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Unprecedented control of polymer grids achieved

Applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor possible

25-Jun-2018

Synthetic polymers are ubiquitous -- nylon, polyester, Teflon and epoxy, to name just a few -- and these polymers are all long, linear structures that tangle into imprecise structures. Chemists have long dreamed of making polymers with two-dimensional, grid-like structures, but this goal has ...

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Making carbon nanotubes as usable as common plastics

17-May-2018

Northwestern University's Jiaxing Huang is ready to reignite carbon nanotube research. And he's doing so with a common chemical that was once used in household cleaners. By using an inexpensive, already mass produced, simple solvent called cresol, Huang has discovered a way to make disperse ...

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Artificial intelligence accelerates discovery of metallic glass

17-Apr-2018

If you combine two or three metals together, you will get an alloy that usually looks and acts like a metal, with its atoms arranged in rigid geometric patterns. But once in a while, under just the right conditions, you get something entirely new: a futuristic alloy called metallic glass. The ...

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Graphene finds new application as non-toxic, anti-static hair dye

New formula works as well as commercial permanent dyes without chemically altering hairs

19-Mar-2018

It's an issue that has plagued the beauty industry for more than a century: Dying hair too often can irreparably damage your silky strands. Now a Northwestern University team has used materials science to solve this age-old problem. The team has leveraged super material graphene to develop a new ...

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Using DNA, nanoparticles and lithography to make optically active structures

22-Jan-2018

Northwestern University researchers have developed a first-of-its-kind technique for creating entirely new classes of optical materials and devices that could lead to light bending and cloaking devices -- news to make the ears of Star Trek's Spock perk up. Using DNA as a key tool, the ...

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New lithium-rich battery could last much longer

Battery leverages both iron and oxygen to drive more lithium ions

05-Jan-2018

On paper, it doesn't seem like Christopher Wolverton's super lithium-rich battery should work. For one, the novel battery uses iron, an inexpensive metal that has notoriously failed in batteries. And in another difficult feat, the battery leverages oxygen to help drive the chemical reaction, ...

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Scientists capture colliding organic nanoparticles on video for first time

20-Nov-2017

A Northwestern University research team is the first to capture on video organic nanoparticles colliding and fusing together. This unprecedented view of "chemistry in motion" will aid Northwestern nanoscientists developing new drug delivery methods as well as demonstrate to researchers around the ...

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Understanding rare earth emulsions

Surface polarization in mixed media increases attraction among elements

16-Oct-2017

Despite their name, rare earth elements actually aren't that rare. Abundant in mines around the world, rare earths are used in many high-tech products, including visual displays, batteries, super conductors, and computer hard drives. But while they aren't necessarily tricky to find, the elements ...

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Simultaneous design and nanomanufacturing speeds up fabrication

08-Aug-2017

Design and nanomanufacturing have collided inside of a Northwestern University laboratory. An interdisciplinary team of researchers has used mathematics and machine learning to design an optimal material for light management in solar cells, then fabricated the nanostructured surfaces ...

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Tiny particles increase in air with ethanol-to-gasoline switch

18-Jul-2017

The concentration of ultrafine particles less than 50 nanometers in diameter rose by one-third in the air of São Paulo, Brazil, when higher ethanol prices induced drivers to switch from ethanol to gasoline, according to a new study by a Northwestern University chemist, a National University of ...

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