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Nanotechnology & Material Science News and Discussions

nanotechnology nano microtechnology micro material science metamaterials graphene atomic engineering molecular manufacturing nanobots

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#741
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Mechanical engineers develop process to 3-D print piezoelectric materials
January 21, 2019, Virginia Tech

 

The piezoelectric materials that inhabit everything from our cell phones to musical greeting cards may be getting an upgrade thanks to work discussed in the journal Nature Materials released online Jan 21.

Xiaoyu 'Rayne' Zheng, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, and a member of the Macromolecules Innovation Institute, and his team have developed methods to 3-D print piezoelectric materials that can be custom-designed to convert movement, impact and stress from any directions to electrical energy.

"Piezoelectric materials convert strain and stress into electric charges," Zheng explained.

 

 

Read more at: https://phys.org/new...erials.html#jCp



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New method allows direct conversion of carbon fibers and nanotubes into diamond fibers
January 24, 2019 by Brent Lancaster, North Carolina State University
https://phys.org/new...-nanotubes.html

Research from North Carolina State University has demonstrated a new technique that converts carbon fibers and nanotubes into diamond fibers at ambient temperature and pressure in air using a pulsed laser method.

The conversion method involves melting the carbon using nanosecond laser pulses and then quenching, or rapidly cooling, the material.

These diamond fibers could find uses in nanoscale devices with functions ranging from quantum computing, sensing and communication to diamond brushes and field-emission displays. The method can also be used to create diamond-seeded carbon fibers that can be used to grow larger diamond structures using hot-filament chemical vapor deposition and plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition techniques. These larger diamond structures could find uses as tool coatings for oil and gas exploration as well as deep-sea drilling, and for diamond jewelry.

Previous methods used to convert non-diamond carbon to diamond have involved using extreme heat and pressure at great expense with a limited yield. Melting the carbon with laser pulses and then undercooling it with a substrate made of sapphire, glass or a plastic polymer are the two keys to the discovery, said Dr. Jagdish Narayan, John C. Fan Distinguished Chair Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at NC State and corresponding author of a paper describing the work.

 

Read more at: https://phys.org/new...otubes.html#jCp



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Nanotechnology enables engineers to weld previously un-weldable aluminum alloy

January 25, 2019 by Matthew Chin, University of California, Los Angeles


 
An aluminum alloy developed in the 1940s has long held promise for use in automobile manufacturing, except for one key obstacle. Although it's nearly as strong as steel and just one-third the weight, it is almost impossible to weld together using the technique commonly used to assemble body panels or engine parts.

 

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2019-01-nanotechnology-enables-weld-previously-un-weldable.html#jCp



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New method yields higher transition temperature in superconducting materials January 25, 2019 by Jeannie Kever, University of Houston

Researchers from the University of Houston have reported a new way to raise the transition temperature of superconducting materials, boosting the temperature at which the superconductors are able to operate.

 



Read more at: https://phys.org/new...rature.html#jCp


#745
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Nanotechnology enables engineers to weld previously un-weldable aluminum alloy:

 

 

nanotech-UCLAengineeringweldingresearche

 

An aluminum alloy developed in the 1940s has long held promise for use in automobile manufacturing, except for one key obstacle. Although it’s nearly as strong as steel and just one-third the weight, it is almost impossible to weld together using the technique commonly used to assemble body panels or engine parts.

 

Now, engineers at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering have developed a way to weld the alloy, known as AA 7075. The solution: infusing titanium carbide nanoparticles — particles so small that they’re measured in units equal to one billionth of a meter — into AA 7075 welding wires, which are used as the filler material between the pieces being joined.

 

The new technique is just a simple twist, but it could allow widespread use of this high-strength aluminum alloy in mass-produced products like cars or bicycles, where parts are often assembled together.



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Engineer's 'metallic wood' has the strength of titanium and the density of water January 28, 2019, University of Pennsylvania

 

High-performance golf clubs and airplane wings are made out of titanium, which is as strong as steel but about twice as light. These properties depend on the way a metal's atoms are stacked, but random defects that arise in the manufacturing process mean that these materials are only a fraction as strong as they could theoretically be. An architect, working on the scale of individual atoms, could design and build new materials that have even better strength-to-weight ratios.

 

In a new study published in Nature Scientific Reports, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Cambridge have done just that. They have built a sheet of nickel with nanoscale pores that make it as strong as titanium but four to five times lighter.

 



Read more at: https://phys.org/new...ensity.html#jCp


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Antireflection coating makes plastic invisible

January 30, 2019, Pennsylvania State University


 

Antireflection (AR) coatings on plastics have a multitude of practical applications, including glare reduction on eyeglasses, computer monitors and the display on your smart-phone when outdoors. Now, researchers at Penn State have developed an AR coating that improves on existing coatings to the extent that it can make transparent plastics, such as Plexiglas, virtually invisible.

