Replacing the large chillers that cool hospitals, museums, and other institutions with more energy-efficient systems means using new materials. Scientists are interested in replacing the silica gel used in today's chillers with novel molecular materials made of molecular meshes or metal organic frameworks.
Researchers are using origami-based folding methods for 'tuning' the fundamental physical properties of any type of thin sheet, which may eventually lead to development of molecular-scale machines that could snap into place and perform mechanical tasks.
Kamal Asadi from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz receives one of the highest German scientific awards from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He studies materials and physics of future organic memory devices.
Scientists using lasers at a Science and Technology Facilities Council facility in the UK believe that they are a step closer to finding a replacement for silicon chips that are faster and use less energy than at present.
Scientists have long known that a molecule's behavior depends on its environment. Taking advantage of this phenomenon, a group of researchers at the University of Chicago developed a new technique to map microscopic environments using the vibrations of molecules.
A hybrid form of perovskite - the same type of material which has recently been found to make highly efficient solar cells that could one day replace silicon - has been used to make low-cost, easily manufactured LEDs, potentially opening up a wide range of commercial applications in future, such as flexible colour displays.
A group of scientists have converted used-cigarette butts into a high-performing material that could be integrated into computers, handheld devices, electrical vehicles and wind turbines to store energy.