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Tens of thousands of feasible catalysts on the diameter of a hair

Novel methods enable us to produce countless new materials in one step and to analyse them promptly

17-Jan-2023

When searching for catalysts for the energy transition, materials consisting of at least five elements are considered highly promising. But there are theoretically millions of them – how do we identify the most powerful one? A Bochum-based research team led by Professor Alfred Ludwig, head of the ...

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Protecting biocatalysts from oxygen

A genetic modification can make hydrogen-producing enzymes more stable

13-Jan-2023

Certain enzymes from bacteria and algae can produce molecular hydrogen from protons and electrons – an energy carrier on which many hopes are riding. All they need for this purpose is light energy. The major obstacle to their use is that they are destroyed by contact with oxygen. An ...

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Cubes outperform spheres as catalyst particles

The shape of nanoparticles is a decisive factor in their efficiency as catalysts for the production of green hydrogen

12-Jan-2023

To date, nanoparticles as catalysts for green hydrogen have been like rowers in an eight: researchers could only measure their average performance, but couldn’t determine which one was the best. This has now changed following the development of a new method by the group led by Professor Kristina ...

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Novel synthesis process for a sustainable use of small molecules

Toxic and expensive metals become redundant

12-Jan-2023

The reaction principle requires no expensive and toxic metals. In addition, it enables the production and subsequent transformation of a chemical reagent that was previously only known as an unstable, fleeting species. Researchers at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, have discovered a new ...

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A poison helps to understand H2-producing biocatalysts

The toxic cyanide molecule attacks H2-generating enzymes, but at the same time provides new insights into catalysis

20-Dec-2022

In nature, enzymes termed hydrogenases are capable of producing molecular hydrogen (H2). Special types of these biocatalysts, so-called [FeFe]-hydrogenases, are extremely efficient and therefore of interest for biobased hydrogen production. Although scientists have learned a lot about how these ...

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Laser controls ultra-fast liquid switch

Researchers unveil a brand new concept for switches with unprecedented speed

15-Dec-2022

Researchers at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, have developed an ultra-fast water-based switch. A short but powerful laser pulse converts the water into a conductive state within less than a trillionth of a second (10-12 seconds), during which time it behaves almost like a metal. This makes it ...

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3D printed surfaces inspired by nature

Biologically inspired structural colours for anti-counterfeiting applications

14-Sep-2022

Scientists can use laser radiation to print tiny structures with high precision. This approach enables them to mimic the superpowers of animals and plants and makes them accessible for engineering applications. To survive in extreme habitats, many animals and plants have developed brilliant ...

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Copper is effective against Sars-Cov-2 on surfaces – silver is not

Silver nanopatches leave the virus unimpressed

09-May-2022

Copper and silver are known for their antibacterial properties. Researchers from Bochum have explored their effectiveness against viruses. Silver and copper ions wipe out many pathogens. That’s why implants and medical instruments, for example, are coated with these metals. Researchers from ...

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A sieve for molecules

“Materials like this with selective permeability are in high demand in industry”

09-Mar-2022

Scientists have long tried to use graphene, which is composed of carbon, as a kind of sieve. But this material doesn’t have any pores. Now, a team has found an alternative material which comes with pores from the outset. Researchers from Bielefeld, Bochum and Yale have succeeded in producing a ...

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Molecular machine in nano cage

What a toy: a tiny gyroscope that would fit in a human cell and that can be controlled from the outside

01-Feb-2022

In cooperation with an international team at the Institute for Basic Science in South Korea, theoretical chemists Dr. Chandan Das and Professor Lars Schäfer from Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have constructed a molecular gyroscope that can be controlled remotely by light. They also succeeded in ...

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