Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range - and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.
Japanese scientists have elucidated the mechanism of the hydrodynamic power generation using spin currents in micrometer-scale channels, finding that power generation efficiency improves drastically as the size of the flow is made smaller. They experimentally demonstrated the fluid power generation phenomenon in the laminar flow region and confirmed that in the laminar flow region, energy conversion efficiency was increased by approximately 100,000 times.
Artificial enzymes made of treated charcoal could have the power to curtail damaging levels of superoxides, toxic radical oxygen ions that appear at high concentrations after an injury.
Scientists at the University of Tsukuba create a theoretical carbon-based material that would be even harder than diamond. This work may have industrial applications for cutting and polishing in place of current synthetic diamond.
Northwestern University researchers have cracked one of the secrets of tooth decay. The materials scientists are the first to identify a small number of impurity atoms in human enamel that may contribute to the material's strength but also make it more soluble. They also are the first to determine the spatial distribution of the impurities with atomic-scale resolution. The discovery could lead to a better understanding of human tooth decay as well as genetic conditions that affect enamel formation.
Scientists at The University of Tokyo and Fudan University researched the process of crystallization in which competing structural forms coexist. By compensating for fluctuations, they were able to more accurately describe the process that determines the final crystalline form. This work may help industrial chemists design new methods.
Materials scientists have synthesized a new type of perovskite--one of the most common crystal structures of materials deployed for a range of uses, from superconductors to photovoltaics--that goes against conventional thinking about how such structures behave at extreme pressures such as those that exist deep in the Earth.
Standard semiconductor technology is reaching its limit in miniaturization, but the demand for smaller electrical devices with higher performance continues to grow. The research group introduced the widest graphene nanoribbon prepared by the bottom-up approach with electrical properties surpassing those of silicon semiconductors, promising a new generation of miniaturized electronic devices.
Scientists from Skoltech and their colleagues from Russia and Finland have figured out a non-invasive way to measure the thickness of single-walled carbon nanotube films, which may find applications in a wide variety of fields from solar energy to smart textiles.
To understand why a defect in a particular protein causes disease, we must know not only what that protein does but how. Studying its structure can reveal its mechanisms of action, but imaging limitations have left the structures of ion channels and membrane transporters shrouded in mystery. Recent improvements in cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have enabled Princeton's Nieng Yan to begin solving this problem for various membrane proteins.