Popular Crystals News and Current Events

Popular Crystals News and Current Events, Crystals News Articles.
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Weyl goes chiral
Quasiparticles that behave like massless fermions, known as Weyl fermions, have been in recent years at the center of a string of exciting findings in condensed matter physics. The group of physicist Sebastian Huber at ETH Zurich now reports experiments in which they got a handle on one of the defining properties of Weyl fermions -- their chirality. (2019-02-11)

Bio-fuel from waste
Fuel from waste? It is possible. But hitherto, converting organic waste to fuel has not been economically viable. Excessively high temperatures and too much energy are required. Using a novel catalyst concept, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now managed to significantly reduce the temperature and energy requirements of a key step in the chemical process. The trick: The reaction takes place in very confined spaces inside zeolite crystals. (2017-06-28)

Physics vs. asthma
A research team from the MIPT Center for Molecular Mechanisms of Aging and Age-Related Diseases has collaborated with colleagues from the U.S., Canada, France, and Germany to determine the spatial structure of the CysLT1 receptor. (2019-10-09)

Strike three
Researchers uncover a previously unrecognized mechanism that may accelerate polycystic kidney disease. (2019-08-26)

Striped glow sticks
It may be possible to reach new levels of miniaturization, speed, and data processing with optical quantum computers, which use light to carry information. For this, we need materials that can absorb and transmit photons. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, Chinese scientists have introduced a new strategy for constructing photonic heterostructure crystals with tunable properties. Using a crystalline rod with stripes that fluoresce in different colors, they have developed a prototype of a logic gate. (2019-08-06)

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field
Scientists at the Earth-Life Science Institute at the Tokyo Institute of Technology report in Nature (Fen. 22, 2017) unexpected discoveries about the Earth's core. The findings include insights into the source of energy driving the Earth's magnetic field, factors governing the cooling of the core and its chemical composition, and conditions that existed during the formation of the Earth. (2017-02-22)

Meteorite bombardment likely to have created the Earth's oldest rocks
Scientists have found that 4.02 billion year old silica-rich felsic rocks from the Acasta River, Canada -- the oldest rock formation known on Earth -- probably formed at high temperatures and at a surprisingly shallow depth of the planet's nascent crust. The high temperatures needed to melt the shallow crust were likely caused by a meteorite bombardment around half a billion years after the planet formed. (2018-08-13)

Recreating the chameleon: material mimics color changes of living organisms
Researchers at Nagoya University created a material containing photochromic dyes, crystals providing structural coloration, and a colored background that mimics the color changes that animals such as frogs, chameleons, and octopuses can display. This material could display different patterns and images depending on whether it was exposed to visible or ultraviolet light, or had a white or black background, which suggests its potential application in a range of next-generation display technologies. (2018-06-27)

Keep the light off: A material with improved mechanical performance in the dark
Nagoya University researchers found that zinc sulfide crystals were brittle under normal lighting conditions at room temperature, but highly plastic when deformed in complete darkness. Deformation of zinc sulfide crystals in the dark also narrowed their band gap, which controls electrical conductivity. The team's findings showed the mechanical and electronic properties of inorganic semiconductors are sensitive to light, revealing a possible route to engineer the performance of inorganic semiconductors, which are important in electronics. (2018-05-17)

New record set for carbon-carbon single bond length
A stable organic compound has been synthesized with a record length for the bond between its carbon atoms, exceeding the assumed limit. (2018-03-08)

Superconductivity in an alloy with quasicrystal structure
A Japanese research team led by Nagoya University discovered the first superconductive quasicrystal. The crystalline alloy Al-Zn-Mg became quasicrystalline when the Al content was reduced to 15 percent, while remaining a superconductor, with a very low critical temperature of ~0.05 K. The alloy behaved like a conventional weakly coupled superconductor, but the role of electronic states that are unique to quasicrystals (critical eigenstates) was not found. However, the existence of fractal superconductivity remains possible. (2018-03-26)

Metal-organic compounds produces new class of glass
Lightning and volcanos both produce glass, and humans have been making glass from silicon dioxide since prehistory. Industrialization brought us boron-based glasses, polymer glasses and metallic glasses, but now an international team of researchers has developed a new family of glass based on metals and organic compounds that stacks up to the original silica in glass-forming ability. (2018-03-09)

