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New model clarifies photoexcited thin-film lattice dynamics

No comprehensive study has yet been carried out to characterize the photoexcited lattice dynamics of an opaque thin film on a semi-infinite transparent substrate. As a result, ultrafast X-ray diffraction data for such samples can be challenging to interpret. Now a new study builds a model to help interpret such data.

Posted: Nov 18th, 2014

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Billions of nanoreactors inform materials design

Imagine building a chemical reactor small enough to study nanoparticles a billionth of a meter across. A billion times smaller than a raindrop is the volume of an E. coli cell. And another million times smaller would be a reactor small enough to study isolated nanoparticles. Add to that the challenge of making not just one of these tiny reactors, but billions of them, all identical in size and shape. Researchers at Cornell have done just that.

Posted: Nov 17th, 2014

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Researchers synthesize new form of silicon for solar applications

Silicon is the second most-abundant element in the earth's crust. When purified, it takes on a diamond structure, which is essential to modern electronic devices - carbon is to biology as silicon is to technology. A team of scientists has synthesized an entirely new form of silicon, one that promises even greater future applications.

Posted: Nov 17th, 2014

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Warping in topological insulators

Topological insulators are promising to develop into a material for lossless electricity and information transport. Now, researchers investigated for the first time whether the direction of motion of electrons in topological insulators affects their behavior.

Posted: Nov 14th, 2014

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