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Nuclear fusion:burning questions on the control of 'burning plasmas'

26-Oct-2018

What would it take to meet the world's energy needs, sustainably, far into the foreseeable future? Perhaps creating energy the way the sun does, through nuclear fusion. Fission and fusion are very different nuclear reactions, according to Eugenio Schuster, Professor in the Department of ...

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Electrochemically-produced ammonia could revolutionize food production

11-Jul-2018

Steven McIntosh wants to transform the way ammonia is produced. He hopes to create a viable alternative to the conventional method, which uses massive amounts of energy and emits harmful carbon dioxide. He's exploring a sustainable electrochemical method to efficiently drive the chemical reaction ...

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Unexpected degree of order found in interior grain boundaries of polycrystalline materials

11-Oct-2017

Scientists in the United States and China have announced a discovery that they believe could enable the engineering of alloyed materials that are stronger and more ductile and possess superior electrical, magnetic and physical properties. The researchers said they had found a surprising degree of ...

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Direct conversion of methane to methanol

Catalyzed by gold-palladium nanoparticles

11-Sep-2017

Liquid methanol is widely used as a feedstock for other chemicals and also has considerable potential as an alternative fuel source. However, converting methane--the primary component of abundant natural gas--into methanol is currently achieved by an indirect process which requires high heat and ...

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Tunneling a path to low cost, high efficiency solar cells

08-Sep-2017

Lowering the cost of solar cell production and making it more affordable to individuals and businesses could be a game-changer for the energy sector. That is one of the reasons behind the U.S. Department of Energy's 2011 launch of the SunShot Initiative, a national effort to drive down the cost ...

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A more complete picture of the nano world

28-Aug-2017

They may be tiny and invisible, says Xiaoji Xu , but the aerosol particles suspended in gases play a role in cloud formation and environmental pollution and can be detrimental to human health. Aerosol particles, which are found in haze, dust and vehicle exhaust, measure in the microns. One micron ...

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Atomic-level activity of green catalyst used in PVC production revealed

03-Apr-2017

An international group of scientists has unlocked the secret of a gold-based catalyst that is responsible for a new, environmentally friendly method of producing the vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) that is used to manufacture polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the world's third-most widely used ...

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Scientists fabricate a new class of crystalline solid

A 'subtle' laser heating technique causes atoms to assemble into a rotating lattice

04-Nov-2016

Scientists at Lehigh University, in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have demonstrated the fabrication of what they call a new class of crystalline solid by using a laser heating technique that induces atoms to organize into a rotating lattice without affecting the ...

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Making lasers cool again

02-Nov-2016

Once the preferred weapon of B-movie madmen and space-fiction heroes alike, the laser -- a device that generates an intense beam of coherent electromagnetic radiation by stimulating the emission of photons from excited atoms or molecules -- has grown a bit domesticated of late. These days, it has ...

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The unexpected hardness of gallium nitride

31-Oct-2016

Gallium nitride (GaN) has emerged as one of the most important and widely used semiconducting materials. Its optoelectronic and mechanical properties make it ideal for a variety of applications, including light-emitting diodes (LEDs), high-temperature transistors, sensors and biocompatible ...

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