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From lab to industry? Ideally ordered porous titania films, made at scale
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have realized high-throughput production of thin, ordered through-hole membranes of titanium dioxide. Titania layers were grown using anodization on mask-etched titanium before being crystallized. Applying a second anodization, they converted part of the layer back to an amorphous state. The amorphous portion was then selectively dissolved to free the film while leaving the template intact. This paves the way for industrial production of ordered titania membranes for photonics. (2020-11-21)

Giant aquatic bacterium is a master of adaptation
The largest freshwater bacterium, Achromatium oxaliferum, is highly flexible in its requirements, as researchers led by the IGB have now discovered: It lives in places that differ extremely in environmental conditions such as hot springs and ice water. The adaptation is probably achieved by a process which is unique to these bacteria: only relevant genes are enriched in the genomes and transcribed, while others are archived in cell compartments. (2020-11-19)

Dual brake on transport protein prevents cells from exploding
A high concentration of salt or sugar in the environment will dehydrate microorganisms and stop them from growing. To counter this, bacteria can increase their internal solute concentration. Scientists from the University of Groningen elucidated the structure of a transport protein OpuA, that imports glycine betaine to counter osmotic stress. The protein belongs to the well-known family of ABC transporters, but it has a unique structure and working mechanism. (2020-11-18)

Ancient zircon minerals from Mars reveal the elusive internal structure of the red planet
Analysis of an ancient meteorite from Mars suggests that the mineral zircon may be abundant on the surface of the red planet. By determining the age and hafnium isotope composition of these zircons, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have shown that a population of these crystals were sourced from the deep interior of Mars. If the researchers are correct, it means that the young zircons contain information about the deep, inaccessible interior of Mars, which provides insights into the internal structure of the planet. (2020-11-17)

Success in controlling perovskite ions' composition paves the way for device applications
Hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites have received much attention as potential next generation solar cells and as materials for light-emitting devices. Kobe University's Associate Professor TACHIKAWA Takashi (of the Molecular Photoscience Research Center) and Dr. KARIMATA Izuru (previously a graduate student engaged in research at the Graduate School of Science) have succeeded in completely substituting the halide ions of perovskite nanocrystals while maintaining their morphology and light-emitting efficiency. (2020-11-13)

Order from chaos
Engineers from Kyoto Universityg have developed a new beam scanning device utilizing photonic crystals, eliminating the use of mechanical mirrors. The team found that modulating the shape and position of the lattice allows the laser beam to be emitted in a unique direction, opening the door for compact multi-directional beam scanner technology. (2020-11-13)

Time for a new state of matter in high-temperature superconductors
Scientists from Universität Hamburg have pointed out how to create a time crystal in an intriguing class of materials, the high-temperature superconductors. They propose to drive these superconducting materials into a time crystalline state by inducing Higgs excitations via light. The work is reported in the journal Physical Review Research. (2020-11-12)

Research produces intense light beams with quantum correlations
Potential applications of research conducted at the University of São Paulo include high-precision metrology and information encoding. (2020-11-12)

Connecting two classes of unconventional superconductors
The understanding of unconventional superconductivity is one of the most challenging and fascinating tasks of solid-state physics. Different classes of unconventional superconductors share that superconductivity emerges near a magnetic phase despite the underlying physics is different. (2020-11-11)

Researchers trap electrons to create elusive crystal
Now, a Cornell-led collaboration has developed a way to stack two-dimensional semiconductors and trap electrons in a repeating pattern that forms a specific and long-hypothesized crystal. (2020-11-11)

Clemson researchers decode thermal conductivity with light
Clemson researchers examine a highly efficient thermoelectric material in a new way - by using light. (2020-11-09)

Germanium telluride's hidden properties at the nanoscale revealed
Germanium Telluride is an interesting candidate material for spintronic devices. In a comprehensive study at BESSY II, a Helmholtz-RSF Joint Research Group has now revealed how the spin texture switches by ferroelectric polarization within individual nanodomains. (2020-11-06)

The applications of liquid crystals have been extended to drug encapsulation
Widely used in the manufacture of LCD screens and, more recently, phosphorescent sensors, liquid crystals may also have an important application in biomedicine. An international research group led by the Complutense University of Madrid has leveraged the structure of certain liquid crystal materials to encapsulate and transport water-insoluble compounds with characteristics similar to those of many anti-tumour drugs that are difficult to administer because of their high hydrophobicity. (2020-11-06)

A new method to measure optical absorption in semiconductor crystals
Tohoku University researchers have revealed more details about omnidirectional photoluminescence (ODPL) spectroscopy - a method for probing semiconducting crystals with light to detect defects and impurities. (2020-10-29)

