Topological insulators: a new approach to spintronics

Nitin Samarth, department head of physics at Penn State, works with the molecular beam epitaxy equipment in his lab. He conducts research to design and build new materials needed for radically new kinds of computer chips that could open the door to a new era of super-fast quantum computers. Credit: Fredric Weber, Penn State University.

New material combination could lead to a more efficient approach to computer memory and logic.

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Porous polymer membrane can flex its muscles

A talent for motion: thanks to its pores and chemical structure, the membrane developed by the scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces curls faster and more vigorously than comparable actuators. Image: MPI of Colloids and Interfaces

A membrane that can lift 20 times its own weight when it comes into contact with a solvent vapour has been developed by a German/Chinese team.

Functionalizing microstructuring surfaces without distortion


A team at the University of Central Florida has developed an alternative route for functionalizing polymers using water-based chemistry.

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Ultrasmall plasmonic Ag clusters are supported!


Employing s-SHG and s-CRD spectroscopy, German scientists shed light on silver cluster as small as tens of atoms.

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Mimicking inflammation with a biomimetic interface


An interface that models inflammation and infection will allow researchers to investigate biomolecular dynamics changes in local microenvironments.

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Conductive coatings for flexible touchscreens


Researchers adapt mobile phones and smart phones to the carrying habits of their users.

Microscale Assembly on Liquid Templates: A Promising Tool for Tissue Engineering

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Liquid templates produced by standing (Faraday) waves are used to assemble various soft, rigid, and biological materials in intricate patterns.

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Replacing traditional dyes with cellulose films


Intensely coloured low-cost films made from cellulose could be used in place of toxic dyes, or to detect counterfeit materials.

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Atomically thin solar cells

Atomically Thin Solar Cells 01

Ultrathin layers made of tungsten and selenium may be used as flexible, semi-transparent solar cells.

Improving PSR to better emulate human skin

A Korean group enhance the sensitivity of pressure-sensitive rubber by introducing reverse-micelle-induced pores into conventional PSRs.