Beyond good vibrations: New insights into metamaterial magic
Metamaterials have amazing potential--think invisibility cloaks and perfect lenses--but they are more likely to be found in a Harry Potter novel than a lab. To help bring them closer to reality, Michigan Technological University's Elena Semouchkina has gone back to basics and demonstrated that the fundamental physics of metamaterials is more complex than scientists once thought. (2017-11-06)

Researchers offer new technology for liquid-crystal displays
An international research team from Russia, France, and Germany has proposed a new method for orienting liquid crystals. It could be used to increase the viewing angle of liquid-crystal displays. The researchers have found that by merely adding one methylene group to the side chain of the polymer, they could switch the LC orientation, which is crucial for most applications of liquid crystals, including LCDs. The researchers expect this technology to be considerably simpler and cheaper than other multidomain approaches that are currently used. (2018-05-11)

Charging ahead to higher energy batteries
Researchers have developed a new way to improve lithium ion battery efficiency. Through the growth of a cubic crystal layer, the scientists have created a thin and dense connecting layer between the electrodes of the battery. (2018-02-23)

Mars exhumes methane on a seasonal cycle, Curiosity reveals; rover also detects ancient organic matter
Data from the Curiosity rover, part of two separate studies, furthers scientists' understanding of methane on Mars -- suggesting some of it may be trapped in water-based crystals -- and identifies additional carbon-bearing molecules, central to understanding processes and conditions on the planet. (2018-06-07)

Green material for refrigeration identified
Researchers from the UK and Spain have identified an eco-friendly solid that could replace the inefficient and polluting gases used in most refrigerators and air conditioners. (2019-04-18)

NUS researchers contribute to a Science paper on high-performance low-cost thermoelectrics
Researchers from the National University of Singapore and Beihang University reported the high-performance SnS thermoelectric crystals combining the desirable features of low-cost, earth-abundant materials and environmental friendliness. For the first time, they discovered the interplay of triple electronic bands leading to the high performance of thermoelectric SnS crystals, which is promoted by Se alloying. Furthermore, Se alloying plays a second important role in lowering the thermal transport. (2019-10-01)

Red light for stress
Researchers from the Institute of Industrial Science at The University of Tokyo have created a biphasic luminescent material that changes color when exposed to mechanical stress. This work has many applications in the field of smart materials, which includes sensors for monitoring the strain on objects. (2020-05-01)

Tectonic plates 'weaker than previously thought,' say scientists
Experiments carried out at Oxford University have revealed that tectonic plates are weaker than previously thought. The finding explains an ambiguity in lab work that led scientists to believe these rocks were much stronger than they appeared to be in the natural world. This new knowledge will help us understand how tectonic plates can break to form new boundaries. (2017-09-13)

Locating the precise reaction path: Methane dissociation on platinum
So far, the search for catalysts even better than transition metals has been largely based on trial and error, and on the assumption that catalyzed reactions take place on step edges and other atomic defect sites of the metal crystals. An international research team has combined experiments using advanced infrared techniques with quantum theory to explore methane dissociation reactions in minute detail. They report their findings this week in The Journal of Chemical Physics. (2018-01-02)

A laser for your eyes
A team of the Lomonosov Moscow State University scientists and the Belarusian National Technical University has created a unique laser, which is a compact light source with wavelengths harmless to the human eye. (2016-04-15)

On the path toward molecular robots
Scientists at Hokkaido University have developed light-powered molecular motors that repetitively bend and unbend, bringing us closer to molecular robots. (2016-07-06)

How to trick electrons to see the hidden face of crystals
The 3D analysis of crystal structures requires a full 3D view of the crystals. Crystals as small as powder, with edges less than one micrometer, can only be analysed with electron radiation. With electron crystallography, a full 360-degree view of a single crystal is technically impossible. A team of researchers from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna modified the holder of the tiny crystals so that a full view becomes possible. (2019-07-25)

3-D protein structure offers insight into rapid communication by brain cells
New HHMI research reveals how three proteins help brain cells synchronize the release of chemical signals. A similar interaction may play a role in how cells secrete insulin and airway mucus, too. (2017-09-13)

UA researchers observe electrons zipping around in crystals
For the first time, scientists have tracked electrons moving through exotic materials that may make up the next generation of computing hardware, revealing intriguing properties not found in conventional, silicon-based semiconductors. (2018-02-01)

Biophysicists propose new approach for membrane protein crystallization
Membrane proteins are of great interest to both fundamental research and applied studies (e.g., drug development and optogenetics). Previously, scientistist had to use detergents to stabilize membare proteins (e.g. for x-ray crystallography). For the first time, a team of scientists showed that membrane proteins trapped in synthetic patches of cell membrane called 'nanodiscs' can be transferred into the lipidic cubic phase and crystallized. (2017-03-06)