 

"This discovery came about as we were trying to make higher-efficiency solar panels," said Chris Giebink, associate professor of electrical engineering, Penn State. "Our approach involved concentrating light onto small, high-efficiency solar cells using plastic lenses, and we needed to minimize their reflection loss."

 

 



Read more at: https://phys.org/new...isible.html#jCp


#748
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Researchers develop 3-D microstructures that respond to temperature and light

January 30, 2019 by Ingrid Fadelli, Phys.org feature

22-researchersd.jpg

 

A team of researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Heidelberg University have recently introduced functional 3-D hetero-microstructures based on Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAM) a polymer that responds to changes in temperature close to its lower critical solution temperature.

 

Stimuli-responsive microstructures are of key importance for the creation of adaptable systems, which can have interesting applications in soft robotics and biosciences. For practical application, however, materials need to be compatible with aqueous environments while also enabling the manufacturing of 3-D structures, for instance, using 3-D printing.

 

 



Read more at: https://phys.org/new...rature.html#jCp


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Wafer Scale Hexagonal Boron Nitride Films Have Been Created
Brian Wang | January 29, 2019

 

Dongguk University and other Korean researchers have made wafer scale hexagonal boron nitride films with a nearly perfect single-crystalline structure. The film self-assembles on top of liquid gold.

Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is also called white graphite. They can be single atom thick crystalline films. They have an insulating effect that has found uses in various types of scientific research.

It can be a protective layer against metal oxidation (rust) and as a gas-diffusion barrier for water vapor transmission.

 



#750
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Researchers create first carbon fibers with uniform porous structure

February 1, 2019, Virginia Tech

 

A professor in Virginia Tech's College of Science wants to power planes and cars using energy stored in their exterior shells. He may have discovered a path toward that vision using porous carbon fibers made from what's known as block copolymers.

 

Carbon fibers, already known as a high-performing engineering material, are widely used in the aerospace and automotive industries. One application is the shells of luxury cars like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, or Lamborghini.

Carbon fibers, thin hair-like strands of carbon, possess multiple prime material properties: they are mechanically strong, chemically resistant, electrically conductive, fire retardant, and perhaps most importantly, lightweight. The weight of carbon fibers improves fuel and energy efficiency, producing faster jets and vehicles.

 



Read more at: https://phys.org/new...porous.html#jCp


#751
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A better way to make acrylics

 

 

(Phys.org) Acrylics are an incredibly diverse and useful family of chemicals used in all kinds of products, from diapers to nail polish. Now, a team of researchers from UConn and ExxonMobil describe a new process for making them. The new method would increase energy efficiency and reduce toxic byproducts, they report in the Feb. 8 issue of Nature Communications.


Read more at: https://phys.org/new...rylics.html#jCp

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#752
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DARPA Developing Next Generation Materials for Hypersonic Planes and Weapons
Brian Wang | February 14, 2019
hypersonicDARPAmaterials-730x430.jpg

There two main challenges for hypersonic weapons and vehicles are for engines and rockets to generate the speed and for materials that can survive at the extreme temperatures. Moving at hypersonic speeds of 5 to 25 or more times the speed of sound in the atmosphere generates extremely high temperatures.

There are some carbon-based composite materials that are currently used. Composites composed principally of C-C with coatings are able to be used higher temperature operation. There are approaches that rely principally on ablation as a thermal management method and techniques for enhancing heat transfer solely through solid conduction. Increasing heat conduction allows materials to get rid of the extra heat.

 

https://www.nextbigf...nd-weapons.html



#753
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SpaceX founder Elon Musk inform that SpaceX foundry is casting Raptor engine manifold out of Inconel. Inconel is an alloy of nickel containing chromium and iron, resistant to corrosion at high temperatures. When heated, Inconel forms a thick, stable, passivating oxide layer protecting the surface from further attack. Inconel retains strength over a wide temperature range.

 

 

 

spaceX-rapter-engine-casting-inconel-elo



#754
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Chinese Researchers have developed an energy-efficient technique for purifying water using graphitic carbon nitride sheets.

 

It killed more than 99.9999% of Microbes in contaminated Water. Unlike metal-based Photocatalytic disinfectants, the graphitic carbon nitride sheets do not leave behind secondary pollution or heavy-metal-ion residues, making them a more environmentally-friendly option of water purification.

