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Nature's toughest substances decoded

05-Dec-2017

How a material breaks may be the most important property to consider when designing layered composites that mimic those found in nature. A method by Rice University engineers decodes the interactions between materials and the structures they form and can help maximize their strength, toughness, ...

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Borophene shines alone as 2-D plasmonic material

22-Nov-2017

An atom-thick film of boron could be the first pure two-dimensional material able to emit visible and near-infrared light by activating its plasmons, according to Rice University scientists. That would make the material known as borophene a candidate for plasmonic and photonic devices like ...

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Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

03-Nov-2017

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University engineers. Rice materials scientist Rouzbeh Shahsavari and alumnus Navid Sakhavand first built atom-level computer models of pillared graphene ...

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Surprisingly ultraflat magnets

13-Oct-2017

Substituting atoms in the process of making two-dimensional alloys not only allows them to be customized for applications but also can make them magnetic, according to Rice University scientists and their collaborators. Researchers at Rice, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of ...

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On the road to fire-free, lithium-ion batteries made with asphalt

13-Oct-2017

Lithium-ion batteries can be found in everything from cell phones to hoverboards, but these power sources have recently made headlines for the fires they have inadvertently caused. To address these safety hazards, scientists report that they are paving the way to better batteries with a naturally ...

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New test opens path for better 2-D catalysts

09-Oct-2017

Rice University researchers have taken a deep look into atom-thick catalysts that produce hydrogen to see precisely where it's coming from. Their findings could accelerate the development of 2-D materials for energy applications, such as fuel cells. The Rice lab of materials scientist Jun Lou, ...

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Nanoscale islands dot light-driven catalyst

06-Oct-2017

Individual nanoscale nuggets of gold, copper, aluminum, silver and other metals that capture light's energy and put it to work are being employed by Rice University scientists who have discovered a way to build multifunctional nanoscale structures. The structures have an aluminum core and are ...

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Four elements make 2-D optical platform

27-Sep-2017

Rice University scientists have discovered a two-dimensional alloy with an optical bandgap that can be tuned by the temperature used to grow it. The Rice lab of materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan grew the four-component alloy of transition metals molybdenum and tungsten with chalcogens sulfur ...

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Boron nitride foam soaks up carbon dioxide

Scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material

18-Aug-2017

Rice University materials scientists have created a light foam from two-dimensional sheets of hexagonal-boron nitride (h-BN) that absorbs carbon dioxide. They discovered freeze-drying h-BN turned it into a macro-scale foam that disintegrates in liquids. But adding a bit of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) ...

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Technique enables printable and rewritable color images

03-Aug-2017

A chemical process that allows color images to be printed on specially coated paper and then erased so that different images can be printed on the same paper has been developed by researchers at Rice, Yonsei and Korea universities. The technique makes use of structural colors, which have ...

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