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Nanoparticles make it easier to turn light into solvated electrons

Illuminating study advances ‘green’ reducing agents


There are many ways to initiate chemical reactions in liquids, but placing free electrons directly into water, ammonia and other liquid solutions is especially attractive for green chemistry becausesolvated electrons are inherently clean, leaving behind no side products after they react. In ...


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Lab lights way to simple chemical synthesis

Photochemistry method eases manufacture of drug, chemical precursors


Inexpensive iron salts are a key to simplifying the manufacture of essential precursors for drugs and other chemicals, according to scientists at Rice University. They’ve refined the process of producing diazides, building-block molecules in the production of drugs and agricultural chemicals. ...


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A crystal shape conundrum is finally solved

The method can predict shapes of crystals that lack symmetry


A crystal’s shape is determined by its inherent chemistry, a characteristic that ultimately determines its final form from the most basic of details. But sometimes the lack of symmetry in a crystal makes the surface energies of its facets unknowable, confounding any theoretical prediction of its ...


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Inexpensive catalyst uses energy from light to turn ammonia into hydrogen fuel

Start-up Syzygy Plasmonics has licensed technology


Rice University researchers have engineered a key light-activated nanomaterial for the hydrogen economy. Using only inexpensive raw materials, a team from Rice’sLaboratory for Nanophotonics,Syzygy Plasmonics Inc.and Princeton University’sAndlinger Center for Energy and the Environmentcreated ...


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Rice lab advances water-splitting catalysts

Engineers develop stable devices that don’t require expensive iridium


Creating ahydrogen economyis no small task, but Rice University engineers have discovered a method that could makeoxygen evolutioncatalysis in acids, one of the most challenging topics in water electrolysis forproducing clean hydrogen fuels, more economical and practical. The lab of chemical ...


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Brushing thin films onto electrodes preserves batteries

A bit of brushing may be the secret to making better rechargeable lithium batteries


The Rice University lab of chemistJames Tourintroduced a technique to tune the surface of anodes for batteries by simply brushing powders into them. The powder adheres to the anode and becomes a thin, lithiated coating that effectively prevents the formation ofdamaging dendrites. A powder of ...


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2D boundaries could create electricity

Rice lab leads effort to generate thickness-independent piezoelectricity in atom-thick materials


There’s stillplenty of room at the bottomto generatepiezoelectricity. Engineers at Rice University and their colleagues are showing the way. A new study describes the discovery of piezoelectricity — the phenomenon by which mechanical energy turns into electrical energy — acrossphase ...


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Rice process aims to strip ammonia from wastewater

Ruthenium and copper catalyze a more environmentally friendly way to produce essential chemical


A dash ofrutheniumatoms on a mesh of copper nanowires could be one step toward a revolution in the global ammonia industry that also helps the environment. Collaborators at Rice University’sGeorge R. Brown School of Engineering,Arizona State Universityand Pacific Northwest National ...


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Treated plastic waste good at grabbing carbon dioxide

Rice University lab turns hard-to-process trash into carbon-capture master


Here’s another thing to do with that mountain of used plastic: make it soak up excess carbon dioxide. What seems like a win-win for a pair of pressing environmental problems describes a Rice University lab’s newly discovered chemical technique to turn waste plastic into an effective carbon ...


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Models for molecules show unexpected physics

Rice engineers show spinning magnetic particles surprisingly follow thermodynamic laws


Small spheres suspended in a liquid move enough like molecules that the physics for one can be used to mimic the physics of the other. That’s why the discovery of some unusual physics incolloids-- particles dispersed in a solution such asmilk, for example-- could be of interest to ...


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