A new study describes a new liquid phase in thin films of a glass-forming molecules. These results demonstrate how these glasses and other similar materials can be fabricated to be denser and more stable, providing a framework for developing new applications and devices through better design.
Soft materials, like skin, behave differently than hard materials when punctured. They provide an unstable resistance that is more difficult to describe and hence predict. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have answered the previously unsolved question of how the mechanics of piercing works on soft materials by studying solutions from the natural world, and have created a mechanical theory that finally predicts the critical force necessary for needle insertion.
Researchers at Aalto University have used lignin, a natural polymer abundant in wood and other plant sources, to create a safe, low-cost and high-performing coating for use in construction. As there is a global urge to meet the rising sustainability standards, this new coating has great potential to protect wood, whose use in construction is continually increasing. The new coating is non-toxic, hydrofobic, it retains wood's breathability and natural roughness while being resistant to colour changes and abrasion.
The lithium-ion battery is the future of sustainable energy technology, but drastic volume fluctuations in their anodes related to enhanced battery capacity raises a safety concern. Recently, researchers from the Republic of Korea have found that embedding manganese selenide anodes in a 3D carbon nanosheet matrix is an innovative, simple, and low-cost means of reducing drastic volume expansion while improving the energy density of these batteries.
Plastics offer many benefits to society and are widely used in our daily life: they are lightweight, cheap and adaptable. However, the production, processing and disposal of plastics pose a major global threat to the environment and human health. However, researchers at the University of Göttingen have now found a sustainable method - "hydrosetting", which uses water at normal conditions - to process and reshape a new type of hydroplastic polymer. The research was published in Nature Sustainability.
Researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), in collaboration with French specialty materials leader Arkema, have developed a tougher, safer bicycle helmet using a combination of materials. The new helmet prototype has higher energy absorption, reducing the amount of energy transferred to a cyclist's head in the event of an accident and lowering the chances of serious injury.
The method from a research team led by Professor Horacio Espinosa could lead to more accurate predictions of how new materials behave at the atomic scale.
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have designed a new class of molten sodium batteries for grid-scale energy storage. The new battery design was shared in a paper published today in the scientific journal Cell Reports Physical Science.
Researchers created a simulation of a deep-sea sponge and how it responds to and influences the flow of water. The work revealed a profound connection between the sponge's structure and function, shedding light on both the basket sponge's ability to withstand the dynamic forces of the surrounding ocean and its ability to create a vortex within the body cavity "basket." These properties may help for the design of ships, planes and skyscrapers of the future.
A so-called "strange metal", well-known for its unusual properties, has been shown to be a superconductor at very low temperatures. This allows scientists to study the connection between "strange metal"-behaviour and superconductivity, which could be an important step towards understanding the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity.