10 Aug 2022
Stickers and a Smartphone for Easy Nitrite Detection on Foods
Nitrates and nitrites give processed meats their characteristic pink color and robust flavor. Although many consumers want to limit consumption of these preservatives because the substances can form potentially cancer-causing compounds, knowing how much is in a food has been difficult to determine. Now, researchers have developed a color-changing film that consumers can stick onto foods and easily analyze nitrite levels by snapping a picture with a smartphone.
14 Jul 2022
Efficient, Stable and Eco-Friendly Thermoelectric Material Discovered
Waste heat is a very promising source of energy conservation and reuse, by means of converting this heat into electricity—a process called thermoelectric conversion. Commercially available thermoelectric conversion devices are synthesized using rare metals. While these are quite efficient, they are expensive and, in the majority of cases, utilize toxic materials. Both these factors have led to these converters being of limited use.
12 Jul 2022
Future Smart Homes Powered With Electronics Built on Stones
What if you could power the smart thermostats, speakers and lights in your home with a kitchen countertop? Stones, such as marble and granite, are natural, eco-friendly materials that many people building or renovating houses already use. Now, in a step toward integrating energy storage with these materials, researchers have fabricated microsupercapacitors onto the surface of stone tiles.
6 Jul 2022
Tiny Fish-Shaped Robot Collects Microplastics
Microplastics are found nearly everywhere on Earth and can be harmful to animals if they're ingested. But it's hard to remove such tiny particles from the environment, especially once they settle into nooks and crannies at the bottom of waterways. Now, researchers have created a light-activated fish robot that "swims" around quickly, picking up and removing microplastics from the environment.
10 Jun 2022
Lithium-ion Batteries That Last Longer in Extreme Cold
When temperatures fall below freezing, cellphones need to be recharged frequently, and electric cars have shorter driving ranges. This is because their lithium-ion batteries' anodes get sluggish, holding less charge and draining energy quickly. To improve electrical performance in the extreme cold, researchers have replaced the traditional graphite anode in a lithium-ion battery with a bumpy carbon-based material, which maintains its rechargeable storage capacity down to -31 F.
9 Jun 2022
E-Nose Sniffs Out Mixtures of Volatile Organic Compounds
As paint thinner, ink and adhesives dry, they can release volatile organic compounds, which can negatively impact health. Typically, one of those VOCs is xylene, which exists as three isomers with the same elements but slightly different arrangements. Because the isomers are so similar, they're hard to monitor separately. Now, researchers have developed an electric nose with porous metal-organic framework films that can accurately distinguish xylene isomer mixtures.
7 Jun 2022
Tracking Sleep with a Self Powering Smart Pillow
Studies have linked chronic lack of sleep to physical ailments, such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as mental health issues. Those interested in getting a better handle on what's happening to them at night have two primary options. They can take a sleep test conducted in a medical facility, or they can use an app through a smartphone or smart watch — a much more convenient, but less accurate choice. Recognizing the need, many groups have begun developing new sleep monitoring systems using triboelectric nanogenerators.
9 May 2022
New Wearable Technology - For Plants
Plants can't speak up when they are thirsty. And visual signs, such as shriveling or browning leaves, don't start until most of their water is gone. To detect water loss earlier, researchers have created a wearable sensor for plant leaves. The system wirelessly transmits data to a smartphone app, allowing for remote management of drought stress in gardens and crops.
27 Apr 2022
Electronics Grow on Trees Thanks to Nanocellulose Paper Semiconductors
Semiconducting nanomaterials with 3D network structures have high surface areas and lots of pores that make them excellent for applications involving adsorbing, separating, and sensing. However, simultaneously controlling the electrical properties and creating useful micro- and macro-scale structures, while achieving excellent functionality and end-use versatility, remains challenging.
25 Apr 2022
Lithium's Narrow Paths Limit Batteries
If you could shrink enough for a fantastic voyage across a lithium battery electrode, you'd see the level of charge at every scale is highly uneven. This is not good for the battery's health. Researchers who recognize the problem worked to view in great detail how the various particles in an electrode interact with lithium during use.
15 Apr 2022
World's First Quantum Dot LED Lights Developed from Rice Husks
Milling rice to separate the grain from the husks produces about 100 million tons of rice husk waste globally each year. Scientists searching for a scalable method to fabricate quantum dots have developed a way to recycle rice husks to create the first silicon quantum dot LED light. Their new method transforms agricultural waste into state-of-the-art light-emitting diodes in a low-cost, environmentally friendly way.
12 Apr 2022
Laser Light, Dye and a Nonsurgical Implant Help Overcome Obesity
When dieting and exercise aren't enough, weight-loss surgery can be an effective obesity treatment. But people who don't want surgery have other options, including insertion of an appetite-suppressing balloon or other implant in the stomach. Now, researchers report that they have augmented that procedure in laboratory animals by coating an implant with a laser-activated dye that kills cells producing ghrelin, the "hunger hormone."
6 Apr 2022
Hard-to-Process Plastic Waste Used for Carbon Capture
What seems like a win-win for a pair of pressing environmental problems describes a newly discovered chemical technique to turn waste plastic into an effective carbon dioxide sorbent for industry
3 Mar 2022
New Super Material Could Battle Bullets, Deflect Space Debris
Engineers have created a nanofiber material that outperforms its widely used counterparts — including steel plates and Kevlar fabric — in protecting against high-speed projectile impacts. Basically, it's better than bulletproof.
1 Mar 2022
Colourfully Detecting Stressed Polymer Films, Gels Before They Break
Stretchy films and squishy gels help make wearable electronics, soft robotics and biocompatible tissues a reality. But too much force can cause these polymers to break apart without warning. To detect stress before it's too late, researchers have designed a compound with "wings" that makes these materials change color when they are stretched or crushed.