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Spray-on coating could ice-proof airplanes, power lines, windshields

15-Mar-2016

On your car windshield, ice is a nuisance. But on an airplane, a wind turbine, an oil rig or power line, it can be downright dangerous. And removing it with the methods that are available today--usually chemical melting agents or labor-intensive scrapers and hammers--is difficult and expensive ...

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Engineers develop flexible skin that traps radar waves, cloaks objects

08-Mar-2016

Iowa State University engineers have developed a new flexible, stretchable and tunable "meta-skin" that uses rows of small, liquid-metal devices to cloak an object from the sharp eyes of radar. The meta-skin takes its name from metamaterials, which are composites that have properties not found in ...

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Building a better mouse trap, from the atoms up

08-Mar-2016

For most of human history, the discovery of new materials has been a crapshoot. But now, UConn researchers have systematized the search with machine learning that can scan millions of theoretical compounds for qualities that would make better solar cells, fibers, and computer chips. The search ...

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Metamaterial separation proposed for chemical, biomolecular uses

07-Mar-2016

The unique properties of metamaterials have been used to cloak objects from light, and to hide them from vibration, pressure waves and heat. Now, a Georgia Institute of Technology researcher wants to add another use for metamaterials: creating a new directional separation technique that cloaks ...

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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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Self-stacking nanogrids

Polymer nanowires could offer route to tinier chip components.

26-Jan-2016

Since the 1960s, computer chips have been built using a process called photolithography. But in the past five years, chip features have gotten smaller than the wavelength of light, which has required some ingenious modifications of photolithographic processes. Keeping up the rate of circuit ...

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New research could help build better fighter planes and space shuttles

06-Jan-2016

Thousands bound together are still thinner than a single strand of human hair, but with research from Binghamton University, boron nitride nanotubes may help build better fighter planes and space shuttles. A team of scientists led by Changhong Ke, associate professor of mechanical engineering at ...

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Move aside carbon: Boron nitride-reinforced materials are even stronger

24-Dec-2015

Carbon nanotubes are legendary in their strength -- at least 30 times stronger than bullet-stopping Kevlar by some estimates. When mixed with lightweight polymers such as plastics and epoxy resins, the tiny tubes reinforce the material, like the rebar in a block of concrete, promising lightweight ...

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New device uses carbon nanotubes to snag molecules

23-Dec-2015

Engineers at MIT have devised a new technique for trapping hard-to-detect molecules, using forests of carbon nanotubes. The team modified a simple microfluidic channel with an array of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes -- rolled lattices of carbon atoms that resemble tiny tubes of chicken wire. ...

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Newly discovered 'design rule' brings nature-inspired nanostructures one step closer

09-Oct-2015

Scientists aspire to build nanostructures that mimic the complexity and function of nature's proteins, but are made of durable and synthetic materials. These microscopic widgets could be customized into incredibly sensitive chemical detectors or long-lasting catalysts, to name a few possible ...

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