A Japanese research team at Osaka University used chlorine dioxide to oxidize polypropylene. Under LED irradiation, ClO2* radicals attacked the methyl groups of polypropylene, converting them to carboxylic acid. The C-H bond-breaking was selective to the side chain. The oxidized surface could be stained with cationic dyes. Surface oxidation of plastics is industrially important, but existing methods are polluting or poorly controlled. This clean, convenient process could produce functionalized plastics for medical or printing uses.
The shield-like tail segment, or telson, of the smasher mantis shrimp is a multiscale structure with ridges on the outside and a structure shaped like a spiral staircase on the inside. It's inspiring a new class of lightweight, impact-resistant materials for helmets, cars, and more
New magnetic metamaterial could be used as an additive technology to increase the imaging power of lower-strength MRI machines, increasing the number of patients seen by clinics and decreasing associated costs, without any of the risks that come with using higher-strength magnetic fields.
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have successfully found two distinct mechanisms by which foams can collapse, yielding insight into the prevention/acceleration of foam rupture in industrial materials e.g. foods, cosmetics, insulation, stored chemicals. When a bubble breaks, they found that a collapse event propagates via impact with the receding film and tiny scattered droplets breaking other bubbles. Identifying which mechanism is dominant in different foams may help tailor them to specific applications.
Picture the future. You can hop in your car or one from a ride-share, buckle up and tell the car where you want to go. During your ride, you can look up a few things online through your dashboard. Meanwhile, your whereabouts and other details are being tracked. As self-driving cars develop further, they will play a much larger role in the digital economy as car companies and others harness personalized customer information through geospatial and navigation technologies, according to a Dartmouth study.
DGIST researchers are getting closer to developing a material that delivers a one-two punch: recycling atmospheric carbon dioxide for the production of cleaner hydrocarbon fuels.
Certain molecules of iron, when juxtaposed, have been found by Sandia National Labs and Aramco Research Center researchers to cause microscopic holes in steel pipe used for oil transport. This hidden, localized corrosion causes oil pipes to rust unpredictably at rates faster than baselined, interfering with the accuracy of computer models that determine pipe replacement schedules. This problem, which is potentially environmental, may be addressed by changing the microstructure of the steel surface during forging.
A team of roboticists at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and MIT has developed a new way to design pistons that replaces their conventional rigid elements with a mechanism using compressible structures inside a membrane made of soft materials. The resulting 'tension pistons' generate more than three times the force of comparable conventional pistons, eliminate much of the friction, and at low pressures are up to 40 percent more energy efficient.
Halide perovskite solar cells hold promise as the next generation of solar cell technologies, but while researchers have developed techniques for improving their material characteristics, nobody understood why these techniques worked. New research sheds light on the science behind these engineering solutions and paves the way for developing more efficient halide perovskite solar cells.
Molecular sieves are useful in many industrial processes, especially in the chemical and energy sectors. They could be used to remove contaminants from water and have received attention for potential applications in aerospace, rail transportation, automobile manufacturing and more, but so far, their applications have been limited by their instability under extreme conditions.