Can the properties of composite materials be predicted? Empa scientists have mastered this feat and thus can help achieve research objectives faster. This leads, for instance, to better recycling techniques and electrically conductive synthetic materials for the solar industry.
The group of Prof. Dr. Matthias Karg at the Institute of Physical Chemistry at Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf (HHU) in Germany is creating ultra-thin, highly ordered layers of spherical hydrogel beads that encapsulate gold or silver particles. These structures are of interest for applications in optoelectronics -- light-based information and communication technology -- and nanophotonics. The researchers have recently published findings on a significant step in the direction of 'plasmonic nanolasers' in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Researchers at Kanazawa University synthesized helical ladder polymers with a well-defined cyclic repeating unit and one-handed helical geometry, as they reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Brookhaven and Columbia scientists found that cubic nanoparticles surrounded by thick DNA shells pack in a never-before-seen 'zigzag' pattern.
Recyclable plastics that contain ring-shaped polymers may be a key to developing sustainable synthetic materials. Despite some promising advances, researchers said, a full understanding of how to processes ring polymers into practical materials remains elusive. In a new study, researchers identified a mechanism called 'threading' that takes place when a polymer is stretched -- a behavior not witnessed before. This new insight may lead to new processing methods for sustainable polymer materials.
Scientists have demonstrated a new bio-inspired material for an eco-friendly and cost-effective approach to recovering uranium from seawater. The low-cost polymer adsorbent could help push past bottlenecks in the cost and efficiency of extracting uranium resources from oceans for sustainable energy production.
The ubiquitous plastic bag is handy for transporting groceries and other items home from the store. However, this convenience takes a toll on the environment, with plastic debris littering land and waterways. Manufacturers offer biodegradable or compostable plastic bags, but in many cases, these claims have not been tested in natural environments. Now, researchers report in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology that the bags do not degrade in some environments any faster than regular polyethylene.
Machine learning can be used to predict the properties of a group of materials which, according to some, could be as important to the 21st century as plastics were to the 20th.
Inspired by the behaviour of natural skin, researchers at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Linkoping University, have developed a sensor that will be suitable for use with electronic skin. It can measure changes in body temperature, and react to both sunlight and warm touch.
A team of researchers at Berkeley Lab has designed a recyclable plastic that, like a Lego playset, can be disassembled into its constituent parts at the molecular level, and then reassembled into a different shape, texture, and color again and again without loss of performance or quality.