A major goal in renewable energy research is to harvest the energy of the sun to convert water into hydrogen gas, a storable fuel. Now, with a nanoparticle-based system, researchers have set a record for part of the process, reporting 100% efficiency for the half-reaction that evolves hydrogen.
To make such water-splitting systems, researchers must find the right materials to absorb light and catalyze the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen. The two half-reactions in this process—the reduction of protons to hydrogen, and the oxidation of water to oxygen—must be isolated from each other so their products don’t react and explode. Find more information here.
The new material could be used in transistors, which serves as the lifeblood of all electronic devices such as computer processors, graphics processors in desktop computers and mobile devices. It can successfully lead to the manufacturing of transistors that are smaller and faster than those in use today.
The more transistors packed into a single chip, the more powerful the processor can become, almost 100 times faster than regular devices predict the researchers. Owing to movement of electrons in one layer, there will be less friction, meaning the processors will not get as hot as normal computer chips. They also will require much less power to run, a boon for mobile electronics that have to run on battery power. Read more here.
The continuing development of ceramic materials, along with an increasing number of industrial applications, is posing new challenges for the materials science industry. Modern technologies require novel and improved methods to synthesize, characterize, and investigate the properties of ceramics and composites.
Understanding the materials’ structure-properties relationship results in the production of advanced complex ceramics that extend beyond the traditional oxides that have been used for centuries. The standard techniques usually applied to alloys are currently finding their way into ceramics manufacturing as a result of improvements in physical properties; advanced ceramics often exhibit properties superior to those of metal-based systems.
Read the full text on Ceramic Industry.
Memristors are a new class of electrical circuits—and they could end the silicon era and change electronics forever. Since HP first developed a working prototype with a titanium dioxide film in 2008, engineers have sought to perfect the model.
Now, researchers at Michigan Technological University have made an ideal memristor based on molybdenum disulfide nanosheets. Yun Hang Hu, the Charles and Carroll McArthur Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, led the research, which was published in Nano Letters this January. Read more here.