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.
20 May 2020
Controlling Cells with Light
Photopharmacology investigates the use of light to switch the effect of drugs on and off. Now, for the first time, scientific teams have succeeded in using this method to control a component of cells that was previously considered inaccessible.
4 Feb 2020
Turbocharging Hydrogen Fuel Cells with Novel Ion-Conducting Copolymer
Renewed investments in hydrogen fuel cell technologies and infrastructure by companies like Amazon; nations like China; and automakers like Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai, are sparking sales and fresh interest in the vast possibilities of polymer-electrolyte fuel cells. The fresh interest could revolutionize transportation and fill streets with vehicles whose only effluent is water vapor.
1 May 2019
Using DNA templates to harness the sun's energy
As the world struggles to meet the increasing demand for energy, coupled with the rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere from deforestation and the use of fossil fuels, photosynthesis in nature simply cannot keep up with the carbon cycle. But what if we could help the natural carbon cycle by learning from photosynthesis to generate our own sources of energy that didn't generate CO2?
5 Nov 2018
Growing functioning human neural networks in 3D from stem cells
A team of researchers has developed three-dimensional human tissue culture models for the central nervous system that mimic structural and functional features of the brain and demonstrate neural activity sustained over a period of many months.
5 Aug 2018
First-ever coloured thin films of nanotubes created
Researchers present a technique to produce large quantities of pristine single-walled carbon nanotubes in select shades of the rainbow. The secret is a fine-tuned fabrication process—and a small dose of CO2.
15 Dec 2017
Chemists synthesize narrow ribbons of graphene using light and heat
Silicon — the shiny, brittle metal commonly used to make semiconductors — is an essential ingredient of modern-day electronics. But as electronic devices have become smaller and smaller, creating tiny silicon components that fit inside them has become more challenging and more expensive.
12 Nov 2017
SOFT e-textiles could offer advanced protection for soldiers
New technology that harnesses electronic signals in a smart fabric could lead to advanced hazardous-material gear that protects against toxic chemicals, according to research.
1 Nov 2017
New fast-charging, high-energy electric-car battery technology
An international team of researchers has presented a novel hydrogen isotope separation system based on a porous metal organic framework.
16 Oct 2017
A new miniature solution for storing renewable energy
Scientists have long searched for the next generation of materials that can catalyze a revolution in renewable energy harvesting and storage.
9 Oct 2017
Efficient catalyst for key step in artificial photosynthesis
Chemists have designed a new catalyst that speeds up the rate of a key step in "artificial photosynthesis" -- an effort to mimic how plants, algae, and some bacteria harness sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into energy-rich fuels.
19 Jun 2017
Solar paint offers endless energy from water vapour
Researchers have developed a solar paint that can absorb water vapour and split it to generate hydrogen - the cleanest source of energy.
24 Feb 2017
Stabilising energy storage
Because the sun doesn't always shine, solar utilities need a way to store extra charge for a rainy day. The same goes for wind power facilities, since the wind doesn't always blow. To take full advantage of renewable energy, electrical grids need large batteries that can store the power coming from wind and solar installations until it is needed.
6 Jul 2016
Wireless, wearable toxic-gas detector
Researchers have developed low-cost chemical sensors, made from chemically altered carbon nanotubes, that enable smartphones or other wireless devices to detect trace amounts of toxic gases.
27 Apr 2016
Flipping a chemical switch helps perovskite solar cells beat the heat
Thin films of crystalline materials called perovskites provide a promising new way of making inexpensive and efficient solar cells. Now, an international team of researchers has shown a way of flipping a chemical switch that converts one type of perovskite into another — a type that has better thermal stability and is a better light absorber.
9 Feb 2016
An alternative to platinum in fuel cells
Research teams have produced a cost-effective catalyst material for fuel cells using a new preparation process which they analysed in detail.
4 Dec 2015
Nanotechnology device to simplify blood sugar testing
This innovation depends on an injectable, near-infrared optical biosensor nanotube that would read a person's blood glucose constantly and an optical glucose scanner that can access the data collected by nanotube.
9 Nov 2015
Chemist aims to put his nanohoops into future devices
Nanohoops, can be made using both carbon and other atoms. Because they efficiently absorb and distribute energy, they may be useful in solar cells, organic light-emitting diodes or as new sensors or probes for medicine.
29 Oct 2015
Discovery about new battery overturns decades of false assumptions
New findings have overturned a scientific dogma that stood for decades, by showing that potassium can work with graphite in a potassium-ion battery - a discovery that could pose a challenge and sustainable alternative to the widely-used lithium-ion battery.
23 Sep 2015
Method for scaling up production of thin electronic material
Sheets of graphene and other materials that are virtually two-dimensional hold great promise for electronic, optical, and other high-tech applications. But the biggest limitation in unleashing this potential has been figuring out how to make these materials in the form of anything larger than tiny flakes.