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From Allergens to Anodes: Pollen Derived Battery Electrodes

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Pollens, the bane of allergy sufferers, could represent a boon for battery makers: Recent research has suggested their potential use as anodes in lithium-ion batteries.

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EMBARGOED

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 9-Feb-2016 12:10 AM EST

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The Iron Stepping Stones To Better Wearable Tech Without Semiconductors

The way to better wearable electronics is dotted with iron steppingstones. Check out how Michigan Tech researcher Yoke Khin Yap’s nanotubes bridge the gap with quantum tunneling.

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Graphene Is Strong, but Is It Tough?

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Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed the first known statistical theory for the toughness of polycrystalline graphene, which is made with chemical vapor deposition, and found that it is indeed strong, but more importantly, its toughness—or resistance to fracture—is quite low.

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Scientists Guide Gold Nanoparticles to Form "Diamond" Superlattices

Using bundled strands of DNA to build Tinkertoy-like tetrahedral cages, scientists have devised a way to trap and arrange nanoparticles in a way that mimics the crystalline structure of diamond. The achievement of this complex yet elegant arrangement may open a path to new materials that take advantage of the optical and mechanical properties of this crystalline structure for applications such as optical transistors, color-changing materials, and lightweight yet tough materials.

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Lithium Battery Catalyst Found to Harm Key Soil Microorganism

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The material at the heart of the lithium ion batteries that power electric vehicles, laptop computers and smartphones has been shown to impair a key soil bacterium. A study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota is an early signal that the growing use of the new nanoscale materials used in the rechargeable batteries that power portable electronics and electric and hybrid vehicles may have untold environmental consequences.

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EMBARGOED

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 8-Feb-2016 11:00 AM EST

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Phosphine as a Superconductor? Sure, but the Story May Be Complicated

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Phosphine, one of the newest materials to be named a superconductor, was reported in 2015 to exhibit superconductivity under high pressure. A new study provides insight into what may have happened as phosphine underwent this intense compression.

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The Future of Medicine Could Be Found in This Tiny Crystal Ball

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A Drexel University materials scientist has discovered a way to grow a crystal ball in a lab. Not the kind that soothsayers use to predict the future, but a microscopic version that could be used to encapsulate medication in a way that would allow it to deliver its curative payload more effectively inside the body.

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Physicists Create Artificial 'Graphene'

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An international group of physicists led by the University of Arkansas has created an artificial material with a structure comparable to graphene.

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Silicon-Based Metamaterials Could Bring Photonic Circuits

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New transparent metamaterials under development could make possible computer chips and interconnecting circuits that use light instead of electrons to process and transmit data, representing a potential leap in performance.

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Nondestructive Testing: Sandia Looks Inside Composites

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Sandia National Laboratories is developing nondestructive ways to detect damage below the surface in lightweight composite materials.

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Nanosheet Growth Technique Could Revolutionize Nanomaterial Production

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After six years of painstaking effort, a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison materials scientists believe the tiny sheets of the semiconductor zinc oxide they’re growing could have huge implications for the future of a host of electronic and biomedical devices.

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Graphene Shown to Safely Interact with Neurons in the Brain

Researchers have successfully demonstrated how it is possible to interface graphene - a two-dimensional form of carbon - with neurons, or nerve cells, while maintaining the integrity of these vital cells. The work may be used to build graphene-based electrodes that can safely be implanted in the brain, offering promise for the restoration of sensory functions for amputee or paralysed patients, or for individuals with motor disorders such as epilepsy or Parkinson's disease.

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Too-Few Proteins Prompt Nanoparticles to Clump

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Rice scientists: Blood serum proteins must find balance with therapeutic nanoparticles.

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Putting Silicon ‘Sawdust’ in a Graphene Cage Boosts Battery Performance

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Scientists have been trying for years to make a practical lithium-ion battery anode out of silicon, which could store 10 times more energy per charge than today’s commercial anodes and make high-performance batteries a lot smaller and lighter. But two major problems have stood in the way: Silicon particles swell, crack and shatter during battery charging, and they react with the battery electrolyte to form a coating that saps their performance.

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Researchers Develop Completely New Kind of Polymer

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Imagine a polymer with removable parts that can deliver something to the environment and then be chemically regenerated to function again. Or a polymer that can contract and expand the way muscles do. These functions require polymers with both rigid and soft nano-sized compartments with extremely different properties. Northwestern University researchers have developed a hybrid polymer of this type that might one day be used in artificial muscles; for delivery of drugs or biomolecules; in self-repairing materials; and for replaceable energy sources.

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Penn Team Devises Easier Way to Make ‘Bijels,’ a Complex New Form of Liquid Matter

Oil and water famously don't mix, but finely dispersing one in the other produces a liquid mixture with many useful properties. An emulsion consisting of tiny droplets of one of those liquids immersed in the other is the most common form, found in everything from salad dressings, to cosmetics to industrial lubricants.

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You’ll Never Be-Leaf What Makes Up This Battery

Scientists at the University of Maryland have a new recipe for batteries: Bake a leaf, and add sodium. They used a carbonized oak leaf, pumped full of sodium, as a demonstration battery’s negative terminal, or anode, according to a paper published yesterday in the journal ACS Applied Materials Interfaces.

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Imaged ‘Jets’ Reveal Cerium’s Post-Shock Inner Strength

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“Jets” formed after shock waves passed through cerium metal provided the yield stress of cerium in its post-shock state, indicating the stress that would cause it to become permanently deformed.