Where Did Those Electrons Go? X-Ray Measurements Solve Decades-Old Mystery

There's been an unsolved mystery associated with mixed valence compounds: When the valence state of an element in these compounds changes with increased temperature, the number of electrons associated with that element decreases, as well. But just where do those electrons go? Using a combination of state-of-the-art tools, including X-ray measurements at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), a group of researchers at Cornell University have come up with the answer.

The Flat and the Curious

Argonne researchers have simulated the growth of the 2-D material silicene. Their work, published in Nanoscale, delivers new and useful insights on the material's properties and behavior and offers a predictive model for other researchers studying 2-D materials.

White Roofing Isn't Always Green, Virginia Tech Study Confirms

A study out of Virginia Tech's College of Architecture and Urban Studies' Center for High Performance Environments presents a new scientific challenge to widely held industry assumptions that white roofing is the best option for commercial builders.

'Smart' Paper Can Conduct Electricity, Detect Water

A University of Washington team wants to simplify the process for discovering detrimental water leaks by developing "smart" paper that can sense the presence of water.

First-Ever U.S. Experiments at New X-Ray Facility May Lead to Better Explosive Modeling

For the first time in the U.S., time-resolved small-angle x-ray scattering (TRSAXS) is used to observe ultra-fast carbon clustering and graphite and nanodiamond production in the insensitive explosive Plastic Bonded Explosive (PBX) 9502, potentially leading to better computer models of explosive performance.

Lightning-Fast Communications

Researchers from the University of Utah's departments of electrical and computer engineering and physics and astronomy have discovered that a special kind of perovskite, a combination of an organic and inorganic compound that has the same structure as the original mineral, can be layered on a silicon wafer to create a vital component for the communications system of the future.

Let There Be (White) Light: New Materials Shine Out

Modifying the internal structure of 2-D hybrid perovskite materials causes them to emit white light.

Synthetic Material Acts Like an Insect Cloaking Device

Synthetic microspheres with nanoscale holes can absorb light from all directions across a wide range of frequencies, making it a candidate for antireflective coatings, according to a team of Penn State engineers.

Exotic Nucleus Exhibits Curious Shape

A new shape measurement of unstable ruthenium-110 has found this nucleus to be similar to a squashed football.

Story Tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, November 2017

ORNL story tips, November 2017: Fast-learning computing technique supports hurricane damage assessments; neutrons unlock liquid flow mystery; "puckering" 2D material creates tunable energy gap; window air conditioning prototype allows safe use of propane refrigerant; graphene nanoribbons become semiconductors through precise electrical contacts.

Honey, I Shrunk the Features for Low-Cost, Flexible, Large-Area Electronics

Exploiting reversible solubility allows for direct, optical patterning of unprecedentedly small features.

One-Step 3D Printing of Catalysts Developed at Ames Laboratory

The U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory has developed a 3D printing process that creates a chemically active catalytic object in a single step, opening the door to more efficient ways to produce catalysts for complex chemical reactions in a wide scope of industries.

The Inner Secrets of Planets and Stars

An INCITE research team, led by Jonathan Aurnou of UCLA, is using Mira to develop advanced models to study magnetic field generation on Earth, Jupiter and the sun at an unprecedented level of detail.

Flavins Perform Electron Magic

Researchers discover the secret behind the third way living organisms extract energy from their environment.

Mission Not So Impossible Now: Control Complex Molecular Organization

Scientists achieved thin films with structures virtually impossible via traditional methods.

Making Glass Invisible: A Nanoscience-Based Disappearing Act

Glare-free cell phone screens, ultra-transparent windows, and more efficient solar cells--these are some of the applications that could be enabled by texturing glass surfaces with tiny nanoscale features that reduce surface reflections to nearly zero.

Spin-Polarized Surface States in Superconductors

Novel spin-polarized surface states may guide the search for materials that host Majorana fermions, unusual particles that act as their own antimatter, and could revolutionize quantum computers.

Imaging Probe Printed Onto Tip of Optical Fiber

The Molecular Foundry and aBeam Technologies bring mass fabrication to nano-optical devices.

Solid-State Batteries

Solid-state batteries, which eschew the flammable and unstable liquid electrolytes of conventional lithium-ion batteries, could be a safer option. Now, researchers have demonstrated a new way to produce more efficient solid-state batteries. This proof-of-principle study may lead to safer and more compact batteries useful for everything from sensor networks to implantable biomedical devices. Researchers at the University of Maryland will present this work during the AVS 64th International Symposium and Exhibition, in Tampa, Florida.

New Studies on Disordered Cathodes May Provide Much-Needed Jolt to Lithium Batteries

In a pair of papers published this month in Nature Communications and Physical Review Letters, a team of scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has come up with a set of rules for making new disordered materials, a process that had previously been driven by trial-and-error. They also found a way to incorporate fluorine, which makes the material both more stable and have higher capacity.

Plenty of Room at the Top: Breaking through the Sunlight-to-Electricity Conversion Limit

In hybrid materials, "hot" electrons live longer, producing electricity, not heat, in solar cells.

Efforts to Revive Coal Industry Unlikely to Work, May Slow Job Growth

Current federal efforts to revive the coal industry will likely do more harm than good to fragile Appalachian communities transitioning from coal as a major source of employment, according to a study conducted by Indiana University researchers.

Scientists Get First Close-ups of Finger-Like Growths that Trigger Battery Fires

Menlo Park, Calif. -- Scientists from Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have captured the first atomic-level images of finger-like growths called dendrites that can pierce the barrier between battery compartments and trigger short circuits or fires. Dendrites and the problems they cause have been a stumbling block on the road to developing new types of batteries that store more energy so electric cars, cell phones, laptops and other devices can go longer between charges.

Deep-Depletion: A New Concept for MOSFETs

Diamond is largely recognized as the ideal material in wide bandgap development, but realizing its full potential in field-effect transistors has been challenging. Researchers incorporate a new approach by using the deep-depletion regime of bulk-boron-doped diamond MOSFETs. The new proof of concept enables the production of simple diamond MOSFET structures from single boron-doped epilayer stacks. This method increases the mobility by an order of magnitude. The results are published this week in Applied Physics Letters.

Imperfections Show "Swimming" Particles the Way to Self-Healing and Shape-Changing

Defects in liquid crystals act as guides in tiny oceans, directing particle traffic.