Time crystals lead researchers to future computational work
Time crystals sound like something out of science fiction, but they may be the next major leap in quantum network research. A team based in Japan has proposed a method to use time crystals to simulate massive networks with very little computing power. They published their results on October 16 Science Advances. (2020-10-23)

Do the twist: Making two-dimensional quantum materials using curved surfaces
Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered a way to control the growth of twisting, microscopic spirals of materials just one atom thick. The continuously twisting stacks of two-dimensional materials built by a team led by UW-Madison chemistry Professor Song Jin create new properties that scientists can exploit to study quantum physics on the nanoscale. (2020-10-22)

Volcanic eruptions may explain Denmark's giant mystery crystals
Researchers have long been stumped for an explanation of how tens of millions of years-old giant crystals known as glendonites came to be on the Danish islands of Fur and Mors. A recent study from the University of Copenhagen offers a possible explanation to the conundrum: major volcanic eruptions resulted in episodes of much cooler prehistoric climates than once thought. (2020-10-14)

When Fock meets Landau: Topology in atom-photon interactions
Topological photonics concerns the classical wave simulation of electronic band topology. Does the quantum nature of light embed new topological states? By exploiting the similarity between the Jaynes-Cummings model and graphene, topological states of quantized light were found with a wealth of physics involving the valley Hall effect, the Haldane model and the Lifshitz topological transition. This research built a bridge between quantum electrodynamics and topological phases in condensed matter physics. (2020-10-14)

Perovskite materials: Neutrons show twinning in halide perovskites
Solar cells based on hybrid halide perovskites achieve high efficiencies. These mixed organic-inorganic semiconductors are usually produced as thin films of microcrystals. An investigation with the Laue camera at the neutron source BER II could now clarify that twinning occurs during crystallisation even at room temperature. This insight is helpful for optimising production processes of halide perovskites. (2020-10-13)

Well-formed disorder for versatile light technologies
Researchers at ETH have managed to make an efficient material for broadband frequency doubling of light using microspheres made of disordered nanocrystals. The crucial idea for the method arose during a coffee break. In the future, the new approach could be used in lasers and other light technologies. (2020-10-13)

Using electric current to stabilize low-permeability soils
EPFL scientists have developed a new approach to stabilizing clay soils. The method involves using a battery-like system to apply electric current to carbonate and calcium ions in order to promote soil consolidation. Their findings were published today in Scientific Reports. (2020-10-12)

Chemists create new crystal form of insecticide, boosting its ability to fight mosquitoes and malaria
Through a simple process of heating and cooling, New York University researchers have created a new crystal form of deltamethrin -- a common insecticide used to control malaria -- resulting in an insecticide that is up to 12 times more effective against mosquitoes than the existing form. (2020-10-12)

Sapphires show their true colors: Not water-loving
The researchers investigated the wetting behavior of four different crystal surfaces of sapphire (alumina) single crystal and found that although the surface of polycrystalline alumina is hydrophilic (water contact angle was about 10°), the intrinsic water contact angles of all four crystal surfaces are greater than 10°. Among them, the (1-102) crystal surface is intrinsic hydrophobic, which water contact angle is close to 90°. (2020-10-10)

Making bones is less difficult than was previously thought
The way in which bone formation occurs needs to be redefined. This was revealed by Radboud university medical center researchers and their colleagues in a publication in Nature Communications. It turns out that bone formation does not require complex biomolecules in collagen at all. This means that the production of bone substitutes and biomaterials is less complicated than was previously thought. (2020-10-08)

New techniques probe vital and elusive proteins
Researchers at the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and ASU's School of Molecular Sciences, along with their colleagues, investigate a critically important class of proteins, which adorn the outer membranes of cells. Such membrane proteins often act as receptors for binding molecules, initiating signals that can alter cell behavior in a variety of ways. (2020-10-06)

Earth grows fine gems in minutes
Some of Earth's finest gemstones grew in a matter of minutes. Rice University geologists made that discovery while investigating mineral formations that are rich in lithium and rare metals. The research appears this week in Nature Communications. (2020-10-06)

Snakes reveal the origin of skin colours
The skin colour of vertebrates depends on chromatophores. A team from the University of Geneva is studying the variety of colours within the corn snake species. The research, demonstrates that the dull colour of the lavender variant of corn snake is caused by the mutation of a gene involved in forming lysosomes enough to affect every skin colour. The UNIGE study marks a step forward in our understanding of the origin of skin colours. (2020-10-05)

