The reversible switching of macrocyclic molecules between a liquid and a solid phase upon exposure to vapor has been reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society by researchers at Kanazawa University.
The potential for wearable electronics goes far beyond smart watches, but our current options for battery packs and circuit boards don't make for the most comfortable E-socks. One solution, being developed by scientists in China, is to simply print flexible fibers on to transitional textiles or clothes. For example, they printed patterns that can harvest and store electricity onto fabrics. The advance appears March 28 in Matter, a new materials science journal from Cell Press.
Recently, an international research team led by Professor LI Bing from the Institute of Metal Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has found that a class of disordered materials, called plastic crystals, exhibits record-large barocaloric effects under very weak pressure.
Tiny nanoclusters of metal atoms -- such as gold and silver -- have properties which mean they can be used as semiconductors, a joint Swansea-Hamburg research team has discovered. The finding opens the door to a wide range of potential new applications, from phone displays and flatter screens to wearable technology.
Most materials expand upon heating and contract upon cooling. Some behave inversely, a phenomenon known as negative thermal expansion (NTE). NTE observed in inverse perovskite antiferromagnets Mn3AN had remained unexplained for the past 40 years. However, a recent study by scientists successfully provided a theoretical explanation to this mechanism. When turn into practical use, this could help developers build more durable and heat-resistant small machine parts--found commonly in optical, measuring and other devices.
Japanese scientists discovered a new type of structural phase transition of an organic crystal called the photo-triggered phase transition. Under this phenomenon, the crystal, which exhibits a thermal phase transition that is reversible by heating and cooling, transforms to the identical phase upon light irradiation at temperatures lower than the thermal transition temperature. The photo-triggered phase transition may extend functions of photo-responsive solid materials in the future.
Italian researchers have recorded the highest-ever conductivity for eumelanin -- a dark brown melanin pigment that colors skin, hair and eyes. Their modified eumelanin makes possible the long-anticipated design of melanin-based electronics, which can be used for implanted devices due to the pigment's biocompatibility.
A University of Maryland-led research team has developed a flexible, wood-based membrane that someday could turn body heat into electricity.
A new rubber computer combines the feel of a human hand with the thought process of an electronic computer, replacing the last hard components in soft robots. Now, soft robotics can travel where metals and electronics cannot -- like high-radiation disaster areas, outer-space, and deep underwater -- and turn invisible to the naked eye or even sonar detection.
In an advance that could accelerate battery development and improve manufacturing, scientists have found how to accurately predict the useful lifespan of lithium-ion batteries, used in devices from mobile phones to electric cars.