Matter & Energy 

Novel method to grow elastic diamonds

Diamonds is the strongest naturally occurring material on Earth. It is also renowned for its incomparable properties, such as high stiffness, exceptional thermal conductivity, high chemical resistance, and high optical transparency. Although these remarkable properties of diamond make it highly desirable for many scientific and technological applications, progress has been slow due to its brittleness.

Read More
Matter & Energy 

Turning up the heat on thermoelectrics

Imagine being able to power your car partly from the heat that its engine gives off. Or what if you could get a portion of your home’s electricity from the heat that a power plant emits? Such energy-efficient scenarios may one day be possible with improvements in thermoelectric materials — which spontaneously produce electricity when one side of the material is heated.

Read More
Matter & Energy 

Failures in power grids: Dynamically induced cascades

A reliable functioning of technical infrastructure networks is essential for our modern, high-tech society. Cascading failures, i.e. chain reactions of failures of different infrastructures, are the cause of many failures of entire networks, e.g. large parts of the European power grids. Although cascading failures are usually influenced by network-wide nonlinear dynamics between the individual failures, their modelling has so far concentrated primarily on the analysis of sequences of failure events of individual infrastructures — however, the dynamics between these events have not been taken into account.

Read More

Shine bright like a nanoaggregate

Chinese scientists have turned copper-iodine cluster molecules into aggregated, highly luminescent nanostructures for use in light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The solid-state assemblies made of complexes of the copper-iodine cluster with phosphor-organic compounds as ligands are easily prepared, cheap, and can emit light in many colors, they report in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The nanoaggregates can be used as luminescent inks for invisible paintings and color coatings for LEDs.

Read More
Matter & Energy 

If solubility is the problem — Mechanochemistry is the solution

Chemist Dr. Lars Borchardt and his team at TU Dresden recently achieved a huge breakthrough in the synthesis of nanographenes. Because of their unique electrical, thermal and mechanical characteristics, the carbon modification graphene and its little brothers the nanographenes are known as a very promising material for applications in electronics, sensor technology and energy storage. However, since the synthesis of nanographenes and graphene nanoribbons is still rather expensive and environmentally unsustainable, there are only few industrial applications. Dr. Borchardt’s innovative method of a mechanochemical synthesis of nanographenes has certainly paved the way for a safer, simpler and more sustainable route for the synthesis of alternative electronic and solar energy materials.

Read More