DARPA Opens Door to Producing “Unimaginable” Designs for DoD

DARPA News  January 15, 2021 DARPA’s TRAnsformative DESign (TRADES) program, which began in 2017, set out to develop foundational design tools needed to explore the new materials and additive manufacturing processes (3D printing). The program recently concluded. In the past four years, TRADES has explored new ideas from mathematics and computer science that have allowed us to now represent things – like parts and components – that are a million times more complex than current state-of-the-art systems can represent. Now it is possible to describe both shape and material in a coordinated way across multiple physics to allow intricate designs […]

Atomic-scale nanowires can now be produced at scale

Phys.org  December 24, 2020 Transition-metal chalcogenide (TMC) nanowires, which are one-dimensional structures having three-atom diameters and van der Waals surfaces, have been reported to possess a 1D metallic nature with great potential in electronics and energy devices. To mass produce TMC researchers in Japan have demonstrated a wafer-scale synthesis of highly crystalline transition-metal telluride nanowires by chemical vapor deposition. The technique enables formation of either aligned, atomically thin two-dimensional (2D) sheets or random networks of three-dimensional (3D) bundles, both composed of individual nanowires. These nanowires exhibit an anisotropic 1D optical response and superior conducting properties. The findings not only shed […]

Self-diagnostic carbon nanocomposites

Nanowerk  November 23, 2020 Studies have shown that carbon nanomaterials can increase required mechanical properties with relatively small addition amounts, all the while allowing the final material to be electrically conductive and piezoresistive in nature but their incorporation into large scale production requires intensive facility upgrades. Researchers in Russia used masterbatches and industrially available, inexpensive manufacturing techniques to examine how the addition of carbon nanoparticles can change the electric conductivity of polymer matrices. Essentially, the use of such materials has the potential to replace sensors in weight critical systems such as aircraft structures, with the material itself being able to […]

Surprisingly strong and deformable silicon

EurekAlert  June 10, 2020 Silicon is very brittle which can become a problem when trying to make MEMS from silicon, such as the acceleration sensors in smartphones. Researchers in Switzerland have demonstrated that Si processed by modern lithography procedures exhibits an ultrahigh elastic strain limit, near ideal strength (shear strength ~4 GPa) and plastic deformation at the micron-scale, one order of magnitude larger than samples made using focused ion beams, due to superior surface quality. This extended elastic regime enables enhanced functional properties by allowing higher elastic strains to modify the band structure. Further, the micron-scale plasticity of Si allows the investigation […]

Chemistry breakthrough with nanodroplets could speed up drug development

Nanowerk  May 8, 2020 Researchers in the UK have developed a new method called Encapsulated Nanodroplet Crystallisation (ENaCt), that can set up hundreds of crystallisation experiments within a few minutes. Each experiment involves a few micrograms of molecular analyte dissolved in a few nanolitres of organic solvent. The process is automated allowing for rapid set up of hundreds of unique experiments. Concentration of these nanodroplet experiments results in the growth of the desired high quality single crystals that are suitable for modern X-ray diffraction analysis. Tthe ability to do so with such small quantities of analyte is ground-breaking. The technique has […]

Quickly-grown graphite film blocks electromagnetic radiation

Physics World  April 11, 2020 Techniques for manufacturing graphite films take several hours and require processing temperatures of around 3000°C. Researchers in China produced high-quality graphite film tens of nanometres thick within a few seconds by heating nickel foil to 1200°C in an argon atmosphere and then rapidly immersing this foil in ethanol at 0°C. The carbon atoms produced from the decomposition of ethanol diffuse and dissolve into the nickel because of its high carbon solubility. As this carbon solubility greatly decreases at low temperature, the carbon atoms subsequently segregate and precipitate from the nickel surface during quenching, producing a […]

Scientists electrify aluminum to speed up important process

Science Daily  March 26, 2020 Researchers at Ohio State University describe how to shorten a process to turn one chemical — triphenylphosphine oxide — into another chemical — triphenylphosphine. They showed that the energy needed for the conversion can be generated by sending an electrical charge through an aluminum container. Doing so provides enough energy to allow aluminum to break one of the chemical bonds in triphenylphosphine oxide — essentially, to strip oxygen away from that molecule — and to leave behind just triphenylphosphine. The finding could make several industrial manufacturing processes cheaper and more efficient, make it easier to […]

Buildings grown by bacteria: New research to turn cells into mini-factories for materials

Phys.org  March 24, 2020 Researchers at the university of Colorado have demonstrated that the morphology and nanomechanical properties of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) can be tailored by modulating the precipitation kinetics of ureolytic microorganisms through genetic engineering. They hypothesized that microorganisms genetically engineered for low urease activity would achieve larger calcite crystals with higher moduli. They compared precipitation kinetics, morphology, and nanomechanical properties for biogenic CaCO3 produced by two Escherichia coli (E. coli). Both calcite crystal size and nanoindentation moduli were also significantly higher for the low-urease activity E. coli compared with the high-urease activity E. coli. The relative resistance to […]

Team develops an electrochemical method for extracting uranium, and potentially other metal ions, from solution

Phys.org  January 23, 2020 Carboranes, molecules composed of boron, carbon and hydrogen atoms clustered together in three-dimensional shapes did not work out as rocket engine fuel as expected. According to an international team of researchers (USA – UC Santa Barbara, Israel) carboranes could hold the key to more efficient uranium ion extraction. Key to this technology is the versatility of the cluster molecule which allows for the controlled capture and release of metal ions. They devised a way to reliably and efficiently flip back and forth between open and closed carboranes, using electricity. By applying an electrical potential using an […]

Scientists develop DNA microcapsules with built-in ion channels

Science Daily  September 18, 2019 By utilising DNA nanotechnology, a team of researchers in Japan designed DNA nanoplates as a nanopore device for ion transportation and stabilised the oil–water interface. Microscopic examination revealed the microcapsule formed by the accumulation of amphiphilic DNA nanoplates at the oil–water interface. Ion current measurements revealed the nanoplate pores functioned as channel to transport ions. These findings provide a general strategy for the programmable design of microcapsules to engineer artificial cells and molecular robots. Such systems could be used to develop artificial neural networks…read more. TECHINCAL ARTICLE