Micro- and nanoparticles that bind under low temperatures will melt as temperatures rise to moderate levels, but re-connect under hotter conditions, a team of scientists has found. Their discovery points to new ways to create 'smart materials', cutting-edge materials that adapt to their environment by taking new forms, and to sharpen the detail of 3-D printing.
Scientists have used atomic-resolution Z-contrast imaging and X-ray spectroscopy in a scanning transmission electron microscope to explore dislocations in the binary II-VI semiconductor CdTe, commercially used in thin-film photovoltaics. The results may lead to eventual improvement in the conversion efficiency of CdTe solar cells. These novel insights into atomically resolved chemical structure of dislocations have potential for understanding many more defect-based phenomena.
Castles and cathedrals, statues and spires - Europe's built environment would not be the same without these witnesses of centuries past. But, eventually, even the hardest stone will crumble. EU-funded researchers have developed innovative nano-materials to improve the preservation of our architectural heritage.
Physicists have used a new imaging technique, electrostatic force microscopy, to resolve the biological debate with evidence from physics, showing that electric charges do indeed propagate along microbial nanowires just as they do in carbon nanotubes, a highly conductive man-made material.
A new study has cracked one mystery of glass to shed light on the mechanism that triggers its deformation before shattering. The study improves understanding of glassy deformation and may accelerate broader application of metallic glass, a moldable, wear-resistant, magnetically exploitable material that is thrice as strong as the mightiest steel and ten times as springy.
Organisms can be negatively affected by plastic nanoparticles, not just in the seas and oceans but in freshwater bodies too. These particles slow the growth of algae, cause deformities in water fleas and impede communication between small organisms and fish.
Researchers have discovered a new self-assembly method for producing defect-free graphene nanoribbons with periodic zigzag-edge regions. In this bottom-up technique, researchers use a copper substrate's unique properties to change the way the precursor molecules react to one another as they assemble into graphene nanoribbons.