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Physics - Materials Science - 10.09.2020
Computational modelling explains why blues and greens are brightest colours in nature
Computational modelling explains why blues and greens are brightest colours in nature
Researchers have shown why intense, pure red colours in nature are mainly produced by pigments, instead of the structural colour that produces bright blue and green hues.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 24.08.2020
New insights into lithium-ion battery failure mechanism
Researchers have identified a potential new degradation mechanism for electric vehicle batteries - a key step to designing effective methods to improve battery lifespan. The researchers, from the Universities of Cambridge and Liverpool, and the Diamond Light Source, have identified one of the reasons why state-of-the-art 'nickel-rich' battery materials become fatigued, and can no longer be fully charged after prolonged use.

Materials Science - Physics - 12.08.2020
Coffee stains inspire optimal printing technique for electronics
Coffee stains inspire optimal printing technique for electronics
Using an alcohol mixture, researchers modified how ink droplets dry, enabling cheap industrial-scale printing of electronic devices at unprecedented scales. The natural form of ink droplets is spherical - however, because of their composition, our ink droplets behave like pancakes Tawfique Hasan Have you ever spilled your coffee on your desk? You may then have observed one of the most puzzling phenomena of fluid mechanics - the coffee ring effect.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 17.07.2020
New membrane could cut emissions and energy use in oil refining
New membrane could cut emissions and energy use in oil refining
Imperial has co-developed the first synthetic membrane to separate crude oil and crude oil fractions, which could help reduce carbon emissions. Crude oil is refined to create fuels like diesel, petrol and jet fuel, as well as lubricants and plastics. However, the processes used to create these byproducts are a major source of pollutants to the air, water, and soil.

Materials Science - Life Sciences - 06.07.2020
Cell 'membrane on a chip' could speed up screening of drug candidates for COVID-19
Cell ’membrane on a chip’ could speed up screening of drug candidates for COVID-19
Researchers have developed a human cell 'membrane on a chip' that allows continuous monitoring of how drugs and infectious agents interact with our cells, and may soon be used to test potential drug candidates for COVID-19. This type of screening is typically done by the pharmaceutical industry with live cells, but our device provides an easier alternative Róisín Owens The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, Cornell University and Stanford University, say their device could mimic any cell type-bacterial, human or even the tough cells walls of plants.

Health - Materials Science - 01.07.2020
New plastic biomaterials could lead to tougher, more versatile medical implants
A new thermoplastic biomaterial, which is tough and strong but also easy to process and shape has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham. A type of nylon, the material's shape memory properties enable it to be stretched and moulded but able to reform into its original shape when heated.

Health - Materials Science - 08.06.2020
Virus DNA spread across hospital ward in 10 hours
Virus DNA left on a hospital bed rail was found in nearly half of all sites sampled across a ward within 10 hours and persisted for at least five days, according to a new study by UCL and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). The study, published as a letter in the Journal of Hospital Infection , aimed to safely simulate how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, may spread across surfaces in a hospital.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 29.05.2020
New materials could make greener fast-charging batteries
New materials could make greener fast-charging batteries
Researchers have created a fast-charging battery prototype that uses sodium instead of lithium, potentially leading to more sustainable batteries. The prototype is one of the first to successfully use sodium in an organic battery that can be quickly charged and discharged hundreds of times without losing any capacity.

Materials Science - Environment - 11.05.2020
Working up a sweat could power future wearable devices
A new generation of wearable devices could be powered by human sweat instead of conventional, environmentally-unfriendly batteries, scientists say. In a new paper published today in the journal Advanced Materials, engineers from the Bendable Electronics and Sensing Technologies (BEST) group at the University of Glasgow describe how working up a sweat could be enough to generate power for exercise monitors and other electronic devices in the future.

Materials Science - Environment - 06.05.2020
New material engineered to capture carbon dioxide emissions
Researchers at UCL and Newcastle University have developed a new class of self-forming membrane to separate carbon dioxide from a mixture of gases. Operating like a coffee filter, it lets harmless gases, such as nitrogen, exit into the atmosphere and allows the carbon dioxide to be processed separately.

