Printed, Flexible and Rechargeable Battery Can Power Wearable Sensors

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed the first printed battery that is flexible, stretchable and rechargeable. The zinc batteries could be used to power everything from wearable sensors to solar cells and other kinds of electronics. The work appears in the April 19, 2017 issue of Advanced Energy Materials.

Neutrons Provide the First Nanoscale Look at a Living Cell Membrane

A research team from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has performed the first-ever direct nanoscale examination of a living cell membrane. In doing so, it also resolved a long-standing debate by identifying tiny groupings of lipid molecules that are likely key to the cell's functioning.

How X-Rays Helped to Solve Mystery of Floating Rocks

Experiments at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source have helped scientists to solve a mystery of why some rocks can float for years in the ocean, traveling thousands of miles before sinking.

Special X-Ray Technique Allows Scientists to See 3-D Deformations

In a new study published last Friday in Science, researchers at Argonne used an X-ray scattering technique called Bragg coherent diffraction imaging to reconstruct in 3-D the size and shape of grain defects. These defects create imperfections in the lattice of atoms inside a grain that can give rise to interesting material properties and effects.

Neptune: Neutralizer-Free Plasma Propulsion

The most established plasma propulsion concepts are gridded-ion thrusters that accelerate and emit a larger number of positively charged particles than those that are negatively charged. To enable the spacecraft to remain charge-neutral, a "neutralizer" is used to inject electrons to exactly balance the positive ion charge in the exhaust beam. However, the neutralizer requires additional power from the spacecraft and increases the size and weight of the propulsion system. Researchers are investigating how the radio-frequency self-bias effect can be used to remove the neutralizer altogether, and they report their work in this week's Physics of Plasmas.

Report Sheds New Insights on the Spin Dynamics of a Material Candidate for Low-Power Devices

In a report published in Nano LettersArgonne researchers reveal new insights into the properties of a magnetic insulator that is a candidate for low-power device applications; their insights form early stepping-stones towards developing high-speed, low-power electronics that use electron spin rather than charge to carry information.

Researchers Find Computer Code That Volkswagen Used to Cheat Emissions Tests

An international team of researchers has uncovered the mechanism that allowed Volkswagen to circumvent U.S. and European emission tests over at least six years before the Environmental Protection Agency put the company on notice in 2015 for violating the Clean Air Act. During a year-long investigation, researchers found code that allowed a car's onboard computer to determine that the vehicle was undergoing an emissions test.

Physicists Discover That Lithium Oxide on Tokamak Walls Can Improve Plasma Performance

A team of physicists has found that a coating of lithium oxide on the inside of fusion machines known as tokamaks can absorb as much deuterium as pure lithium can.

Scientists Perform First Basic Physics Simulation of Spontaneous Transition of the Edge of Fusion Plasma to Crucial High-Confinement Mode

PPPL physicists have simulated the spontaneous transition of turbulence at the edge of a fusion plasma to the high-confinement mode that sustains fusion reactions. The research was achieved with the extreme-scale plasma turbulence code XGC developed at PPPL in collaboration with a nationwide team.

Green Fleet Technology

New research at Penn State addresses the impact delivery trucks have on the environment by providing green solutions that keep costs down without sacrificing efficiency.

Scientists Demonstrate New Real-Time Technique for Studying Ionic Liquids at Electrode Interfaces

This electron microscope-based imaging technique could help scientists optimize the performance of ionic liquids for batteries and other energy storage devices.

How Scientists Turned a Flag Into a Loudspeaker

A paper-thin, flexible device created at Michigan State University not only can generate energy from human motion, it can act as a loudspeaker and microphone as well, nanotechnology researchers report in the May 16 edition of Nature Communications.

Assembling Life's Molecular Motor

As part of a project dedicated to modeling how single-celled purple bacteria turn light into food, a team of computational scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) simulated a complete ATP synthase in all-atom detail. The work builds on the project's first phase--a 100-million atom photosynthetic organelle called a chromatophore--and gives scientists an unprecedented glimpse into a biological machine whose energy efficiency far surpasses that of any artificial system.

Engineering Researchers Apply Data Science to Better Predict Effect of Weather and Other Conditions on Solar Panels

In a new study, a team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University and Gebze Technical University (GTU) in Turkey used data science to determine and predict the effects of exposure to weather and other conditions on materials in solar panels.

More Natural Dust in the Air Improves Air Quality in Eastern China

Man-made pollution in eastern China's cities worsens when less dust blows in from the Gobi Desert, according to a new study. That's because dust plays an important role in determining the air temperatures and thereby promoting winds to blow away man-made pollution. Less dust means the air stagnates, with man-made pollution sticking around longer.

New Model of Plasma Stability Could Help Researchers Predict and Avoid Disruptions in Fusion Machines

PPPL physicists have helped develop a new computer model of plasma stability in doughnut-shaped fusion machines known as tokamaks. The model could help scientists predict when a plasma might become unstable and then avoid the underlying conditions.

Can the Motion of Checking Your Smartwatch Charge It?

Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) are small devices that convert movement into electricity, and might just be what bring us into an era of energy-harvesting clothes and implants. But could TENGs, even theoretically, give us wearable electronics powered solely by the wearer's day-to-day body motion? The short answer is yes. New research published this week in APL Materials demonstrates the ability of mechanical energy produced by typical body motions to power a watch or smartphone.

Scientists Help Thin-Film Ferroelectrics Go Extreme

Scientists have created the first-ever polarization gradient in thin-film ferroelectrics, greatly expanding the range of functional temperatures for a key material used in a variety of everyday applications. The discovery could pave the way for developing devices capable of supporting wireless communications in extreme environments.

Scientists Print Nanoscale Imaging Probe onto Tip of Optical Fiber

Combining speed with incredible precision, a team of researchers has developed a way to print a nanoscale imaging probe onto the tip of a glass fiber as thin as a human hair, accelerating the production of the promising new device from several per month to several per day.

Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University Scientists Develop More Efficient Catalytic Material for Fuel Cell Applications

Scientists at Ames Laboratory have discovered a method for making smaller, more efficient intermetallic nanoparticles for fuel cell applications, and which also use less of the expensive precious metal platinum.

Argonne Welcomes Scientists to Advanced Photon Source and Center for Nanoscale Materials User Meeting

More than 400 researchers from numerous disciplines will convene at Argonne today for the annual Users' Meeting for the Advanced Photon Source and Center for Nanoscale Materials.

Finding a New Major Gene Expression Regulator in Fungi

Changing a single base in an organism's genetic code impact its traits. Subtler changes can and do happen: in eukaryotes, one such modification involves adding a methyl group to base 6 of adenine (6mA). Researchers have now found prevalent 6mA modifications in the earliest fungal lineages.

Scientists Launch Flights to Gather Detailed Data on Aerosols and Clouds

For an intensive period throughout June and July, and again next January and February, scientists from U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories will take to the skies in a specially outfitted aircraft to gather data on the properties of aerosols and clouds above the Eastern North Atlantic

Installing Solar to Combat National Security Risks in the Power Grid

Power grid vulnerabilities are one of the most prevalent national security threats. The technical community calls for building up grid resiliency using distributed energy and microgrids for stabilization as multiple sources increases the difficulty of triggering cascading blackouts, and following an attack or natural disaster, microgrids can provide localized energy security.

Bacterial Boost for Bio-Based Fuels

"Electrical" bacteria are the key ingredient in a new process developed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory that recycles wastewater from biofuel production to generate hydrogen. The hydrogen can then be used to convert bio-oil into higher grade liquid fuels such as gasoline or diesel.