Chemistry articlesNew polymer coatings prevent corrosion, even when scratched
Imagine tiny cracks in your patio table healing by themselves, or the first small scratch on your new car disappearing by itself. This and more may be possible with self-healing coatings being developed at the University of Illinois.
Ancient oceans reveal secrets on survival of life
In the search for life beyond Earth, scientists 'follow the water' to find places that might be hospitable. However, every home gardener knows that plants need more than water, or even sunshine. They also need fertilizer - a mixture of chemical elements that are the building blocks of the molecules of life. Scientists at Arizona State University are studying how the distribution of these elements on Earth - or beyond - shapes the distribution of life, the state of the environment and the course of evolution.
Could graphite from pencils replace silicon in microchips?
A new research centre studying the properties of the thinnest known conducting material, graphene, has been announced by the Universities of Bath and Exeter.
Solving the mysteries of metallic glass
Researchers at MIT have made significant progress in understanding a class of materials that has resisted analysis for decades. Their findings could lead to the rapid discovery of a variety of useful new kinds of glass made of metallic alloys with potentially significant mechanical, chemical and magnetic applications.
Caltech scientists create titanium-based structural metallic-glass composites
Scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have created a range of structural metallic-glass composites, based in titanium, that are lighter and less expensive than any the group had previously created, while still maintaining their toughness and ductility--the ability to be deformed without breaking.
Gold particles deliver more than just glitter
Using tiny gold particles and infrared light, MIT researchers have developed a drug-delivery system that allows multiple drugs to be released in a controlled fashion.
Scientists publish 1st ever evidence of asteroids with Earth-like crust
Two rare meteorites found in Antarctica two years ago are from a previously unknown, ancient asteroid with an outer layer or crust similar in composition to the crust of Earth's continents, reports a research team primarily composed of geochemists from the University of Maryland.
Displacing petroleum-derived butanol with plants
As a chemical for industrial processes, butanol is used in everything from brake fluid, to paint thinners, to plastics. According to a University of Illinois researcher, butanol made from plant material could displace butanol made from petroleum, just not at the fuel pump.
Lack of thermoelectric effect is cool feature in carbon nanotubes
Metallic carbon nanotubes have been proposed as interconnects in future electronic devices packed with high-density nanoscale circuits.
Fishy clue helps establish how proteins evolve
Three billion years ago, a "new" amino acid was added to the alphabet of 20 that commonly make up proteins in organisms today. Now researchers at Yale and the University of Tokyo have demonstrated how this rare amino acid - and, by example, other amino acids - made its way into the menu for protein synthesis. The study appeared in the December 31 advance online publication of the journal Nature.
Billion-year revision of plant evolution timeline may stem from discovery of lignin in seaweed
Land plants' ability to sprout upward through the air, unsupported except by their own woody tissues, has long been considered one of the characteristics separating them from aquatic plants, which rely on water to support them.
New imaging technique reveals the atomic structure of nanocrystals
A new imaging technique developed by researchers at the University of Illinois overcomes the limit of diffraction and can reveal the atomic structure of a single nanocrystal with a resolution of less than one angstrom (less than one hundred-millionth of a centimeter).
Enlisting microbes to solve global problems
In the search for answers to the planet's biggest challenges, some MIT researchers are turning to its tiniest organisms: bacteria.
Huge pressures that melt diamond on planet Neptune determined by Sandia researchers
The enormous pressures needed to melt diamond to slush and then to a completely liquid state have been determined ten times more accurately by Sandia National Laboratories researchers than ever before.
New greenhouse gas identified
A gas used for fumigation has the potential to contribute significantly to future greenhouse warming, but because its production has not yet reached high levels there is still time to nip this potential contributor in the bud, according to an international team of researchers.
Nanocups brim with potential
Researchers at Rice University have created a metamaterial that could light the way toward high-powered optics, ultra-efficient solar cells and even cloaking devices.
Water acts as catalyst in explosives
The most abundant material on Earth exhibits some unusual chemical properties when placed under extreme conditions.
Scientists patent corrosion-resistant nano-coating for metals
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a method for coating metal surfaces with an ultrathin film containing nanoparticles - particles measuring billionths of a meter - which renders the metal resistant to corrosion and eliminates the use of toxic chromium for this purpose.
New high-energy cathode material can significantly increase safety, life of lithium batteries
A new high-energy cathode material that can greatly increase the safety and extend the life-span of future lithium batteries has been developed through the close international collaboration of researchers led by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and Hanyang University in South Korea.
Discovery of an unexpected boost for solar water-splitting cells
A research team from Northeastern University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has discovered, serendipitously, that a residue of a process used to build arrays of titania nanotubes-a residue that wasn't even noticed before this - plays an important role in improving the performance of the nanotubes in solar cells that produce hydrogen gas from water. Their results, published online on March 27, 2009 in the Journal of Materials Chemistry, indicate that by controlling the deposition of potassium on the surface of the nanotubes, engineers can achieve significant energy savings in a promising new alternate energy system.