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Latest Nature Materials Stories

2011-11-28 11:34:16

Research demonstrates simple, scaleable method with realistic capability of industrial cross-over Scientists have developed a new method of creating nanoporous materials with potential applications in everything from water purification to chemical sensors. In order to produce a porous material it is necessary to have multiple components. When the minor component is removed, small pores are left in its place. Until now, creating nanoporous materials was limiting as it was believed the...

2011-11-22 10:35:32

Method shown to be potentially safer, more efficient than existing FES devices Functional electrical stimulation (FES) was developed to help return lost function to patients with upper and lower extremity injuries and spinal cord injuries, among other applications. However, the devices, which work by stimulating neuronal activity in nerve-damaged patients, have a potential shortcoming in that the electrical currents needed for the treatment to work can also send errant signals to...

2011-11-21 09:33:06

Implications for medical diagnostics, security and solar energy Materials that emit visible light after being exposed to sunlight are commonplace and can be found in everything from emergency signage to glow-in-the-dark stickers. But until now, scientists have had little success creating materials that emit light in the near-infrared range, a portion of the spectrum that only can be seen with the aid of night vision devices. In a paper just published in the early online edition of the...

2011-09-21 18:53:33

The technology yielding flexible solar cells with an 18.7% world record efficiency developed by scientists at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, has now been published in “Nature Materials”. Key to the breakthrough is the control of the energy band gap grading in the copper indium gallium (di)selenide semiconductor, also known as CIGS, the layer that absorbs light and converts it into electricity. High-performance flexible and lightweight...

2011-09-19 07:58:38

Researchers from the University of Toronto (U of T), the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) and Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) have created the most efficient solar cell ever made based on collodial-quatum-dots (CQD). The discovery is reported in the latest issue of Nature Materials. Quantum dots are nanoscale semiconductors that capture light and convert it into an energy source. Because of their small scale, the dots can be sprayed on to flexible...

2011-08-23 17:40:35

Nature Materials: new multiferroic material developed An international team of researchers from France and Germany has developed a new material which is the first to react magnetically to electrical fields at room temperature. Previously this was only at all possible at extremely low and unpractical temperatures. Electric fields are technically much easier and cheaper to produce than magnetic fields for which you need power guzzling coils. The researchers have now found a way to control...

2011-08-16 23:11:25

Scientists can now look deeper into new materials to study their structure and behavior, thanks to work by an international group of researchers led by UC Davis and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and published Aug. 14 by the journal Nature Materials. The technique will enable more detailed study of new types of materials for use in electronics, energy production, chemistry and other applications. The technique, called angle-resolved photoemission, has been used since the 1970s to...

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2011-07-27 09:35:51

By Katie Neith, Caltech While many hotel rooms, recording studios, and even some homes are built with materials to help absorb or reflect sound, mechanisms to truly control the direction of sound waves are still in their infancy. However, researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have now created the first tunable acoustic diode-a device that allows acoustic information to travel only in one direction, at controllable frequencies. The mechanism they developed is outlined...

2011-07-25 15:39:26

In an advance that could open new avenues for solar cells, lasers, metamaterials and more, researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated the first optoelectronically active 3-D photonic crystal. "We've discovered a way to change the three-dimensional structure of a well-established semiconductor material to enable new optical properties while maintaining its very attractive electrical properties," said Paul Braun, a professor of materials science and engineering and of chemistry...

2011-07-18 14:43:10

A new family of contrast agents that sneak into bacteria disguised as glucose food can detect bacterial infections in animals with high sensitivity and specificity. These agents -- called maltodextrin-based imaging probes -- can also distinguish a bacterial infection from other inflammatory conditions. "These contrast agents fill the need for probes that can accurately image small numbers of bacteria in vivo and distinguish infections from other pathologies like cancer," said Niren Murthy, an...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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