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Shaping the Future of Energy Storage with Conductive Clay

Materials scientists from Drexel University’s College of Engineering invented the clay, which is both highly conductive and can easily be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes. It represents a turn away from the rather complicated and costly processing—currently used to make materials for lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors—and toward one that looks a bit like rolling out cookie dough with results that are even sweeter from an energy storage standpoint.

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Physicists Predict Fano Resonance in Lead-Free Relaxors

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An international team of scientists predicts that a phenomenon known in physics as Fano resonance can exist in materials that are used in electronic devices.

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New Plastic that Disappears When You Want It To

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Plastic populates our world through everything from electronics to packaging and vehicles. Once discarded, it resides almost permanently in landfills and oceans. A discovery by researchers at North Dakota State University, Fargo, holds scientific promise that could lead to a new type of plastic that can be broken down when exposed to a specific type of light and is reduced back to molecules, which could then be used to create new plastic. The research by the Center for Sustainable Materials Science is published in Angewandte Chemie.

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Scientists do Glass a Solid—with New Theory on How it Transitions from a Liquid

How does glass transition from a liquid to its familiar solid state? How does this common material transport heat and sound? And what microscopic changes occur when a glass gains rigidity as it cools? A team of researchers at NYU’s Center for Soft Matter Research offers a theoretical explanation for these processes.

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“Mind the Gap” Between Atomically Thin Materials

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For the first time, Penn State researchers have grown a single atomic layer of tungsten diselenide on a one- atom-thick substrate of graphene with pristine interfaces between the two layers using an industrially scalable technique.

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Stony Brook Scientists Unveil First Structure Measurements of Molten Uranium Dioxide

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Nuclear power is part of the worldwide energy mix, accounting for around 10% of global electricity supply. Safety is the paramount issue. Uranium dioxide (UO2) is the major nuclear fuel component of fission reactors, and the concern during severe accidents is the melting and leakage of radioactive UO2 as it corrodes through its protective containment systems. Understanding—in order to predict—the behavior of UO2 at extreme temperatures is crucial to improved safety and optimization of this electricity source.

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Researchers Create and Control Spin Waves, Lifting Prospects for Enhanced Information Processing

A team of New York University and University of Barcelona physicists has developed a method to control the movements occurring within magnetic materials, which are used to store and carry information. The breakthrough could simultaneously bolster information processing while reducing the energy necessary to do so.

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Bending -But Not Breaking- In Search of New Materials

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Researchers at Drexel University and Dalian University of Technology in China have chemically engineered a new, electrically conductive nanomaterial that is flexible enough to fold, but strong enough to support many times its own weight. They believe it can be used to improve electrical energy storage, water filtration and radiofrequency shielding in technology from portable electronics to coaxial cables.

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Good Vibrations Give Electrons Excitations That Rock an Insulator to Go Metallic

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A team led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has made an important advancement in understanding a classic transition-metal oxide, vanadium dioxide, by quantifying the thermodynamic forces driving the transformation. The results are published in the Nov. 10 advance online issue of Nature.

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ORNL Materials Researchers Get First Look at Atom-Thin Boundaries

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Scientists have made the first direct observations of a one-dimensional boundary separating two different, atom-thin materials, enabling studies of long-theorized phenomena at these interfaces.

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