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Detecting microplastics in the environment

Geochemist has developed a method to track microplastics in water, soil and even organisms

07-Oct-2021

Geochemist Denise Mitrano has found a way to track how micro- and nanoplastic particles spread through the environment. For this work, she is receiving this year's Marie Heim-Vögtlin Prize from the Swiss National Science Foundation. Man-made plastic pollutes the environment. When broken down into ...

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Unprecedented view of a single catalyst nanoparticle at work

X-rays reveal compositional changes on active surface under reaction conditions

05-Oct-2021

A DESY-led research team has been using high-intensity X-rays to observe a single catalyst nanoparticle at work. The experiment has revealed for the first time how the chemical composition of the surface of an individual nanoparticle changes under reaction conditions, making it more active. The ...

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New catalysts for fuel cells

Efficient and with consistently high quality

04-Oct-2021

Fuel cells are typically applied to generate electrical energy from hydrogen or methanol. Nanoscale catalysts get the process going - but until now, the quality of these materials has varied significantly. The CAN research division of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP ...

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Tiny nanoparticles improve charge transport

"Our special material design has made it possible for us to tease out properties that we know from theory but could not see before"

23-Sep-2021

Three-dimensional topological insulators are materials that can conduct electric current without resistance—but only on their surface. However, this effect is difficult to measure. This is because these materials usually have little surface area in relation to their volume, which means their ...

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Major step forward in the development of microbial fuel cells

Researchers infuse bacteria with silver to improve power efficiency in fuel cells

20-Sep-2021

A UCLA-led team of engineers and chemists has taken a major step forward in the development of microbial fuel cells — a technology that utilizes natural bacteria to extract electrons from organic matter in wastewater to generate electrical currents. A study detailing the breakthrough was recently ...

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Cheaper Hydrogen Production

Efficient water and urea electrolysis with bimetallic yolk-shell nanoparticles

14-Sep-2021

Electrolytic hydrogen production powered by renewable energy is seen as an environmentally friendly means to ameliorate global climate and energy problems. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, a research team has now introduced a novel and inexpensive material for electrodes that may provide for ...

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Nano ‘camera’ made using molecular glue allows real-time monitoring of chemical reactions

“We were surprised how powerful this new tool is, considering how straightforward it is to assemble”

06-Sep-2021

Researchers have made a tiny camera, held together with ‘molecular glue’ that allows them to observe chemical reactions in real time. The device, made by a team from the University of Cambridge, combines tiny semiconductor nanocrystals called quantum dots and gold nanoparticles using molecular ...

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Breakthrough in sizing nanoparticles using fluid-filled tubes

Simple mechanical tube key to measuring mass and size of nano-particles simultaneously

31-Aug-2021

The functionality of nanoparticles in a host of applications, including drug delivery and nano-optics, is often dictated by their mass and size. Measuring these properties simultaneously for the same nanoparticle has also been challenging. Now scientists from the University of Melbourne and ...

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Unexpected twist of catalytic nanoparticles

Precise orientation affects shape, size and behaviour

16-Aug-2021

Nanoparticles that make up catalysts can arrange themselves in slightly different ways, and behave significantly differently as a result. This is revealed by an X-ray study of palladium nanoparticles carried out at DESY Nanolab and PETRA III. The study has been published in the journal ACS Nano ...

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Astonishing diversity: Semiconductor nanoparticles form numerous structures

X-ray study reveals how lead sulphide particles self-organise in real time

13-Aug-2021

The structure adopted by lead sulphide nanoparticles changes surprisingly often as they assemble to form ordered superlattices. This is revealed by an experimental study that has been conducted at DESY’s X-ray source PETRA III. A team led by the DESY scientists Irina Lokteva and Felix Lehmkühler, ...

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