 

water-purification.jpg

 

 

 

 

 



#755
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Researchers engineer a tougher fiber

February 22, 2019, North Carolina State University

NC State University researchers created fibers consisting of a gallium metal core surrounded by an elastic polymer sheath. When placed under stress, the fiber has the strength of the metal core. But when the metal breaks, the fiber doesn't …more

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a fiber that combines the elasticity of rubber with the strength of a metal, resulting in a tougher material that could be incorporated into soft robotics, packaging materials or next-generation textiles.

 

"A good way of explaining the material is to think of rubber bands and metal wires," says Michael Dickey, corresponding author of a paper on the work and Alcoa Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State.

 

 



Read more at: https://phys.org/new...-fiber.html#jCp


#756
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New reactor-liner alloy material offers strength, resilience

March 5, 2019, Los Alamos National Laboratory


A new tungsten-based alloy developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory can withstand unprecedented amounts of radiation without damage. Essential for extreme irradiation environments such as the interiors of magnetic fusion reactors, previously explored materials have thus far been hobbled by weakness against fracture, but this new alloy seems to defeat that problem.

 

"This material showed outstanding radiation resistance when compared to pure nanocrystalline tungsten materials and other conventional alloys," said Osman El Atwani, the lead author of the paper and the principal investigator of the "Radiation Effects and Plasma Material Interactions in Tungsten Based Materials" project at Los Alamos. "Our investigations of the material mechanical properties under different stress states and response of the material under plasma exposure are ongoing."

 



Read more at: https://phys.org/new...lience.html#jCp


#757
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A new coating developed by ETH researchers prevents fogging on transparent surfaces. Rather than using electricity, the coating relies on sunlight to heat the surface.

Just a few nanometres thick, their durable coating is made of gold nanoparticles embedded in non-conductive titanium oxide. This coating absorbs the infrared component of sunlight along with a small part of the visible sunlight and converts the light into heat. This heats the surface up by 3 to 4 degrees Celsius. It is this difference in temperature that prevents fogging.

 

 

fog-nanotech.jpg

 

 

 



#758
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Acoustic Metamaterials Can Block 94% of Sounds
Brian Wang | March 7, 2019
 
 

Synthetic, sound-silencing structures—acoustic metamaterials can block 94% of sounds. This ring of materials will be able to make vacuum cleaners, air conditioners, fans and other devices and products much quieter. Boston University researchers Ghaffarivardavagh and Zhang wanted to block sound but not open air. They calculated the dimensions and specifications that the metamaterial would need to have in order to interfere with the transmitted sound waves, preventing sound—but not air—from being radiated through the open structure. The basic premise is that the metamaterial needs to be shaped in such a way that it sends incoming sounds back to where they came. They modeled the physical dimensions that would most effectively silence noises. Bringing those models to life, they used 3D printing to materialize an open, noise-canceling structure made of plastic. Trying it out in the lab, the researchers sealed the loudspeaker into one end of a PVC pipe. On the other end, the tailor-made acoustic metamaterial was fastened into the opening. Standing in the room, based on your sense of hearing alone, you’d never know that the loudspeaker was blasting an irritatingly high-pitched note. Inside the PVC pipe, you would see the loudspeaker’s subwoofers moving. The team found that they could silence 94 percent of the noise which making the sounds emanating from the loudspeaker imperceptible to the human ear. Physical Review B- Ultra-open acoustic metamaterial silencer based on Fano-like interference

 

https://www.nextbigf...-of-sounds.html



#759
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Smoothing out the wrinkles in graphene:

 

MIT researchers have found a simple solution to protect graphene from performance-impairing wrinkles and contaminants. The researchers describe a fabrication technique that applies a wax coating to a graphene sheet and heats it up. Heat causes the wax to expand, which smooths out the graphene to reduce wrinkles. Moreover, the coating can be washed away without leaving behind much residue. In experiments, the researchers’ wax-coated graphene performed four times better than graphene made with a traditional polymer-protecting layer.

 

 

 

MIT-Graphene-Transfer_0.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#760
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Materials could delay frost up to 300 times longer than existing anti-icing coatings

March 18, 2019 by Sharon Parmet, University of Illinois at Chicago

 

Most techniques to prevent frost and ice formation on surfaces rely heavily on heating or liquid chemicals that need to be repeatedly reapplied because they easily wash away. Even advanced anti-icing materials have problems functioning under conditions of high humidity and subzero conditions, when frost and ice formation go into overdrive.

 

Now, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Engineering describe for the first time several unique properties of materials known as phase-switching liquids, or PSLs, that hold promise as next-generation anti-icing materials. PSLs can delay ice and frost formation up to 300 times longer than state-of-the-art coatings being developed in laboratories. Their findings are published in the journal Advanced Materials.

 

https://phys.org/new...g-coatings.html







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: nanotechnology, nano, microtechnology, micro, material science, metamaterials, graphene, atomic engineering, molecular manufacturing, nanobots

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