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Physics - Chemistry - 23.08.2023
Graphene discovery could help generate cheaper and more sustainable hydrogen
Researchers from The University of Manchester and the University of Warwick finally solved the long-standing puzzle of why graphene is so much more permeable to protons than expected by theory. A decade ago, scientists at The University of Manchester demonstrated that graphene is permeable to protons, nuclei of hydrogen atoms.

Physics - Chemistry - 16.08.2023
Switching 'spin' on and off (and up and down) in quantum materials at room temperature
Switching ’spin’ on and off (and up and down) in quantum materials at room temperature
Researchers have found a way to control the interaction of light and quantum -spin- in organic semiconductors, that works even at room temperature. These new materials hold great promise for completely new applications, since we've been able to remove the need for ultra-cold temperatures Sebastian Gorgon Spin is the term for the intrinsic angular momentum of electrons, which is referred to as up or down.

Chemistry - 11.08.2023
Mosquito hearing could be targeted by insecticides
Mosquito hearing could be targeted by insecticides
Specific receptors in the ears of mosquitoes have been revealed to modulate their hearing, finds a new study led by researchers at UCL and University of Oldenburg. Scientists say, this discovery could help develop new insecticides and control the spread of harmful diseases, such as malaria. The ability of male mosquitoes to hear female mosquitoes is a crucial requirement for their reproduction.

Physics - Chemistry - 10.08.2023
Making molecules dance to our tune reveals what drives their first movements
Making molecules dance to our tune reveals what drives their first movements
Bringing ultrafast physics to structural biology has revealed the dance of molecular -coherence- in unprecedented clarity. How molecules change when they react to stimuli such as light is fundamental in biology, for example during photosynthesis. Scientists have been working to unravel the workings of these changes in several fields, and by combining two of these, researchers have paved the way for a new era in understanding the reactions of protein molecules fundamental for life.

Chemistry - Astronomy / Space - 08.08.2023
Chemical contamination on International Space Station is out of this world
Chemical contamination on International Space Station is out of this world
Astronauts on the International Space Station are exposed to higher levels of potentially harmful chemical compounds than are found in homes on earth. Concentrations of potentially harmful chemical compounds in dust collected from air filtration systems on the International Space Station (ISS) exceed those found in floor dust from many American homes, a new study reveals.

Chemistry - Environment - 03.08.2023
Mussel-inspired membrane can boost sustainability and add value to industrial wastewater treatment
New nanoporous membrane allows highly efficient separation of wastewater components for reuse, offering industries sustainability and added-value benefits Engineers have developed a new kind of membrane that separates chemicals within wastewater so effectively that they can be reused, presenting a new opportunity for industries to improve sustainability, while extracting valuable by-products and chemicals from wastewater.

Physics - Chemistry - 31.07.2023
Can rainbows monitor the environment?
Can rainbows monitor the environment?
New nanotechnology may make it easier to identify the chemical composition of impurities and their geometrical shape in samples of air, liquid and live tissue. Using conventional testing techniques, it can be challenging - sometimes impossible - to detect harmful contaminants such as nano-plastics, air pollutants and microbes in living organisms and natural materials.

Chemistry - Environment - 25.07.2023
New method of recycling coloured plastics offers possible solution to ’huge environmental challenge’, scientists claim
A new method for recycling coloured plastics has been developed by scientists at Cardiff University. The process, which breaks down coloured polymers, the principal component of plastics, into their original components, could lead to a circular plastic recycling economy reducing pollution on land and in our oceans, the researchers claim.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 19.07.2023
Oxygen ’holes’ could hold the key to higher performing EV batteries
Scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding and overcoming the challenges associated with nickel-rich materials used in lithium-ion batteries. This will enhance the stability and longevity of these lithium-ion batteries, paving the way for more efficient and reliable energy storage systems Annalena Genreith-Schriever Nickel is already used in lithium-ion batteries, but increasing the proportion of nickel could significantly improve battery energy density, making them especially suitable for electric vehicles and grid-scale storage.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 19.07.2023
Current thinking on batteries overturned by cathode oxidation research
Current thinking on batteries overturned by cathode oxidation research
Nickel-rich cathode materials are used in lithium-ion batteries, but their practical applications have been limited. Scientists have made a significant breakthrough in understanding and overcoming the challenges associated with Ni-rich cathode materials used in lithium-ion batteries. These materials have the potential to achieve both high voltages and capacities, but their practical applications have been hindered by structural instabilities and loss of oxygen.

Chemistry - Innovation - 14.07.2023
Oxford chemists achieve breakthrough achievement: hazard-free production of fluorochemicals
Several glass structures of molecules are suspended in the air: the molecules have a central atom, with four connected ones radiating outwards. Image credit: Shutterstock. For the first time, Oxford chemists have generated fluorochemicals - critical for many industries - without the use of hazardous hydrogen fluoride gas.

Physics - Chemistry - 11.07.2023
Copper could help create clearer MRI images and improved diagnosis
Copper could help create clearer MRI images and improved diagnosis
Discovery opens up applications beyond what biology is currently capable of - showcasing how we might engineer new technologies. Scientists have found a new use for copper in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent design, that could help to create better images which help doctors diagnose patients' conditions more easily and safely.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 28.06.2023
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder have an imbalance of brain chemicals
According to new research shared in The Conversation, Dr Marjan Biria (UCL Psychiatry) and researchers from Cambridge University have discovered an imbalance in brain chemicals in OCD that could lead to radically different and improved treatments. People often jokingly say they've "got a bit of OCD" (obsessive-compulsive disorder) if they are overly organised or tidy.

Environment - Chemistry - 19.06.2023
Clean, sustainable fuels made 'from thin air' and plastic waste
Clean, sustainable fuels made ’from thin air’ and plastic waste
Researchers have demonstrated how carbon dioxide can be captured from industrial processes - or even directly from the air - and transformed into clean, sustainable fuels using just the energy from the sun. We are not just interested in decarbonisation, but de-fossilisation - we need to completely eliminate fossil fuels in order to create a truly circular economy Erwin Reisner The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, developed a solar-powered reactor that converts captured CO2 and plastic waste into sustainable fuels and other valuable chemical products.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 08.06.2023
University of Glasgow contributes to ’game-changing’ new study on electric batteries
A researcher from the James Watt School of Engineering is a co-author of a new study which could significantly improve future generations of electric vehicle (EV) batteries. Dr Guanchen Li contributed to the research, which is led by the University of Oxford and published in Nature . Using advanced imaging techniques, the researchers revealed mechanisms which cause lithium metal solid-state batteries (Li-SSBs) to fail.

Chemistry - Environment - 05.06.2023
New water pollution monitoring system set to make a splash
A new form of low-cost, 3D-printed water pollution sensor could make a splash in the world of environmental monitoring, its developers say. A team of researchers from universities in Scotland, Portugal and Germany developed the sensor, which can help detect the presence of very low concentrations of pesticides in water samples.

Chemistry - Environment - 18.05.2023
Driving on sunshine: clean, usable liquid fuels made from solar power
Driving on sunshine: clean, usable liquid fuels made from solar power
Researchers have developed a solar-powered technology that converts carbon dioxide and water into liquid fuels that can be added directly to a car-s engine as drop-in fuel. Shining sunlight on the artificial leaves and getting liquid fuel from carbon dioxide and water is an amazing bit of chemistry Motiar Rahaman The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, harnessed the power of photosynthesis to convert CO2, water and sunlight into multicarbon fuels - ethanol and propanol - in a single step.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 19.04.2023
Endurance rowing, parasites and clean clouds: News from the College
Here's a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial. From rowing the Atlantic, to uncovering how parasites move, here is some quick-read news from across the College. Endurance rowing In December 2022, a team including a PhD candidate in the Department of Bioengineering tested their endurance by rowing unsupported across the Atlantic.

Chemistry - Physics - 28.03.2023
Tiny materials have huge solar energy applications
Tiny materials one hundred thousand times smaller than the width of a strand of hair could be used to improve solar cell technology. A study published this month in Advanced Materials shows that materials as small as 1.2 nanometres across could function in solar cells, which harvest energy from the sun.

Health - Chemistry - 22.03.2023
Next epidemic could be spotted early in wastewater, say scientists
Next epidemic could be spotted early in wastewater, say scientists
Bath scientists worked with the water industry and UK Health Security Agency to pilot the first UK public health surveillance system that analyses wastewater. Researchers analysing wastewater say that routine monitoring at sewage treatment works could provide a powerful early warning system for the next flu or norovirus epidemic, alerting hospitals to prepare and providing public health agencies with vital health information.