Tohoku University teaches old spectroscope new tricks
Tohoku University researchers have improved a method for probing semiconducting crystals with light to detect defects and impurities. The details of their 'omnidirectional photoluminescence (ODPL) spectroscopy' set-up were published in the journal Applied Physics Express, and could help improve the fabrication of materials for electric cars and solar cells. (2020-10-05)

Water at the end of the tunnel
We humans need oxygen to breath - for a lot of microbes it is a lethal poison. That is why microorganisms have developed ways to render oxygen molecules harmless. Microbiologists from Bremen, Marburg and Grenoble have now succeeded in decrypting such a mechanism. They show, how methane-generating microbes transform oxygen into water without causing any damage to the cell. These findings are relevant for future bio-inspired processes. (2020-09-28)

Landmark discovery could improve Army lasers, precision sensors
An Army-funded landmark discovery at New York University could change the way researchers develop and use optical technologies, such as lasers, sensors and photonic circuits over the next decade. After years of research, the team of scientists achieved what many thought was perhaps impossible-they developed a method to create colloids that crystallize into the diamond lattice. This photonic technique, published in Nature, could lead to cheap, reliable and scalable fabrication of 3D photonic crystals for optical circuits and light filters. (2020-09-28)

FSU researchers help develop sustainable polymers
Researchers at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering have made new discoveries on the effects of temperature on sustainable polymers. Their findings may help the industry to produce plastics that are better for the environment. (2020-09-25)

Nanocrystals make volcanoes explode
Tiny crystals, ten thousand times thinner than a human hair, can cause explosive volcanic eruptions. This surprising connection has recently been discovered by a German-British research team led by Dr. Danilo Di Genova from the Bavarian Research Institute of Experimental Geochemistry & Geophysics (BGI) at the University of Bayreuth. (2020-09-24)

Having a ball: Crystallization in a sphere
Researchers at The University of Tokyo and Fudan University furthered our understanding of the crystallization process in confined spaces by visualizing the ordering of colloidal particles in a droplet. The team conducted real-time microscopic observations of the assembly of colloidal particles in droplets to clarify the crystallization process. They found that the kinetically controlled interactions between particles affected the order of the final crystal. Their results take us closer to realizing controlled crystal formation. (2020-09-21)

Halogen bonding: a powerful tool for constructing supramolecular co-crystalline materials
Halogen bonding is emerging as an important driving force for supramolecular self-assembly, and shows great potential in the design and synthesis of new multicomponent supramolecular co-crystalline materials. Co-crystals can retain the inherent property of every component, and exhibit more novel physicochemical properties through synergistic effects between different components, which is helpful to realize the multifunction of materials. Huang's group form Nanjing Tech University summarize the latest advances in halogen-bonding co-crystals, and outline future development directions. (2020-09-14)

Researchers create morphing crystals powered by water evaporation
New study details the design of materials that enable clean and sustainable water evaporation energy that can be harvested and efficiently converted into motion with the potential to power future mechanical devices and machines. (2020-09-14)

CCNY engineer Xi Chen and partners create new shape-changing crystals
Imagine harnessing evaporation as a source of energy or developing next generation actuators and artificial muscles for a broad array of applications. These are the new possibilities with the creation by an international team of researchers, led by The City College of New York's Xi Chen and his co-authors at the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center, of shape-changing crystals that enable energy transfer from evaporation to mechanical motion. (2020-09-14)

Quantitatively understanding of angle-resolved polarized Raman scattering from black phosphorus
Birefringence and linear dichroism in anisotropic materials would break down the selection rule for angle-resolved polarized Raman (ARPR) intensity. Recently, a research team led by Prof. Ping-Heng Tan from Institute of Semiconductors took black phosphorus as an example and proposed the birefringence-linear-dichroism model to quantitatively understand its ARPR intensity at normal and oblique laser incidences by the same set of real Raman tensors, where the birefringence and linear dichroism are considered by complex refractive indexes. (2020-09-11)

New microfluidic device minimizes loss of high value samples
A major collaborative effort that has been developing over the last three years between Arizona State University and European scientists, has resulted in a significant technical advance in X-ray crystallographic sample strategies. (2020-09-09)

Continuous and stable lasing achieved from low-cost perovskites at room temperature
New research from Kyushu University and Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, shows that lasing for over one hour at room temperature can be achieved from low-cost quasi-2D perovskite materials by properly managing losses caused by triplet excitons. This new understanding will help lead the way toward a new class of easily fabricated lasers based on perovskites. (2020-09-02)

Team's flexible micro LEDs may reshape future of wearable technology
University of Texas at Dallas researchers and their international colleagues have developed a method to create micro LEDs that can be folded, twisted, cut and stuck to different surfaces. (2020-08-31)

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