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Can ionic liquids transform chemistry?

07-Feb-2020

Table salt is a commonplace ingredient in the kitchen, but a different kind of salt is at the forefront of chemistry innovation. Low-temperature molten salts known as ionic liquids are said to be "greener" and safer than traditional solvents. According to an article in Chemical & Engineering ...

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A new 'cool' blue

Inexpensive, durable and more environmentally friendly

17-Jan-2020

Throughout history, people have sought vibrant blue pigments. The Egyptians and Babylonians used lapis lazuli 6,000 years ago. In 1802, a French chemist synthesized cobalt blue. More recently, in 2009 scientists discovered YInMn Blue, otherwise known as "Oregon Blue." But most of these pigments ...

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4D imaging with liquid crystal microlenses

22-Nov-2019

Most images captured by a camera lens are flat and two dimensional. Increasingly, 3D imaging technologies are providing the crucial context of depth for scientific and medical applications. 4D imaging, which adds information on light polarization, could open up even more possibilities, but ...

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A chameleon-inspired smart skin changes color in the sun

13-Sep-2019

Some creatures, such as chameleons and neon tetra fish, can alter their colors to camouflage themselves, attract a mate or intimidate predators. Scientists have tried to replicate these abilities to make artificial "smart skins," but so far the materials haven't been robust. Now, researchers ...

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Making polyurethane waste degradable gives its components a second life

27-Aug-2019

Polyurethane waste is piling up in landfills, but scientists have a possible solution: They have developed a method to make polyurethane degradable. Once the original product's useful life is over, the polymer can easily be dissolved into ingredients to make new products such as superglue. These ...

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Fungal compound deodorizes skunk smell

29-Jul-2019

Being sprayed by a skunk is no fun for people or their pets, and the strong, stinky secretions can serve as a nasty reminder of the wildlife encounter for days or weeks. Available "de-skunking" formulas often either don't work well or can irritate the skin and eyes. Now, researchers reporting in ...

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'Semi-synthetic' bacteria churn out unnatural proteins

19-Jul-2019

Synthetic biologists seek to create new life with forms and functions not seen in nature. Although scientists are a long way from making a completely artificial life form, they have made semi-synthetic organisms that have an expanded genetic code, allowing them to produce never-before-seen ...

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Expanding the temperature range of lithium-ion batteries

24-Jun-2019

Electric cars struggle with extreme temperatures, mainly because of impacts on the electrolyte solutions in their lithium-ion batteries. Now, researchers have developed new electrolytes containing multiple additives that work better over a wide temperature range. Lithium-ion batteries are widely ...

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3D-printed lithium-ion batteries

18-Oct-2018

Electric vehicles and most electronic devices, such as cell phones and laptop computers, are powered by lithium-ion batteries. Until now, manufacturers have had to design their devices around the size and shape of commercially available batteries. But researchers have developed a new method to 3D ...

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As tellurium demands rise, so do contamination concerns

26-Apr-2018

As technology advances, demands for tellurium, a rare element, are on the rise. Some forms of tellurium are toxic, so as the element finds applications in solar panels, rubber production, electronics and more, researchers are becoming concerned about possible environmental contamination. Now, one ...

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