Chemistry articlesMagnets trump metallics
Metallic carbon nanotubes show great promise for applications from microelectronics to power lines because of their ballistic transmission of electrons. But who knew magnets could stop those electrons in their tracks?
Fibers that can hear and sing
For centuries, "man-made fibers" meant the raw stuff of clothes and ropes; in the information age, it's come to mean the filaments of glass that carry data in communications networks. But to Yoel Fink, an associate professor of materials science and principal investigator at MIT's Research Lab of Electronics, the threads used in textiles and even optical fibers are much too passive. For the past decade, his lab has been working to develop fibers with ever more sophisticated properties, to enable fabrics that can interact with their environment.
Geoscientists find clues to why first sumatran earthquake was deadlier than second
An international team of geoscientists has uncovered geological differences between two segments of an earthquake fault that may explain why the 2004 Sumatra Boxing Day Tsunami was so much more devastating than a second earthquake generated tsunami three months later. This could help solve what was a lingering mystery for earthquake researchers.
Battery research could lead to shorter recharge time for cell phones
New battery materials developed by the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Vorbeck Materials Corp. of Jessup, Md., could enable electric vehicles, power tools and even cell phones to recharge in minutes rather than hours.
Now you see it, now you don't
From Tolkien's ring of power in The Lord of the Rings to Star Trek's Romulans, who could make their warships disappear from view, from Harry Potter's magical cloak to the garment that makes players vanish in the video game classic Dungeons and Dragons, the power to turn someone or something invisible fascinates mankind. But who ever thought that a scientist at Michigan Technological University would be serious about building a working invisibility cloak?
Scientists identify nature's insect repellents
In the battle between insect predators and their prey, chemical signals called kairomones serve as an early-warning system. Pervasively emitted by the predators, the compounds are detected by their prey, and can even trigger adaptations, such a change in body size or armor, that help protect the prey. But as widespread as kairomones are in the insect world, their chemical identity has remained largely unknown.
New antibacterial material for bandages, food packaging, shoes
A new form of paper with the built-in ability to fight disease-causing bacteria could have applications that range from anti-bacterial bandages to food packaging that keeps food fresher longer to shoes that ward off foot odor. A report about the new material, which consists of the thinnest possible sheets of carbon, appears in ACS Nano, a monthly journal.
Graphene organic photovoltaics, or, will joggers' t-shirts someday power their cell phones?
A University of Southern California team has produced flexible transparent carbon atom films that the researchers say have great potential for a new breed of solar cells.
Researchers discover how key enzyme repairs sun-damaged DNA
Researchers have long known that humans lack a key enzyme -- one possessed by most of the animal kingdom and even plants -- that reverses severe sun damage.
Nanoblasts move molecules, proteins and DNA into living cells
Using chemical "nanoblasts" that punch tiny holes in the protective membranes of cells, researchers have demonstrated a new technique for getting therapeutic small molecules, proteins and DNA directly into living cells.
Latest green packing material? Mushrooms!
A new packing material that grows itself is now appearing in shipped products across the country.
Silicon can be made to melt in reverse
Like an ice cube on a warm day, most materials melt - that is, change from a solid to a liquid state - as they get warmer. But a few oddball materials do the reverse: They melt as they get cooler. Now a team of researchers at MIT has found that silicon, the most widely used material for computer chips and solar cells, can exhibit this strange property of "retrograde melting" when it contains high concentrations of certain metals dissolved in it.
If spiders and worms can do it, why can't we?
Imagine a material that is tougher than Kelvar or steel, yet remarkably flexible. It's something you can easily find in your attic or a lingerie store. It's as instantly recognizable today as it was to our early ancestors, yet we still aren't sure exactly how it's made.
Scientists show there's nothing boring about watching paint dry
It turns out that watching paint dry might not be as boring as the old adage claims. A team led by Yale University researchers has come up with a new technique to study the mechanics of coatings as they dry and peel, and has discovered that the process is far from mundane.
Charcoal takes some heat off global warming
As much as 12 percent of the world's human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be sustainably offset by producing biochar, a charcoal-like substance made from plants and other organic materials. That's more than what could be offset if the same plants and materials were burned to generate energy, concludes a study published in the journal Nature Communications.
Hydrogen causes metal to break
Most likely, there is hardly a soul that cannot recall K.I.T.T. - the legendary talking supercar from the US television series "Knight Rider". A hydrogen turbo motor fuels the fantasy vehicle and propels it on the chase for the bad guys at over 300 miles an hour. In the future, cars may be equipped with hydrogen propulsion not just in the movies, but in real life as well.
Study of electron orbits in multilayer graphene finds energy gaps
Researchers have taken one more step toward understanding the unique and often unexpected properties of graphene, a two-dimensional carbon material that has attracted interest because of its potential applications in future generations of electronic devices.
'White graphene' to the rescue
What researchers might call "white graphene" may be the perfect sidekick for the real thing as a new era unfolds in nanoscale electronics.
Why fish don't freeze in the Arctic Ocean
Together with cooperation partners from the U.S., the researchers surrounding Prof. Dr. Martina Havenith (Physical Chemistry II of the RUB) describe their discovery in a so-termed Rapid Communication in the prestigious American chemistry journal, the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).
Artificial enzyme removes natural poison
For the first time ever, a completely man-made chemical enzyme has been successfully used to neutralise a toxin found naturally in fruits and vegetables.