Researchers have demonstrated reliable operation of microelectromechanical relays by coating the contacts with nanocrystalline layers of graphite, to enable ultra-low-power electronics for harsh environments.
It's likely not the first thing you think of when you see elephant dung, but this material turns out to be an excellent source of cellulose for paper manufacturing in countries where trees are scarce, scientists report.
Tiny floating robots could be useful in all kinds of ways, for example, to probe the human gut for disease or to search the environment for pollutants. In a step toward such devices, researchers describe a new marriage of materials, combining ultrathin 2-D electronics with miniature particles to create microscopic machines.
An international research team discovered a new type of curved light beams, dubbed a 'photonic hook'. Photonic hooks are unique, as their radius of curvature is two times smaller than their wavelength. This is the smallest curvature radius of electromagnetic waves ever recorded.
Physicists have induced superconductivity in a monolayer of tungsten disulfide. By using an increasing electric field, they were able to show how the material turns from an insulator into a superconductor and then back into a 're-entrant' insulator again.
Some novel materials that sound too good to be true turn out to be true and good. An emergent class of semiconductors, which could affordably light up our future with nuanced colors emanating from lasers, lamps, and even window glass, could be the latest example.