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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

ScienceDaily: Engineering and Construction News

ScienceDaily: Engineering and Construction News

Researchers tune friction in ionic solids at the nanoscale

Posted: 27 Jan 2015 01:49 PM PST

New experiments have uncovered a way of controlling friction on ionic surfaces at the nanoscale using electrical stimulation and ambient water vapor.

New pathway to valleytronics: Femtosecond laser used to manipulate valley excitons

Posted: 27 Jan 2015 09:24 AM PST

Researchers have uncovered a promising new pathway to valleytronics, a potential quantum computing technology in which information is coded based on the wavelike motion of electrons moving through certain 2-D semiconductors.

Carbon nanoballs can greatly contribute to sustainable energy supply

Posted: 27 Jan 2015 07:01 AM PST

Researchers have discovered that the insulation plastic used in high-voltage cables can withstand a 26 per cent higher voltage if nanometer-sized carbon balls are added. This could result in enormous efficiency gains in the power grids of the future, which are needed to achieve a sustainable energy system. The renewable energy sources of tomorrow will often be found far away from the end user. Wind turbines, for example, are most effective when placed out at sea. Solar energy will have the greatest impact on the European energy system if focus is on transport of solar power from North Africa and Southern Europe to Northern Europe.

'Bulletproof' Battery: Kevlar Membrane for Safer, Thinner Lithium Rechargeables

Posted: 27 Jan 2015 06:59 AM PST

New battery technology should be able to prevent the kind of fires that grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2013. The innovation is an advanced barrier between the electrodes in a lithium-ion battery.

Making a tiny rainbow: 300 colors about as wide as a human hair

Posted: 27 Jan 2015 06:58 AM PST

By varying the size and spacing of aluminum nanodisks, researchers generate images that contain over 300 colors and are not much wider than a human hair.

Shell growth observed thanks to 'ion sponge'

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:22 AM PST

Researchers are able to observe the formation of shells in real time on a nanometer scale thanks to a new electron microscopy technique. This enabled them for the first time to see how pieces of polymer act as 'ion sponges' – thereby confirming a 30-year-old theory. The required ions are absorbed so that crystals are only formed at these specific locations. Their finding not only throws a new light on biological crystal formation in nature, which is still not fully understood. The results also provide additional understanding of industrial crystal formation processes, which are used for example to increase efficiency in the production of ICs and solar cells.

Chemists control structure to unlock magnetization and polarization simultaneously

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:59 AM PST

Scientists have controlled the structure of a material to simultaneously generate both magnetization and electrical polarization, an advance which has potential applications in information storage and processing.

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