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Latest Nature Materials Stories

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2011-01-10 09:09:32

First model of rapid phase change in storage material Although the storage of films and music on a DVD is part of our digital world, the physical basis of the storage mechanism is not understood in detail. In the current issue of the leading journal Nature Materials, researchers from Jlich, Finland, and Japan provide insight into the read and write processes in a DVD. This knowledge should enable improved storage materials to be developed. (DOI: 10.1038/NMAT2931) Information is stored in a...

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2010-12-20 09:34:40

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new technique that allows plasmon lasers to operate at room temperature, overcoming a major barrier to practical utilization of the technology. The achievement, described Dec. 19 in an advanced online publication of the journal Nature Materials, is a "major step towards applications" for plasmon lasers, said the research team's principal investigator, Xiang Zhang, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering and...

2010-11-29 16:34:22

After hundreds of years, researchers at the Fraunhofer IWM in Freiburg have managed to decode the atomic mechanism behind diamond grinding. It is the hardest material in the world, and yet it can not only be used to cut other materials, but can be machined itself. Already over 600 years ago first diamonds were cut and the same technique is still used to transform precious stones into exquisite jewelry and later into unrivaled industrial tools. Dr. Lars Pastewka's and Prof. Michael Moseler's...

2010-10-12 13:41:23

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University have developed a novel approach for delivering small bits of genetic material into the body to improve the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases. Delivering short strands of RNA into cells has become a popular research area because of its potential therapeutic applications, but how to deliver them into targeted cells in a living organism has been an obstacle. In the Oct. 10 advance online edition of the journal Nature...

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2010-10-06 08:06:59

Measuring a fuel cell's overall performance is relatively easy, but measuring its components individually as they work together is a challenge. That's because one of the best experimental techniques for investigating the details of an electrochemical device while it's operating is x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Traditional XPS works only in a vacuum, while fuel cells need gases under pressure to function. Now a team of scientists from the University of Maryland, the U.S. Department...

2010-09-20 18:59:14

Could open way for medical, clean energy applications A new type of nanoparticle resembling the six-pointed Star of David (Magen David) that is the symbol on the flag of Israel has been discovered by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (One nanometer is a billionth of a meter.) The discovery, the researchers say, may lead to new ways for sensing of glucose in diagnosing diabetes or provide a catalyst to capture the sun's energy and turn it into clean fuel. Their work, they...

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2010-09-13 06:15:00

U.S. researchers said Sunday that new artificial "skin" fashioned out of flexible semiconductor materials can sense touch, making it possible for robots to be able to grip eggs but be strong enough to hold a frying pan as well. Scientists have been struggling with a way to try and make robots be able to adjust the amount of force needed to hold different objects.  The pressure-sensitive materials are designed to help overcome that challenge. Ali Javey, an electrical engineer at the...

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2010-08-09 06:30:20

Advance in metamaterials leads to a new semiconductor laser suitable for security screening, chemical sensing and astronomy A collaborative team of applied scientists from Harvard University and the University of Leeds have demonstrated a new terahertz (THz) semiconductor laser that emits beams with a much smaller divergence than conventional THz laser sources. The advance, published in the August 8th issue of Nature Materials, opens the door to a wide range of applications in terahertz...

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2010-08-02 06:46:45

Sandia self-assembly and atomic-layer deposition improve process fivefold In an innovation critical to improved DNA sequencing, a markedly slower transmission of DNA through nanopores has been achieved by a team led by Sandia National Laboratories researchers. Solid-state nanopores sculpted from silicon dioxide are generally straight, tiny tunnels more than a thousand times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. They are used as sensors to detect and characterize DNA, RNA and proteins....

2010-05-17 07:22:37

Scientists at Cambridge have developed a simple, accurate way of "seeing" chemistry in action inside a lithium-ion battery. By helping them understand how these batteries behave under different conditions the new method "“ which involves Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy "“ could help researchers solve the fire safety problems that have dogged the development of these batteries. Lithium-ion battery technology has enabled the development of many electronic devices we...


Word of the Day
cruet
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.
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