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Scientists Discover Breakthrough Method of Making Advanced Electronics With H20

Water is the secret ingredient in a simple way to create key components for solar cells, X-ray detectors and other optoelectronics devices. The next generation of photovoltaics, semiconductors, and LEDs could be made using perovskites—an exciting and versatile nanomaterial with a crystal structure. Perovskites have already shown similar efficiency...
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Phys.org

Researchers unveil a secret of stronger metals

Forming metal into the shapes needed for various purposes can be done in many ways, including casting, machining, rolling, and forging. These processes affect the sizes and shapes of the tiny crystalline grains that make up the bulk metal, whether it be steel, aluminum or other widely used metals and alloys.
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Electrons in a crystal found to exhibit linked and knotted quantum twists

As physicists delve deeper into the quantum realm, they are discovering an infinitesimally small world composed of a strange and surprising array of links, knots and winding. Some quantum materials exhibit magnetic whirls called skyrmions—unique configurations described as "subatomic hurricanes." Others host a form of superconductivity that twists into vortices.
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Phys.org

Long-hypothesized 'next generation wonder material' created for first time

For over a decade, scientists have attempted to synthesize a new form of carbon called graphyne with limited success. That endeavor is now at an end, though, thanks to new research from the University of Colorado Boulder. Graphyne has long been of interest to scientists because of its similarities to...
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Phys.org

Researchers detect a novel binding mechanism between small and gigantic particles

Researchers at the 5th Physical Institute of the University of Stuttgart have verified a novel binding mechanism forming a molecule between a tiny charged particle and a gigantic (in molecular terms) Rydberg atom. The scientists observed the molecule with the help of a self-built ion microscope. The results are published in Nature.
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Phys.org

Collaboration reveals interplay between charge order and superconductivity at nanoscale

High temperature superconductivity is something of a holy grail for researchers studying quantum materials. Superconductors, which conduct electricity without dissipating energy, promise to revolutionize our energy and telecommunication power systems. However, superconductors typically work at extremely low temperatures, requiring elaborate freezers or expensive coolants. For this reason, scientist have been relentlessly working on understanding the fundamental mechanisms at the base of high-temperature superconductivity with the ultimate goal to design and engineer new quantum materials superconducting close to room temperature.
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Nature.com

Repetitive afterglow in zirconia by pulsed near-infrared irradiation toward biological temperature sensing

Photoluminescence provides information about the surrounding environment. In this study, aiming to develop a non-invasive deep body-temperature sensing method, we investigated photoluminescence properties of afterglow zirconia (ZrO2) by pulsed near-infrared (NIR) light irradiation based on the biological temperature. Pulsed light irradiation produced optically stimulated luminescence, followed by afterglow, with the property of repeating 100 times or more. Furthermore, the basic principle of temperature measurement was demonstrated through afterglow decay curve measurements. The use of harmless ZrO2 as a sensing probe and NIR light, which is relatively permeable to living tissues, is expected to realize temperature measurements in the brain and may also facilitate optogenetic treatment.
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Phys.org

Researchers discover new 'unexpected' phenomenon in quantum physics of materials

Researchers at Northeastern have discovered a new quantum phenomenon in a specific class of materials, called antiferromagnetic insulators, that could yield new ways of powering "spintronic" and other technological devices of the future. The discovery illuminates "how heat flows in a magnetic insulator, [and] how [researchers] can detect that heat...
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Physicists Control Reactions With Laser Light at the Nanoscale

Physicists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich in collaboration with Stanford University have for the first time used laser light to control the location of light-induced reactions on the surface of nanoparticles. Controlling strong electromagnetic fields on nanoparticles is the key to triggering targeted...
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Nature.com

A novel spiral infinity reactor for continuous hydrothermal synthesis of nanoparticles

Hydrothermal synthesis is an attractive route to make nanoparticles utilizing inexpensive precursors under moderate process conditions. Though it provides flexibility and robustness in controlling particle characteristics, process scale-up for continuous production is a major challenge. A novel 'infinity-' shaped spiral continuous flow reactor is proposed here, to exploit the large density difference between the precursor solution and supercritical water to provide rapid mixing, leading to uniform conditions for reaction kinetics and particle growth. Hydrothermal synthesis is simulated by coupling computational fluid dynamics with population balance modeling and appropriate reaction kinetics. Simulations indicate three distinct regimes of declining, recovering, and stable flow fields. These regimes are strongly dependent on the flow ratio between the precursor solution and supercritical water. The infinity reactor provides two distinct reaction environments: initial turns of the spiral which serve as a mixed flow reactor facilitating rapid mixing and uniform reaction, followed by a plug flow reactor stabilizing the particle growth. It produces particles with a relatively small mean diameter and a narrow size distribution in comparison to the conventional batch stirred tank reactor and the T-mixer.
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scitechdaily.com

New Polymer Membrane Tech Improves Carbon Capture Efficiency

Scientists have developed a new membrane technology that allows for more efficient removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from mixed gases, such as power plant emissions. “To demonstrate the capability of our new membranes, we looked at mixtures of CO2 and nitrogen, because CO2/nitrogen dioxide mixtures are particularly relevant in the context of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants,” says Rich Spontak, co-corresponding author of a paper on the study. “And we’ve demonstrated that we can vastly improve the selectivity of membranes to remove CO2 while retaining relatively high CO2 permeability.”
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Phys.org

New process revolutionizes microfluidic fabrication

Microfluidic devices use tiny spaces to manipulate very small quantities of liquids and gases by taking advantage of the properties they exhibit at the microscale. They have demonstrated usefulness in applications from inkjet printing to chemical analysis and have great potential in personal medicine, where they can miniaturize many tests that now require a full lab, lending them the name lab-on-a-chip.
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NPR

Andrew Dent: How everyday materials can make innovative new products

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Repair, Repurpose, Reimagine. Materials scientist Andrew Dent takes us on a tour of the "materials library" where companies can find existing materials to reuse in their products—from chewing gum, to fish scales, to cow manure. About Andrew Dent. Andrew Dent is...
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