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New ‘chain mail’ material of interlocking molecules is tough, flexible and easy to make

New process for making catenanes for potential use in airplanes, armor and other resilient needs

24-Jan-2023

University of California, Berkeley, chemists have created a new type of material from millions of identical, interlocking molecules that for the first time allows the synthesis of extensive 2D or 3D structures that are flexible, strong and resilient, like the chain mail that protected medieval ...

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Process converts polyethylene bags, plastics to polymer building blocks

Catalysts disassemble polymer while adding ethylene, producing propylene, the building blocks of polypropylene

03-Oct-2022

Polyethylene plastics — in particular, the ubiquitous plastic bag that blights the landscape — are notoriously hard to recycle. They’re sturdy and difficult to break down, and if they’re recycled at all, they’re melted into a polymer stew useful mostly for decking and other low-value ...

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A simple, cheap material for carbon capture, perhaps from tailpipes

Porous material from melamine efficiently captures CO₂ from flue gases

15-Aug-2022

Using an inexpensive polymer called melamine — the main component of Formica — chemists have created a cheap, easy and energy-efficient way to capture carbon dioxide from smokestacks, a key goal for the United States and other nations as they seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The process ...

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New process enables 3D printing of small and complex components made of glass in just a few minutes

Possible applications of the new process technology are micro-optical components of sensors, microscopes or lab-on-a-chip systems

21-Apr-2022

Because of its outstanding transparency as well as its stability in contact with heat or chemicals, glass is relevant for many high-tech applications. However, conventional processes for shaping glass are often tedious, energy-intensive and quickly reach their limits for small and complicated ...

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How sugar-loving microbes could help power future cars

Genetically engineered E. coli eat glucose, then help turn it into molecules found in gasoline

24-Nov-2021

It sounds like modern-day alchemy: Transforming sugar into hydrocarbons found in gasoline. But that’s exactly what scientists have done. In a study in Nature Chemistry, researchers report harnessing the wonders of biology and chemistry to turn glucose (a type of sugar) into olefins (a type of ...

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How Confined Protons Migrate

When less than two nanometers of space is available, there is a traffic jam in the proton transport network

10-Sep-2021

Protons in aqueous solution can usually migrate very quickly – much faster compared to other ions. However, this only applies when they are in a space greater than two nanometers, as a study from Ruhr University-Bochum and the University of California Berkeley shows. In confined spaces the ...

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At Last: Separated and Freshly Bound

Amidation of light alkanes

21-Jul-2021

The carbon–hydrogen bonds in alkanes—particularly those at the ends of the molecules, where each carbon has three hydrogen atoms bound to it—are very hard to “crack” if you want to replace the hydrogen atoms with other atoms. Methane (CH4) and ethane (CH3CH3) are made up, exclusively, of such ...

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Making the invisible visible

New method for studying atomic structures in material surfaces

21-May-2021

Researchers from Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the University of California Berkeley and the Institut Polytechnique de Paris use intense laser light in the extreme ultraviolet spectrum to generate a non-linear optical process on a laboratory scale – a process which until now has only been ...

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As hard as a diamond and as deformable as metal

Scientists develop new material for tomorrow's technology

15-Jan-2021

Smartphones with large glass housings and displays are impressive, but they are also very prone to get cracked and scratched. To prevent these kinds of damages, a material combining the hardness of diamond and the deformability of metals would be ideal – and is indeed considered the holy grail of ...

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Upcycling: new catalytic process turns plastic bags into adhesives

Converting polyethylene packaging into high-value products incentivizes plastics recycling

22-Dec-2020

While many cities and eight states have banned single-use plastics, bags and other polyethylene packaging still clog landfills and pollute rivers and oceans. One major problem with recycling polyethylene, which makes up one-third of all plastic production worldwide, is economic: Recycled bags end ...

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