Discovery could lead to sustainable ethanol made from carbon dioxide
A recent discovery by Stanford University scientists could lead to a new, more sustainable way to make ethanol without corn or other crops. This promising technology has three basic components: water, carbon dioxide and electricity delivered through a copper catalyst. (2017-06-19)

Strange things happen when a crystal gets split in two
Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology have carefully broken potassium tantalate crystals in specific directions, and imaged the resulting surfaces using a state of the art atomic force microscope. Their data was combined with computations and a series of remarkable phenomena were ultimately explained. The results were published in the journal Science, and are potentially useful for technologies such as hydrogen production. (2018-02-01)

Nuclear radiation detecting device could lead to new homeland security tool
A Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory research team has developed an exceptional next-generation material for nuclear radiation detection that could provide a significantly less expensive alternative to detectors now in commercial use. Specifically, the high-performance material is used in a device that can detect gamma rays, weak signals given off by nuclear materials, and can easily identify individual radioactive isotopes. Potential uses include more widespread detectors for nuclear weapons and materials as well as applications in biomedical imaging, astronomy and spectroscopy. (2018-04-25)

High-energy ions' movement affected by silicon crystal periodicity
The thinner the silicon crystal, the easier it is to manipulate the trajectories of very high-energy ions in particle accelerators. Further applications include materials analysis, semiconductor doping and beam transport in large particle accelerators. All of these rely on our understanding of how positively-charged high-energy particles move through crystals. This process, called ion channelling, is the focus of a new paper published in EPJ B by Mallikarjuna Motapothula and Mark Breese working at the National University of Singapore. (2018-03-22)

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom
Members of the Faculties of Chemistry and Fundamental Physical and Chemical Engineering at the Lomonosov Moscow State University in collaboration with foreign partners have synthesized and studied new liquid-crystal photochromic polymers. The research has been fulfilled within the framework of the project, funded by the Russian Science Foundation. (2017-08-18)

Improved model of energy highway along protein strands
In a new study published in EPJ B, Jingxi Luo and Bernard Piette from Durham University, UK, present a new mathematical model that explains the energy transport mechanism permitting energy generated inside a biological cell to move along transmembrane proteins towards the cell's exterior. (2017-09-13)

Space station crew cultivates crystals for drug development
Crew members aboard the International Space Station will begin conducting research this week to improve the way we grow crystals on Earth. (2017-03-31)

Copper ions flow like liquid through crystalline structures
Materials scientists have sussed out the physical phenomenon underlying the promising electrical properties of a class of materials called superionic crystals through the investigation of CuCrSe2. A better understanding of such materials could lead to safer and more efficient rechargeable batteries than the current standard-bearer of lithium ion. (2018-10-08)

Do microbes control the formation of giant copper deposits?
One of the major issues when studying ore deposits formed in surficial or near-surface environments is the relationship between ore-forming processes and bacteria. At a first glance, these environments appear to be a preferred place for the growth of microbial ecosystems because they potentially have large amounts of nutrients. However, studies have been restricted because of the low likelihood of microbe fossilization and because biomarkers are not always definitive. (2019-01-25)

Volcanic crystals give a new view of magma
Volcanologists are gaining a new understanding of what's going on inside the magma reservoir that lies below an active volcano and they're finding a colder, more solid place than previously thought, according to new research published June 16 in the journal Science. (2017-06-15)

Cool idea: Magma held in 'cold storage' before giant volcano eruption
Long Valley, California, has long defined the 'super-eruption.' About 765,000 years ago, a pool of molten rock exploded into the sky. Within one nightmarish week, 760 cubic kilometers of lava and ash spewed out in the kind of volcanic cataclysm we hope never to witness. A new study shows that the giant body of magma -- molten rock -- at Long Valley was much cooler before the eruption than previously thought. (2017-11-06)

Immune deficiency and balance disorder result from single gene defect
A genetic defect that causes a severe immune deficiency in humans may also produce balance disorders, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Iowa, the Jackson Laboratory and East Carolina University. (2008-02-21)

Novel insulators with conducting edges
Physicists at UZH are researching a new class of materials: Higher-order topological insulators. The edges of these crystalline solids conduct electric current without dissipation, while the rest of the crystal remains insulating. This could be useful for applications in semiconductor technology and for building quantum computers. (2018-06-01)

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