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Archive for the ‘materials’ category

Apr 20, 2024

Why it’s so hard for China’s chip industry to become self-sufficient

Posted by in categories: computing, materials

Chip companies from the US and China are developing new materials to reduce reliance on a Japanese monopoly. It won’t be easy.

Apr 20, 2024

Researchers develop sodium battery capable of rapid charging in just a few seconds

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Sodium (Na), which is over 500 times more abundant than lithium (Li), has recently garnered significant attention for its potential in sodium-ion battery technologies. However, existing sodium-ion batteries face fundamental limitations, including lower power output, constrained storage properties, and longer charging times, necessitating the development of next-generation energy storage materials.

Apr 19, 2024

Physicists Created an Exotic Superconductor Controlled by Magnetism

Posted by in categories: materials, physics

Superconductivity continues to revolutionize technology in so many ways. While some technological advances rely on finding ways to encourage zero-resistance currents at warmer temperatures, engineers are also considering better ways of fine-controlling the super-efficient flow of electrons.

Unfortunately, many processes that would work just fine for run-of-the-mill electronics, such as the application of external magnetic fields, risk interfering with the properties that make superconductors so efficient.

An international team of scientists has succeeded in confining an exotic state of superconductivity that’s controlled by strong magnetism rather than disrupted by it.

Apr 19, 2024

Spintronics: A new path to room temperature swirling spin textures

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

In some materials, spins form complex magnetic structures within the nanometer and micrometer scale in which the magnetization direction twists and curls along specific directions. Examples of such structures are magnetic bubbles, skyrmions, and magnetic vortices.

Apr 19, 2024

New research could enable more—and more efficient—synthesis of metastable materials

Posted by in category: materials

Ion exchange is a powerful technique for converting one material to another when synthesizing new products. In this process, scientists know what reactants lead to what products, but how the process works—the exact pathway of how one material can be converted to another—has remained elusive.

Apr 19, 2024

Securing critical minerals for energy transition requires collective action

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

To power the energy transition, the world needs a reliable supply of critical minerals. Finding alternative materials can help secure the transition.

Apr 19, 2024

Development of organic semiconductors featuring ultrafast electrons

Posted by in category: materials

Scientists have created conducting two-dimensional polymers exhibiting electron mobility comparable to graphene. Their research has been featured in the online edition of Chem.

Apr 19, 2024

Quantum Barkhausen noise detected for the first time

Posted by in categories: materials, quantum physics

Quantum Barkhausen noise, which arises from the cooperative quantum tunnelling of a huge number of magnetic spins, has been observed for the first time and may be the largest macroscopic quantum phenomena ever seen.


Researchers in the US and Canada have detected an effect known as quantum Barkhausen noise for the first time. The effect, which comes about thanks to the cooperative quantum tunnelling of a huge number of magnetic spins, may be the largest macroscopic quantum phenomena yet observed in the laboratory.

In the presence of a magnetic field, electron spins (or magnetic moments) in a ferromagnetic material all line up in the same direction – but not all at once. Instead, alignment occurs piecemeal, with different regions, or domains, falling into line at different times. These domains influence each other in a way that can be likened to an avalanche. Just as one clump of snow pushes on neighbouring clumps until the entire mass comes tumbling down, so does alignment spread through the domains until all spins point in the same direction.

Continue reading “Quantum Barkhausen noise detected for the first time” »

Apr 18, 2024

3D-printed “metamaterial” is stronger than anything in nature

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

Using lasers and metal powder, Australian scientists have created a super strong, super lightweight new — but they got the idea for this sci fi-sounding creation from plants.

The challenge: Materials that are strong yet lightweight, such as carbon fiber and graphene, are used to make everything from medical implants to airships, and developing ones with ever greater “strength-to-weight ratios” is the goal of many material scientists.

In pursuit of that goal, some have turned to nature, looking for ways to replicate in metal the hollow lattice structures, like those in the Victoria water lily, that make some plants remarkably strong.

Apr 18, 2024

Farewell to metals in industry forever: the material that science fiction predicted and has just been produced

Posted by in categories: futurism, materials

A new, microscopic material will end with metals in industry: this is the new futuristic alternative that you will see from now on.

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