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38 Current news of University of Texas at Austinrss
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A new plastic-like material can be manipulated to be soft and stretchy or hard and rigid with only the application of a catalyst and visible light
Inspired by living things from trees to shellfish, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin set out to create a plastic much like many life forms that are hard and rigid in some places and soft and stretchy in others. Their success — a first, using only light and a catalyst to change ...
Stampede2 supercomputer helps find new properties of high-entropy alloys
When is something more than just the sum of its parts? Alloys show such synergy. Steel, for instance, revolutionized industry by taking iron, adding a little carbon and making an alloy much stronger than either of its components. Supercomputer simulations are helping scientists discover new types ...
“This work really demonstrates the power of bringing together different disciplines, from synthetic biology to chemical engineering to artificial intelligence”
An enzyme variant created by engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin can break down environment-throttling plastics that typically take centuries to degrade in just a matter of hours to days. This discovery, published in Nature, could help solve one of the world’s most ...
Hydrogels containing a hygroscopic salt can harvest freshwater from dry air
Hydrogels have an astonishing ability to swell and take on water. In daily life, they are used in dressings, nappies, and more to lock moisture away. A team of researchers has now found another use: quickly extracting large amounts of freshwater from air using a specially developed hydrogel ...
“I call it a dream technology because sodium and sulfur are abundant, environmentally benign, and the lowest cost you think of”
A sodium-sulfur battery created by engineers at The University of Texas at Austin solves one of the biggest hurdles that has held back the technology as a commercially viable alternative to the ubiquitous lithium-ion batteries that power everything from smartphones to electric vehicles. Sodium ...
Just a single week’s worth of water from hydraulic fracturing in Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale has the potential to produce enough lithium for 300 electric vehicle batteries or 1.7 million smartphones
Anyone using a cellphone, laptop or electric vehicle depends on lithium. The element is in tremendous demand. And although the supply of lithium around the world is plentiful, getting access to it and extracting it remains a challenging and inefficient process. An interdisciplinary team of ...
2D materials have triggered a boom in materials research. Now it turns out that exciting effects occur when two such layered materials are stacked and slightly twisted
The discovery of the material graphene, which consists of only one layer of carbon atoms, was the starting signal for a global race: Today, so-called "2D materials" are produced, made of different types of atoms. Atomically thin layers that often have very special material properties not found in ...
Barrier to building ultra-fast battery energy storage systems knocked down
For years, researchers have aimed to learn more about a group of metal oxides that show promise as key materials for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries because of their mysterious ability to store significantly more energy than should be possible. An international research team, co-led ...
A mixture of liquid and solid state batteries
Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have built a new type of battery that combines the many benefits of existing options while eliminating their key shortcomings and saving energy. Most batteries are composed of either solid-state electrodes, ...
Researchers use supercomputers to explore new materials for thermoelectric generation
Do you feel the warmth coming off your computer or cell phone? That's wasted energy radiating from the device. With automobiles, it is estimated that 60% of fuel efficiency is lost due to waste heat. Is it possible to capture this energy and convert it into electricity? Researchers working in the ...