Archives :: Chementator :: New Materials

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November 1, 2011
For the first time, an organic compound has been synthesized from water, carbon dioxide and sunlight — without any other external energy or reagents. The achievement, which was demonstrated by researchers at Toyota Central Research and Development Laboratories, Inc. (Toyota CRDL; Aichi Prefecture, Japan; www., a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp., is...
November 1, 2011
Researchers at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis/St. Paul; have produced thin-film zeolite membranes that are only 200 nm thick, compared to 5–10 µm for conventional zeolite membranes. The new membranes could cut energy and capital costs by 90% for the production of petrochemicals, says Michael Tsapatsis, a professor of chemical engineering and materials science...
October 1, 2011
A huge market for lithium ion batteries is expected to develop as car makers move toward electric vehicles. However, improvements in the batteries’ energy and power density are needed. It is also desirable to replace the common, high-cost lithium cobalt oxide cathodes with those based on more abundant and more environmentally friendly materials. Now, a group from the Dept. of Energy Engineering...
August 1, 2011
  Graphene from dry ice Researchers at Northern Illinois University (NIU; DeKalb, Ill.; discovered a new method for producing graphene that involves burning pure magnesium metal in dry ice. The method, which is capable of producing large quantities of graphene in sheets less than ten atoms thick, is simpler than conventional methods for generating graphene, and avoids hazardous chemicals...
August 1, 2011
The properties of gold nanoparticles could be combined with those of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) to provide a sustainable and practical solution for water treatment, according to a team from the Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research (Bangalore, India; The team, headed by professor Giridhar U. Kulkarni, has synthesized low-density, highly compressible, porous foams of...
July 1, 2011
A novel nickel-manganese-gallium alloy, introduced by Goodfellow Corp. (Oakdale, Pa.;, elongates in a magnetic field, allowing the conversion of magnetic field energy into kinetic energy. The material offers an alternative to conventional actuators, and could find other uses in energy harvesting systems, breaker switches, sensors and others. Grown as a single crystal using a modified...
June 1, 2011
Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL; Livermore, Calif.; have created a nanocrystalline diamond aerogel. The new aerogel was produced by compressing a standard carbon-based aerogel precursor in a...
June 1, 2011
Along with an innovative elastomeric compound, scientists at Federal Mogul Corp. (Southfield, Mich; have developed a rubber manufacturing process that eliminates the need for curing in a batch oven after molding. The proprietary compound...
June 1, 2011
A team from CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering (Melbourne, Australia; has developed a new technique for growing smart materials known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which can be used in pollution control, or as catalysts, or for transporting drugs in the human body. MOFs are well-ordered ultra-porous crystals that form multi-dimensional structures with huge surface areas. One gram...
June 1, 2011
A team led by Rice University (Houston; researcher Michael Deem has assembled a database of 2.6 million possible unique zeolites — porous silicate minerals often used as catalysts or molecular sieves. The database of potential structures...
May 1, 2011
By immobilizing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) within polymer membrane pores, scientists at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT; Newark, N.J.; were able to significantly improve the efficiency of desalination via a membrane distillation process. Somenath Mitra and colleagues at NJIT used a vacuum to force a dispersion of CNTs into the pore network of commercially available polymer...
May 1, 2011
Spider silk has many unique properties that make it suitable for applications such as coatings and medical products. As a protein, the silk is remarkably stable and is only destroyed physically or digested and recycled by the spider. However, an industrially viable synthetic route to spider silk has eluded researchers over the last 25 years, says Axel Leimer, managing director at AMSilk GmbH...
May 1, 2011
Ammonia borane’s (AB) capacity to contain and easily release large amounts of hydrogen has made it an attractive candidate to store the gas for onboard fuel-cell powered vehicles. A major technological hurdle that remains is how to reintroduce hydrogen to spent AB in an energy-efficient way. Now, a team comprised of researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, N.M.; and...
May 1, 2011
Last month, Carpenter Technology Corp. (Wyomissing, Pa.; licensed an alumina-forming austenitic stainless-steel alloy developed at the U.S. Dept. of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL; Tenn.; The new...
May 1, 2011
A solar cell made of carbon nanotube (CNT) fiber has been demonstrated by researchers from Fudan University (Shanghai; University professor Huisheng Peng says, “For the fibers we use, the carbon nanotubes exhibit a high degree of alignment with much improved mechanical and electrical properties. Therefore those fibers greatly enhance the short current density, open voltage, and the...
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