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New material for splitting water

20-Jun-2018

Solar energy is clean and abundant. But when the sun isn't shining, you must store the energy in batteries or through a process called photocatalysis -- in which solar energy is used to make fuels. In photocatalytic water splitting, sunlight separates water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen ...

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A better way to control crystal vibrations

23-May-2018

The vibrational motion of an atom in a crystal propagates to neighboring atoms, which leads to wavelike propagation of the vibrations throughout the crystal. The way in which these natural vibrations travel through the crystalline structure determine fundamental properties of the material. For ...

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A potentially cheap, efficient and eco-friendly system for purifying natural gas

08-May-2018

Fundamental researchers at the Colorado School of Mines have proposed a novel two-part system for separating impurities from natural gas. Natural gas primarily contains methane, but impurities in the gaseous mixture need to be removed before the methane can be put into the pipeline. The newly ...

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Course set to overcome mismatch between lab-designed nanomaterials and nature's complexity

18-Apr-2018

Cells and the machinery they encase are soft matter -- shape-shifting multicomponent systems with an overwhelming richness of forms. But, these squishy packages are hard targets for potential therapeutic and diagnostic applications that exploit nanomaterials, from quantum dots that light up ...

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Diamond-based circuits can take the heat for advanced applications

13-Apr-2018

When power generators like windmills and solar panels transfer electricity to homes, businesses and the power grid, they lose almost 10 percent of the generated power. To address this problem, scientists are researching new diamond semiconductor circuits to make power conversion systems more ...

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Oxide and semiconductor combination builds new device potential

12-Jan-2018

Insulating oxides are oxygen containing compounds that do not conduct electricity, but can sometimes form conductive interfaces when they're layered together precisely. The conducting electrons at the interface form a two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) which boasts exotic quantum properties that ...

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Silver nanoparticles take spectroscopy to new dimension

A new way of organizing nanostructures has boosted Raman signals by a hundred thousand times to better identify and characterize different molecules

04-Jan-2018

As medicine and pharmacology investigate nanoscale processes, it has become increasingly important to identify and characterize different molecules. Raman spectroscopy, a technique that leverages the scattering of laser light to identify molecules, has a limited capacity to detect molecules in ...

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Using the dark side of excitons for quantum computing

21-Dec-2017

To build tomorrow's quantum computers, some researchers are turning to dark excitons, which are bound pairs of an electron and the absence of an electron called a hole. As a promising quantum bit, or qubit, it can store information in its spin state, analogous to how a regular, classical bit ...

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Hybrid electrolyte enhances supercapacitance in vertical graphene nanosheets

08-Dec-2017

Supercapacitors can store more energy than and are preferable to batteries because they are able to charge faster, mainly due to the vertical graphene nanosheets (VGNs) that are larger and positioned closer together. VGNs are 3-D networks of carbon nanomaterial that grow in rows of vertical ...

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Soft magnetic material characterizations get a harder look

15-Nov-2017

In motors, generators and similar electric machines, the electrical current that powers them generates magnetic fields that magnetize some of the metallic components. Choosing the right magnetic material is crucial for designing efficient machines, so researchers from the Institute of Electrical ...

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