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Latest Nature Materials Stories

2014-04-14 14:18:13

Scientists at Yale University have devised a dramatically faster way of identifying and characterizing complex alloys known as bulk metallic glasses (BMGs), a versatile type of pliable glass that's stronger than steel. Using traditional methods, it usually takes a full day to identify a single metal alloy appropriate for making BMGs. The new method allows researchers to screen about 3,000 alloys per day and simultaneously ascertain certain properties, such as melting temperature and...

2014-04-07 16:12:11

A combined computational and experimental study of self-assembled silver-based structures known as superlattices has revealed an unusual and unexpected behavior: arrays of gear-like molecular-scale machines that rotate in unison when pressure is applied to them. Computational and experimental studies show that the superlattice structures, which are self-assembled from smaller clusters of silver nanoparticles and organic protecting molecules, form in layers with the hydrogen bonds between...

2014-01-27 15:10:25

Scientists from Paris, Newcastle and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have been able to switch on and off robust ferromagnetism close to room temperature by using low electric fields. Their results are inspiring for future applications in low-power spintronics, for instance in fast, efficient and nonvolatile data storage technologies. The sample consisted of a ferroelectric BaTiO3 substrate covered with a thin film of magnetic FeRh.  Experiments at BESSY II combined with other measurement methods...

2013-08-26 11:49:09

A new study published today in the journal Nature Materials has found a way to suppress the thermal conductivity in sodium cobaltate so that it can be used to harvest waste energy. Led by scientists at Royal Holloway University, the team conducted a series of experiments on crystals of sodium cobaltate grown in the University's Department of Physics. X-ray and neutron scattering experiments were carried out at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility and in the Institut Laue-Langevin in...

2013-08-12 14:09:17

Computer simulations have revealed how the electrical conductivity of many materials increases with a strong electrical field in a universal way. This development could have significant implications for practical systems in electrochemistry, biochemistry, electrical engineering and beyond. The study, published in Nature Materials, investigated the electrical conductivity of a solid electrolyte, a system of positive and negative atoms on a crystal lattice. The behaviour of this system is an...

2013-07-22 10:59:00

Green cars Climate friendly fuel cells for hydrogen cars have come one step closer. Researchers at the Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, have shown how to build fuel cells that produce as much electricity as current models, but require markedly less of the rare and valuable precious metal platinum. Their discovery was published in the highly reputable periodical Nature Materials. Cheaper hydrogen cars with new fuel cell design Fuel cells ought to replace internal...

2013-06-24 14:51:28

A new discovery about how cells move inside the body may provide scientists with crucial information about disease mechanisms such as the spread of cancer or the constriction of airways caused by asthma. Led by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), investigators found that epithelial cells—the type that form a barrier between the inside and the outside of the body, such as skin cells—move in a group, propelled by...

2013-03-04 23:07:14

A multi-university team of researchers has artificially engineered a unique multilayer material that could lead to breakthroughs in both superconductivity research and in real-world applications. The researchers can tailor the material, which seamlessly alternates between metal and oxide layers, to achieve extraordinary superconducting properties – in particular, the ability to transport much more electrical current than non-engineered materials. The team includes experts from the...

2013-02-20 15:05:15

Luis Hueso, the CICnanoGUNE researcher, together with researchers from the University of Cambridge, among others, has developed a new technology in the magnetic cooling of chips based on the straining of materials. Compared with the current technologies, this advance enables the impact on the environment to be lessened. The work has been published recently in the prestigious journal Nature Materials. Current cooling systems, be they refrigerators, freezers or air conditioning units, make...

2013-02-20 12:41:03

Surprising breakthrough could bolster quantum photonics, solar cell efficiency Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy´s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and other labs have demonstrated a process whereby quantum dots can self-assemble at optimal locations in nanowires, a breakthrough that could improve solar cells, quantum computing, and lighting devices. A paper on the new technology, “Self-assembled Quantum Dots in a Nanowire System for Quantum Photonics,”...


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