news 2021



Results 1 - 20 of 32.

Chemistry - Environment - 29.09.2021
Researchers identify and clear efficiency hurdle for organic solar cells | University of Cambridge
Researchers identify and clear efficiency hurdle for organic solar cells | University of Cambridge
Researchers have identified a key mechanism responsible for the lower efficiencies of organic solar cells and shown a way that this hurdle might be overcome. Organic solar cells can do lots of things that inorganic solar cells can't, but their commercial development has plateaued in recent years, in part due to their inferior efficiency Alexander Gillett The researchers, led by the , identified a loss pathway in organic solar cells which makes them less efficient than silicon-based cells at converting sunlight into electricity.

Chemistry - Pharmacology - 24.09.2021
Assembly theory could spell good news for drug discovery
A new method of exploring chemical space could help create scientific breakthroughs in areas including drug design and discovery, its creators say. The concept, known as assembly theory, is outlined in a new paper published today Advances by a team from the University of Glasgow's School of Chemistry.

Physics - Chemistry - 02.09.2021
Nano 'camera' made using molecular glue allows real-time monitoring of chemical reactions
Nano ’camera’ made using molecular glue allows real-time monitoring of chemical reactions
Researchers have made a tiny camera, held together with 'molecular glue' that allows them to observe chemical reactions in real time. This platform is a really big toolbox - it opens up lots of new possibilities for imaging chemical reactions Kamil Sokolowski The device, made by a team from the University of Cambridge, combines tiny semiconductor nanocrystals called quantum dots and gold nanoparticles using molecular glue called cucurbituril (CB).

Physics - Chemistry - 26.08.2021
Atomic snapshots show fast ion migration in ultra-thin clays
Research led by The University of Manchester has found that ions diffuse 10,000 times faster inside atomically thin clays than in bulk clay crystals. Clays are used in a wide variety of membrane applications, so this result offers the potential to achieve vastly improved desalination or fuel cell performance simply by switching to ultra-thin clays when producing the membranes.

Chemistry - Physics - 23.08.2021
Scientists report breakthrough in actinide metal-metal bonding
Scientists from The University of Manchester have managed to successfully make actinide metals form molecular actinide-actinide bonds for the first time, opening up a new field of scientific study in materials research. Reported in the journal Nature , a group of scientists from Manchester and Stuttgart universities have successfully prepared and characterised long-sought actinide-actinide bonding in an isolable compound.

Chemistry - Innovation - 22.07.2021
Smartphone screens effective sensors for soil or water contamination
The touchscreen technology used in billions of smartphones and tablets could also be used as a powerful sensor, without the need for any modifications. Instead of interpreting a signal from your finger, what if we could get a touchscreen to read electrolytes, since these ions also interact with the electric fields? Ronan Daly Researchers from the University of Cambridge have demonstrated how a typical touchscreen could be used to identify common ionic contaminants in soil or drinking water by dropping liquid samples on the screen, the first time this has been achieved.

Chemistry - Health - 07.07.2021
New approach will help identify drugs that can ’glue’ proteins together
A new screening method that can test the effectiveness of therapeutic molecules designed to 'glue' proteins together in the body has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham and the University of Leicester. The research paves the way for drug developers to screen large numbers of potential new drug compounds to discover new treatments for diseases such as breast cancer and Parkinson's disease.

Chemistry - 01.07.2021
Instant water cleaning method ’millions of times’ better than commercial approach
A water disinfectant created on the spot using just hydrogen and the air around us is millions of times more effective at killing viruses and bacteria than traditional commercial methods, according to scientists from Cardiff University. Reporting their findings today Catalysis, the team say the results could revolutionise water disinfection technologies and present an unprecedented opportunity to provide clean water to communities that need it most.

Chemistry - Physics - 24.06.2021
Lowering the carbon footprint of fabric and plastic manufacturing
Manufacturing of plastics and fabrics could become greener and have a lower carbon footprint, thanks to a new catalyst architecture developed by a team of experts including UCL academics. Propylene, produced from propane, is critical to the manufacture of plastics, fabrics and other chemicals, and is in short supply.

Physics - Chemistry - 16.06.2021
A sharper focus on protein behaviour
A sharper focus on protein behaviour
Scientists have developed a new computational technique that allows them to see in finer detail the way protein molecules behave.

