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New Research Predicts When, How Materials Will Act

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A material might melt or snap in half. And for engineers, knowing when and why that might happen is crucial information. Now, a Florida State University researcher has laid out an overarching theory that explains why certain materials act the way they do.

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Ultra-Thin Nanowires Can Trap Electron ‘Twisters’ That Disrupt Superconductors

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Superconductor materials are prized for their ability to carry an electric current without resistance, a valuable trait crippled or lost when electrons swirl into tiny tornado-like formations called vortices. To keep supercurrents flowing at top speed, scientists have figured out how to constrain troublesome vortices by trapping them within extremely short, ultra-thin nanowires.

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Magnetic Nanoparticles Could Stop Blood Clot-Caused Strokes

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By loading magnetic nanoparticles with drugs and dressing them in biochemical camouflage, Houston Methodist researchers say they can destroy blood clots 100 to 1,000 times faster than a commonly used clot-busting technique.

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New Programs Enhance SIMES Role in Studying Exotic New Materials

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Two new three-year research projects are supporting the role of the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES) as a leading center for studying exotic new materials that could enable future innovative electronic and photonic applications. SIMES is a joint institute of Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

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Shape-Shifting Nanorod Ensembles Release Heat Differently

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Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have revealed previously unobserved behaviors in nanrods that suggest new rules for the behavior of nanorod ensembles and new insights into how to increase heat-transfer efficiency in a nanoscale system.

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Semiconductor Works Better When Hitched to Graphene

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Graphene – a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon with highly desirable electrical properties, flexibility and strength – shows great promise for future electronics, advanced solar cells, protective coatings and other uses, and combining it with other materials could extend its range even further.

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New Self-Stretching Material Developed at University of Rochester

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Although most materials slightly expand when heated, there is a new class of rubber-like material that not only self-stretches upon cooling; it reverts back to its original shape when heated, all without physical manipulation.

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Arachnid Rapunzel: Researchers Spin Spider Silk Proteins Into Artificial Silk

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Incredibly tough, slightly stretchy spider silk is a lightweight, biodegradable wonder material with numerous potential biomedical applications. But although humans have been colonizing relatively placid silkworms for thousands of years, harvesting silk from territorial and sometimes cannibalistic spiders has proven impractical. Instead, labs hoping to harness spider silk's mechanical properties are using its molecular structure as a template for their own biomimetic silks.

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Electrochromic Polymers Create Broad Color Palette for Sunglasses, Windows

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Researchers have created a broad color palette of electrochromic polymers, materials that can be used for sunglasses, window tinting and other applications that rely on electrical current to produce color changes. The materials could allow sunglasses that change from clear to colored in seconds, at the push of a button.

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Artificial Blood Vessels

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By combining micro-imprinting and electro-spinning techniques, researchers at Shanghai University’s Rapid Manufacturing Engineering Center have developed a vascular graft composed of three layers for the first time. This tri-layered composite has allowed researchers to utilize separate materials that respectively possess mechanical strength and promote new cell growth - a significant problem for existing vascular grafts that have only consisted of a single or double layer.