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Groundbreaking method to map the interaction between atomically thin layers

18-Jan-2021

When two atomically thin layers of a material are stacked and twisted slightly on top of one another, they can develop radically different properties. They may become superconducting or even develop magnetic or electronic properties due to the interaction of their two layers. The challenge for ...

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Borrowing from birds, experts reduce search times for novel high-entropy alloys to seconds

Hybrid CS algorithm borrows from behavior of cuckoo birds

18-Jan-2021

Computational materials science experts at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory enhanced an algorithm that borrows its approach from the nesting habits of cuckoo birds, reducing the search time for new high-tech alloys from weeks to mere seconds. The scientists are investigating a type ...

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Why do metal oxide surfaces behave differently?

New research method answers important questions

15-Jan-2021

Metal surfaces play a role as catalysts for many important applications - from fuel cells to the purification of car exhaust gases. However, their behaviour is decisively affected by oxygen atoms incorporated into the surface. This phenomenon has been known for a long time, but until now it has ...

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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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How will we achieve carbon-neutral flight in future?

Carbon-​neutral aviation and the use of fossil fuels are not mutually exclusive

15-Jan-2021

Carbon-​neutral aviation is possible, but in future, aircraft are likely to continue to be powered by fossil fuels. The CO2 they emit must be systematically stored underground. This is the most economical of various approaches that ETH researchers have compared in detail. It is politically agreed ...

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How does your computer smell?

Researchers create a highly sensitive biohybrid olfactory sensor

15-Jan-2021

A keen sense of smell is a powerful ability shared by many organisms. However, it has proven difficult to replicate by artificial means. Researchers combined biological and engineered elements to create what is known as a biohybrid component. Their volatile organic compound sensor can effectively ...

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Putting climate-positive business ideas into practice

Start-ups made carbon-​neutral fuels and turning carbon dioxide into stone

14-Jan-2021

More and more ETH Zurich researchers are taking the plunge into entrepreneurship. By launching spin-​offs, they hope to turn their lab findings into solutions that can help stem the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide. There is no shortage of evidence for what the Fifth Assessment Report of the ...

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'Swiss Army knife' catalyst can make natural gas burn cleaner

Lowering the combustion temperature for methane

14-Jan-2021

Reza Shahbazian-Yassar, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at the University of Illinois Chicago and colleagues facilitated the development of a cutting edge "Swiss Army knife" catalyst made up of 10 different elements - each of which on its own has the ability to reduce the ...

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Increasing the Activity of Catalysts

A key to producing green hydrogen more efficiently

13-Jan-2021

A layer as thin as a single atom makes a huge difference: On the surface of an electrode, it doubles the amount of water split in an electrolysis system without increasing the energy requirements. Thus, the ultrathin layer also doubles the amount of hydrogen produced without increasing costs. ...

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New class of stable nickel complexes developed

Easy-to-handle nickel complexes for practical application in nickel catalysis

13-Jan-2021

The use of nickel as a catalyst for the formation of chemical bonds is of great importance to the chemical industry - applications range from the production of fine chemicals to the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, insecticides and pesticides. For the production of nickel complexes, industry has ...

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