The most affordable, efficient way to harness the cleanest, most abundant renewable energy source in the world is one step closer to reality. The University of Toledo physicist pushing the performance of solar cells to levels never before reached made a significant breakthrough in the chemical formula and process to make the new material. Working

Flinders University archaeologists are using cutting edge subsurface imaging technology to help assist community groups map unmarked graves and manage their cultural heritage. “This is a huge issue, particularly for rural communities,” says Dr Ian Moffat, Senior Research Fellow in Archaeological Sciences at Flinders University. “Using geophysics provides a non-invasive and culturally appropriate way to

Researchers at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have 3D-printed an all-liquid device that, with the click of a button, can be repeatedly reconfigured on demand to serve a wide range of applications — from making battery materials to screening drug candidates. “What we demonstrated is remarkable. Our 3D-printed device can be programmed to

Using a new type of dual polymer material capable of responding dynamically to its environment, Brown University researchers have developed a set of modular hydrogel components that could be useful in a variety of “soft robotic” and biomedical applications. The components, which are patterned by a 3D printer, are capable of bending, twisting or sticking

The piezoelectric materials that inhabit everything from our cell phones to musical greeting cards may be getting an upgrade thanks to work discussed in the journal Nature Materials released online Jan 21. Xiaoyu ‘Rayne’ Zheng, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, and a member of the Macromolecules Innovation Institute, and his

Jet engines can have up to 25,000 individual parts, making regular maintenance a tedious task that can take over a month per engine. Many components are located deep inside the engine and cannot be inspected without taking the machine apart, adding time and costs to maintenance. This problem is not only confined to jet engines,

Rice University scientists have created a rubbery, shape-shifting material that morphs from one sophisticated form to another on demand. The shapes programmed into a polymer by materials scientist Rafael Verduzco and graduate student Morgan Barnes appear in ambient conditions and melt away when heat is applied. The process also works in reverse. The smooth operation

Scientists have developed a 3D-printed robotic hand which can play simple musical phrases on the piano by just moving its wrist. And while the robot is no virtuoso, it demonstrates just how challenging it is to replicate all the abilities of a human hand, and how much complex movement can still be achieved through design.

Move over Mona Lisa, here comes tic-tac-toe. It was just about a year ago that Caltech scientists in the laboratory of Lulu Qian, assistant professor of bioengineering, announced they had used a technique known as DNA origami to create tiles that could be designed to self-assemble into larger nanostructures that carry predesigned patterns. They chose

Small imperfections in a wine glass or tiny creases in a contact lens can be tricky to make out, even in good light. In almost total darkness, images of such transparent features or objects are nearly impossible to decipher. But now, engineers at MIT have developed a technique that can reveal these “invisible” objects, in

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