gyroidal superconductor. Ulrich Wiesner, a materials science and engineering professor who led the group, says it's the first time a ...

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Polar vortices observed in ferroelectric

02-Feb-2016

The observation in a ferroelectric material of "polar vortices" that appear to be the electrical cousins of magnetic skyrmions holds intriguing possibilities for advanced electronic devices. These polar vortices, which were theoretically predicted more than a decade ago, could also "rewrite our ...

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Nanosheet growth technique could revolutionize nanomaterial production

02-Feb-2016

After six years of painstaking effort, a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison materials scientists believe the tiny sheets of the semiconductor zinc oxide they're growing could have huge implications for the future of a host of electronic and biomedical devices. The group -- led by Xudong ...

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Simplifying solar cells with a new mix of materials

29-Jan-2016

An international research team has simplified the steps to create highly efficient silicon solar cells by applying a new mix of materials to a standard design. Arrays of solar cells are used in solar panels to convert sunlight to electricity. The special blend of materials--which could also prove ...

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Fun with Lego (molecules)

29-Jan-2016

A great childhood pleasure is playing with Legos® and marveling at the variety of structures you can create from a small number of basic elements. Such control and variety of superstructures is a goal of polymer chemists, but it is hard to regulate their specific size and how the pieces fit ...

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