Chemistry - Computer Science - 10.06.2021
Robot chemist offers insight into the origins of life
A robotic 'evolution machine' capable of exploring the generational development of chemical mixtures over long periods of time could help cast new light on the origins of life, scientists say. A team of chemists from the University of Glasgow developed the robot, which uses a machine-learning algorithm to make decisions about which chemicals from a selection of 18 to combine in a reactor, and how to set conditions under which the reaction occurs.

Environment - Chemistry - 10.06.2021
'Vegan spider silk' provides sustainable alternative to single-use plastics
’Vegan spider silk’ provides sustainable alternative to single-use plastics
Researchers have created a plant-based, sustainable, scalable material that could replace single-use plastics in many consumer products. It was a surprise to find our research could also address a big problem in sustainability: that of plastic pollution Tuomas Knowles The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, created a polymer film by mimicking the properties of spider silk, one of the strongest materials in nature.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 08.06.2021
Efficiently ’switching on’ bacteria to produce high-value chemicals
Most high-value chemicals are currently produced using fossil fuels - industrial chemistry's use of petroleum accounts for 14% of all greenhouse gas emissions. An exciting alternative is to engineer bacteria as -cell-factories- with a genetic switch that reroutes their chemistry to produce high-value chemicals, such as biofuels, polymers and pharmaceuticals.

Chemistry - Physics - 24.05.2021
Complex molecules could hold the secret to identifying alien life
A new system capable of identifying complex molecular signatures could aid in the search for alien life in the universe and could even lead to the creation of new forms of life in the laboratory, scientists say. University of Glasgow researchers have developed a new method called Assembly Theory which can be used to quantify how assembled or complex a molecule is in the laboratory using techniques like mass spectrometry.

Chemistry - 12.05.2021
Scientists pioneer creation of programmable artificial tissues from synthetic cells
Scientists pioneer creation of programmable artificial tissues from synthetic cells
Scientists have created new artificial tissues that mimic some of the complex characteristics and abilities of living tissues, paving the way towards unprecedented advances in medicine, soft-robotics, and micro-engineering. The University of Bristol-led breakthrough, published in Advanced Materials , reports the first way to produce centimetre-sized artificial tissues of any shape and with complex internal structures.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 10.05.2021
Discovery of methanol in a 'warm' planet-forming disk
Discovery of methanol in a ’warm’ planet-forming disk
Astronomers have identified the molecule methanol in the 'warm zones' of a protoplanetary disk circling a star about 360 light years from Earth. The finding is significant because although methanol - CH3OH - is one of the simpler complex carbon-based molecules, it is a precursor chemical involved in the creation of more complex substances such as amino acids and proteins, the building blocks of life.

Environment - Chemistry - 29.04.2021
Hidden air pollutants on the rise in India and UK
Levels of air pollutants in cities in India and the UK are on the rise, according to a new study led by UCL and the University of Birmingham. Published today in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, researchers analysed satellite data to estimate trends in a range of air pollutants for 2005 to 2018.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 20.04.2021
From extravagant to achievable - pushing the boundaries of research to find life beyond Earth
From extravagant to achievable - pushing the boundaries of research to find life beyond Earth
The University of Cambridge is creating a new research initiative, bringing together physicists, chemists, biologists, mathematicians, and earth scientists to answer fundamental questions on the origin and nature of life in the Universe.

History / Archeology - Chemistry - 14.04.2021
Ancient pottery reveals the first evidence for honey hunting in prehistoric West Africa
Ancient pottery reveals the first evidence for honey hunting in prehistoric West Africa
A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, with colleagues from Goethe University, Frankfurt, has found the first evidence for ancient honey hunting, locked inside pottery fragments from prehistoric West Africa, dating back some 3,500 years ago. Honeybees are an iconic species, being the world's most important pollinator of food crops.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 30.03.2021
Research given significant boost to develop lithium-rich battery cathodes
A team of scientists, including those based at the University of Oxford as part of the Faraday Institution CATMAT project, researching next-generation cathode materials have made a significant breakthrough in understanding oxygen-redox processes involved in lithium-rich cathode materials. The paper proposes strategies that offer potential routes to increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries.