Archive for the ‘chemistry’ category

Jul 10, 2024

Mapping the surfaces of MXenes, atom by atom, reveals new potential for the 2D materials

Posted by in categories: chemistry, mapping, particle physics, sustainability

In the decade since their discovery at Drexel University, the family of two-dimensional materials called MXenes has shown a great deal of promise for applications ranging from water desalination and energy storage to electromagnetic shielding and telecommunications, among others. While researchers have long speculated about the genesis of their versatility, a recent study led by Drexel and the University of California, Los Angeles, has provided the first clear look at the surface chemical structure foundational to MXenes’ capabilities.

Using advanced imaging techniques, known as scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS), the team, which also includes researchers from California State University Northridge, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, mapped the electrochemical surface topography of the titanium carbide MXene — the most-studied and widely used member of the family.

Their findings, published in the 5th anniversary issue of the Cell Press journal Matter (“Atomic-scale investigations of Ti 3 C 2 Tx MXene surfaces”), will help to explain the range of properties exhibited by members of the MXene family and allow researchers to tailor new materials for specific applications.

Jul 10, 2024

New organic molecule shatters phosphorescence efficiency records and paves way for rare metal-free applications

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

A research team led by Osaka University discovered that the new organic molecule thienyl diketone shows high-efficiency phosphorescence. It achieved phosphorescence that is more than ten times faster than traditional materials, allowing the team to elucidate this mechanism.

The paper is published in the journal Chemical Science.

Phosphorescence is a valuable optical function used in applications such as organic EL displays (OLEDs) and cancer diagnostics. Until now, achieving high-efficiency phosphorescence without using rare metals such as iridium and platinum has been a significant challenge. Phosphorescence, which occurs when a molecule transitions from a high-energy state to a low-energy state, often competes with non-radiative processes where the molecule loses energy as heat.

Jul 10, 2024

Moving from the visible to the infrared: Developing high quality nanocrystals

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, chemistry, quantum physics

Awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, quantum dots have a wide variety of applications ranging from displays and LED lights to chemical reaction catalysis and bioimaging. These semiconductor nanocrystals are so small – on the order of nanometers – that their properties, such as color, are size dependent, and they start to exhibit quantum properties. This technology has been really well developed, but only in the visible spectrum, leaving untapped opportunities for technologies in both the ultraviolet and infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

In new research published in Nature Synthesis (“Interdiffusion-enhanced cation exchange for HgSe and HgCdSe nanocrystals with infrared bandgaps”), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign bioengineering professor Andrew Smith and postdoctoral researcher Wonseok Lee have developed mercury selenide (HgSe) and mercury cadmium selenide (HgCdSe) nanocrystals that absorb and emit in the infrared, made from already well-developed, visible spectrum cadmium selenide (CdSe) precursors. The new nanocrystal products retained the desired properties of the parent CdSe nanocrystals, including size, shape and uniformity.

“This is the first example of infrared quantum dots that are at the same level of quality as the ones that are in the visible spectrum,” Smith says.

Jul 9, 2024

Organic electrochemical neurons for neuromorphic perception

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, neuroscience

This Perspective explores the potential of organic electrochemical neurons, which are based on organic electrochemical transistors, in the development of adaptable and biointegrable neuromorphic event-based sensing applications.

Jul 9, 2024

Thomas Hartung and colleagues | The future of organoid intelligence | Frontiers Forum Deep Dive 2023

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, computing, engineering, ethics, health, neuroscience, policy


Human brains outperform computers in many forms of processing and are far more energy efficient. What if we could harness their power in a new form of biological computing?

Continue reading “Thomas Hartung and colleagues | The future of organoid intelligence | Frontiers Forum Deep Dive 2023” »

Jul 9, 2024

New carbon storage technology is fastest of its kind

Posted by in categories: chemistry, engineering, sustainability

A new way to store carbon captured from the atmosphere, developed by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, works much faster than current methods without the harmful chemical accelerants they require.

In new research published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, the team developed a technique for ultrafast formation of carbon dioxide hydrates. These unique ice-like materials can bury carbon dioxide in the ocean, preventing it from being released into the atmosphere.

“We’re staring at a huge challenge—finding a way to safely remove gigatons of carbon from our atmosphere—and hydrates offer a universal solution for carbon storage. For them to be a major piece of the carbon storage pie, we need the technology to grow them rapidly and at scale,” said Vaibhav Bahadur, a professor in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering who led the research. “We’ve shown that we can quickly grow hydrates without using any chemicals that offset the environmental benefits of .”

Jul 9, 2024

Sustaining wakefulness: Brainstem connectivity in human consciousness

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, finance, neuroscience

Consciousness is comprised of arousal (i.e., wakefulness) and awareness. Substantial progress has been made in mapping the cortical networks that modulate awareness in the human brain, but knowledge about the subcortical networks that sustain arousal is lacking. We integrated data from ex vivo diffusion MRI, immunohistochemistry, and in vivo 7 Tesla functional MRI to map the connectivity of a subcortical arousal network that we postulate sustains wakefulness in the resting, conscious human brain, analogous to the cortical default mode network (DMN) that is believed to sustain self-awareness. We identified nodes of the proposed default ascending arousal network (dAAN) in the brainstem, hypothalamus, thalamus, and basal forebrain by correlating ex vivo diffusion MRI with immunohistochemistry in three human brain specimens from neurologically normal individuals scanned at 600–750 µm resolution. We performed deterministic and probabilistic tractography analyses of the diffusion MRI data to map dAAN intra-network connections and dAAN-DMN internetwork connections. Using a newly developed network-based autopsy of the human brain that integrates ex vivo MRI and histopathology, we identified projection, association, and commissural pathways linking dAAN nodes with one another and with cortical DMN nodes, providing a structural architecture for the integration of arousal and awareness in human consciousness. We release the ex vivo diffusion MRI data, corresponding immunohistochemistry data, network-based autopsy methods, and a new brainstem dAAN atlas to support efforts to map the connectivity of human consciousness.

One sentence summary We performed ex vivo diffusion MRI, immunohistochemistry, and in vivo 7 Tesla functional MRI to map brainstem connections that sustain wakefulness in human consciousness.

BF has a financial interest in CorticoMetrics, a company whose medical pursuits focus on brain imaging and measurement technologies. BF’s interests were reviewed and are managed by Massachusetts General Hospital and Mass General Brigham HealthCare in accordance with their conflict-of-interest policies.

Jul 8, 2024

Researchers Develop World’s First Anode-Free Sodium Solid-State Battery

Posted by in categories: chemistry, engineering, sustainability, transportation

UChicago Pritzker Molecular Engineering Prof. Y. Shirley Meng’s Laboratory for Energy Storage and Conversion has created the world’s first anode-free sodium solid-state battery.

With this research, the LESC – a collaboration between the UChicago Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering and the University of California San Diego’s Aiiso Yufeng Li Family Department of Chemical and Nano Engineering – has brought the reality of inexpensive, fast-charging, high-capacity batteries for electric vehicles and grid storage closer than ever.

“Although there have been previous sodium, solid-state, and anode-free batteries, no one has been able to successfully combine these three ideas until now,” said UC San Diego PhD candidate Grayson Deysher, first author of a new paper outlining the team’s work.

Jul 8, 2024

New material paves the way to on-chip energy harvesting

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing

Researchers from Germany, Italy, and the UK have achieved a major advance in the development of materials suitable for on-chip energy harvesting. By composing an alloy made of silicon, germanium and tin, they were able to create a thermoelectric material, promising to transform the waste heat of computer processors back into electricity.

With all elements coming from the 4th main group of the periodic table, these new semiconductor alloy can be easily integrated into the CMOS process of chip production. The research findings are published in ACS Applied Energy Materials.

The increasing use of electronic devices in all aspects of our lives is driving up energy consumption. Most of this energy is dissipated into the environment in the form of heat.

Jul 5, 2024

NASA seeks industry support in GLIMR concept study

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, economics, engineering, space, sustainability

WASHINGTON — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced that the agency is seeking assistance from industry as it begins a study into its Geostationary Littoral Imaging and Monitoring Radiometer (GLIMR) Access to Space (ATS) approach.

The GLIMR mission aims to provide transformative rapid observations of dynamic coastal zone ecosystems throughout the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) and coastal continental U.S. (CONUS). Its goal is to observe and monitor ocean biology, chemistry, and ecology to help protect ecosystem sustainability, improve resource management, and enhance economic activity. This includes identifying and tracking harmful algal blooms and oil spills, while also observing, quantifying, and understanding processes associated with rapid changes in phytoplankton growth.

The GLIMR ATS scope is expected to include several key components and activities: the spacecraft itself, the launch vehicle, the integration and testing of the GLIMR payload with the spacecraft, and the integration of the spacecraft with the launch vehicle and subsequent launch. It will also cover the command uplink from the industry-provided Mission Operations Center (MOC), the downlink of GLIMR engineering and science telemetry to industry-allocated ground stations, and the delivery of error-checked GLIMR data to various mission partners. Additionally, it encompasses all related tasks and support required during the planned GLIMR Mission, such as pre-launch planning, launch support, in-orbit check-out, and operations.

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