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Making metal wires – no heating required

Engineers from North Carolina State University, have developed a simple route to fabricating metallic wires at room temperature By their very nature, today’s electronic devices based on silicon and germanium are hard, stiff and unwieldy, but the rapid development of organic and polymer based circuits are beginning to change that. Producing flexible, conductive...


Bio-inspired electrode for fuel cells

The structure of a pine branch provided Canadian researchers with the inspiration to create the next-generation of fuel cell electrodes. In January, Audi launched their first fuel cell concept car at the North American International Auto Show. And they’re not the only ones investing in this technology – Toyota already has a production model on the market....


Give us a smile! Artificial muscles for robotic jaws

Realistic facial expressions may be coming to a robot near you, thanks to work from engineers at the National University of Singapore. Unless they’re a master poker player, a person’s facial expressions can be more revealing than words. They also been shown to influence how we interact with each other… there is a lot of science behind the phrase...


Graphite foams: Hot stuff for solar farms

Graphite foams may be the key to capturing and storing thermal energy from solar farms, say researchers from the University of Pretoria. In the context of climate change and renewable energy, mentions of carbon generally set alarm bells ringing. But a new composite material may change that – especially for concentrated solar power (CSP) systems. CSP is really...


Up in the aer(ogel)

I was delighted to write a guest blog for #MicrobeStew last month. Evidence that physicists and biologists CAN co-exist 😉


Polymer ‘Stars’ Hold the Key to Monodisperse Colloidal Nanocrystals

A news piece published in the July / August issue of Materials Today (Vol. 16 No. 7 – 8) this month – currently available here: http://digital.materialstoday.com/ (PDF of my article here: JulAug13 – MatTod – 258-259 ) —- Polymer ‘Stars’ Hold the Key to Monodisperse Colloidal Nanocrystals A new way to produce high-quality...


What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?

Here’s how I answered: http://whatiseeproject.com//story/what-do-you-see-when-you-look-in-the-mirror633 …Oh how I wish I’d actually prepped for it. And worn lipstick. But anyway 🙂 So, what about you? Do you see the physical stuff? Or do you see beyond that? Maybe a bit of both? I think that this is the very best thing about the What I See...


Better Batteries with Boron

Another one from the June issue of Materials Today – can be accessed here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13697021/16/6 — A mix of boron and graphene has been offered as a potential lithium storage solution by theorists at Rice University, leading to suggestions that high-capacity graphene batteries may not be too far off. Graphene has...


Butterflies in a graphene superlattice

Another story that appeared in the June issue of Materials Today journal….. Originals can be accessed for free here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13697021/16/6 —- An international team of scientists, led by the University of Manchester, has tuned the electronic properties of graphene by combining it with boron nitride; a discovery...


SLIPery and Self-Cleaning: A New Generation of Glass Coatings

This originally appeared here: http://goo.gl/r8spTJ  ….As always, thanks to Materials Today for continuing to let me write for them! —– SLIPery and Self-Cleaning: A New Generation of Glass Coatings Most visitors to the recently refurbished St. Pancras Station in London marvel at the station’s grand architecture, but I wonder how many...