Environment - Materials Science - 30.04.2020
Largest amount of microplastics found on ocean floor
Largest amount of microplastics found on ocean floor
Our researchers have helped record the highest level of microplastics ever found on the ocean floor - with up to 1.9 million pieces in an area of just one square metre. The discovery highlights the problem of plastic pollution in our seas, 99 per cent of which lies beneath the waves. Working as part of an international team the researchers have shown how deep-sea currents act as conveyor belts, transporting tiny plastic fragments and fibres across the seafloor.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 29.04.2020
MRI scanning assists with next generation battery design
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide an effective way of supporting the development of the next generation of high-performance rechargeable batteries, according to research led by the University of Birmingham. The technique, which was developed to detect the movement and deposition of sodium metal ions within a sodium battery, will enable faster evaluation of new battery materials, and help to accelerate this type of battery's route to market.

Materials Science - Physics - 16.04.2020
Shedding light on dark traps
Shedding light on dark traps
Researchers pinpoint the origin of defects that sap the performance of next-generation solar technology. We now know what to target to bring up the performances of perovskites. Samuel Stranks A multi-institutional collaboration, co-led by scientists at the University of Cambridge and Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), has identified the source of efficiency-limiting defects in potential materials for next-generation solar cells and LEDs.

Materials Science - 03.04.2020
Artificial fog helps lasers shine brighter
Artificial fog helps lasers shine brighter
Laser-based lights could replace lightbulbs thanks to an artificial 'fog' that scatters laser light, producing high brightness at low power. The new and improved laser-based lights could be used anywhere from indoor lighting and projectors to car headlights and outdoor floodlights. As they produce high brightness at low power, they would be more energy-efficient than regular lightbulbs or LEDs.

Physics - Materials Science - 31.03.2020
Way to extract colour from black
Scientists have developed a way of extracting a richer palette of colours from the available spectrum by harnessing disordered patterns inspired by nature that would typically be seen as black. Colours that we see in nature often come from nanoscale patterns that reflect light back in particular ways.

Materials Science - Health - 05.03.2020
Bacteria killed by new light-activated coating
A new coating that activates in low intensity light to kill bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli has been developed by a UCL-led team of researchers. To stop the spread of disease, it could be used to coat phone screens and keyboards, as well as the inside of catheters and breathing tubes, which are a major source of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs).

Chemistry - Materials Science - 02.03.2020
New tools show a way forward for large-scale storage of renewable energy
New tools show a way forward for large-scale storage of renewable energy
A technique based on the principles of MRI and NMR has allowed researchers to observe not only how next-generation batteries for large-scale energy storage work, but also how they fail, which will assist in the development of strategies to extend battery lifetimes in support of the transition to a zero-carbon future.

Life Sciences - Materials Science - 25.02.2020
Fur-friendly 'wearable for pets' developed at Imperial
Fur-friendly ’wearable for pets’ developed at Imperial
Imperial College researchers London have invented a new health tracking sensor for pets and people that monitors vital signs through fur or clothing Our stretchy, flexible invention heralds a whole new type of sensor that can track the health of animals and humans alike over fur or clothing. Dr Firat Guder Department of Bioengineering The new type of sensor, which can detect vital signs like heart and breathing rates through fur and up to four layers of clothing, could help make everyday wearables for pets and livestock a reality.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 17.02.2020
Fast-charging, long-running, bendy energy storage breakthrough
A new bendable supercapacitor made from graphene, which charges quickly and safely stores a record-high level of energy for use over a long period, has been developed and demonstrated by UCL and Chinese Academy of Sciences researchers. While at the proof-of-concept stage, it shows enormous potential as a portable power supply in several practical applications including electric vehicles, phones and wearable technology.

Materials Science - 07.02.2020
Scientists create ’Chemical gardens’ that can be used as bone substitute materials
A new way of making bone-replacement materials that allows for cells to grow around and inside them has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham. The team adopted a novel approach called chemobrionics, in which chemical components are controllably driven to react together in specific ways, enabling the self-assembly of intricate bio-inspired structures.
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