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Large, good-quality, monatomic sheets of germanene grown simply using annealing
Nagoya University-led researchers have found an easier, scalable way to produce high-quality 2D sheets of germanium, possibly paving the way to industrial-scale production and the advent of the next generation of electronics. (2018-11-15)

Study opens route to flexible electronics made from exotic materials
MIT engineers have developed a technique to fabricate ultrathin semiconducting films made from a host of exotic materials other than silicon. To demonstrate their technique, the researchers fabricated flexible films made from gallium arsenide, gallium nitride, and lithium fluoride -- materials that exhibit better performance than silicon but until now have been prohibitively expensive to produce in functional devices. (2018-10-08)

Invisible needles
An international research group of scientists from Politecnico di Torino (Italy) and NUST MISIS (Russia) has developed a model of a new metamaterial, which will improve the accuracy of nano-sensors in optics and biomedicine by cloaking them from external radiation. The article reporting the results has been recently published in Scientific Reports, a high rank, prestigious interdisciplinary journal, edited by Nature Publishing House. (2018-08-28)

Magnetic skyrmions: Not the only ones of their class
Tiny magnetic vortex structures, so-called skyrmions, have been researched intensively for some time for future energy-efficient space-saving data storage devices. Scientists at Forschungszentrum Jülich have now discovered another class of particle-like magnetic object that could take the development of data storage devices a significant step forward. If skyrmions are used to encode the number ''1'', then the new objects could be used to encode the number ''0''. (2018-06-28)

Spintronics: Controlling magnetic spin with electric fields
EPFL physicists have found a way to reverse electron spins using electric fields for the first time, paving the way for programmable spintronics technologies. (2018-06-19)

New device could increase battery life of electronics by a hundred-fold
Among the chief complaints for smartphone, laptop and other battery-operated electronics users is that the battery life is too short and -- in some cases -- that the devices generate heat. Now, a group of physicists led by Deepak K. Singh, associate professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Missouri, has developed a device material that can address both issues. The team has applied for a patent for a magnetic material that employs a unique structure -- a 'honeycomb' lattice that exhibits distinctive electronic properties. (2018-05-16)

Topological domain walls in helimagnets
Special domain walls with magnetic vortex structures have been discovered in helimagnets. Domain walls can have exotic magnetic properties that the regions which they separate don't reveal. For example, it's possible that the walls may interact more strongly with an electric current and could be used for data transfer and storage in the future. (2018-05-03)

A new way to atomically thin materials
Metallic conductivity and hydrophilicity of MXenes have established them as electrodes in rechargeable batteries and supercapacitors, as well as other applications, including photothermal cancer therapy, electromagnetic shielding, water purification and gas sensing. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, researchers have now introduced a new production method. Instead of using conventional, yet more expensive, titanium aluminum carbide, they selectively etch silicon out of titanium silicon carbide, a cheaper and more common precursor, to synthesize titanium carbide. (2018-04-04)

Kesterite solar cells: Germanium promises better opto-electronic properties than tin
Specific changes in the composition of kesterite-type semiconductors make it possible to improve their suitability as absorber layers in solar cells. As a team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin showed, this is particularly true for kesterites in which tin was replaced by germanium. The scientists examined the samples using neutron diffraction at BER II and other methods. The work was selected for the cover of the journal CrystEngComm. (2018-03-29)

New 'nanotweezers' open door to innovations in medicine, mobile tech
It's difficult to conceptualize a world where humans could casually manipulate nanoscale objects at will or even control their own biological matter at a cellular level with light. But that is precisely what Yuebing Zheng, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, is working toward with his 'nanotweezers' -- a new tool for handling nanoparticles using light that could create opportunities for innovations in nanotechnology and individual health monitoring. (2018-03-27)

Underground neutrino experiment sets the stage for deep discovery about matter
In a study published in Physical Review Letters, collaborators of the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR, an experiment led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have shown they can shield a sensitive, scalable 44-kilogram germanium detector array from background radioactivity. This accomplishment is critical to developing and proposing a much larger future experiment -- with approximately a ton of detectors -- to study the nature of neutrinos. (2018-03-26)

Nanostructures made of previously impossible material
One could think that mixing different materials is easy -- why not just melt them and pour them together? But if the goal is to create well-ordered crystals, things are more complicated. Scientists at TU Wien (Vienna) have now found a way to add large amounts of metal to semiconductor crystals, which changes their properties dramatically. (2018-03-08)

Vanadium dioxyde: A revolutionary material for tomorrow's electronics
Vanadium dioxide's unique properties make it perfect for outperforming silicon and giving rise to a new generation of low-power electronic devices. Under the Phase Change Switch project, which is being funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 research program and coordinated by EPFL researchers, engineers have shown how this compound can be used to create programmable radiofrequency electronic functions for aerospace communication systems. Other applications -- such as in neuromorphic computing and artificial intelligence -- are also on the cards. (2018-02-05)

Engineers design artificial synapse for 'brain-on-a-chip' hardware
Engineers at MIT have designed an artificial synapse in such a way that they can precisely control the strength of an electric current flowing across it, similar to the way ions flow between neurons. The team has built a small chip with artificial synapses, made from silicon germanium. In simulations, the researchers found that the chip and its synapses could be used to recognize samples of handwriting, with 95 percent accuracy. (2018-01-22)

2-D tin (stanene) without buckling: A possible topological insulator
An international research team led by Nagoya University synthesized planar stanene: 2-D sheets of tin atoms, analogous to graphene. Tin atoms were deposited onto the Ag(111) surface of silver. The stanene layer remained extremely flat, unlike in previous studies wherein stanene was buckled. This leads to the formation of large area, high quality samples. Stanene is predicted to be a topological insulator, with applications in quantum computing and nanoelectronics. (2018-01-19)

Russian scientists suggested a new technology for creating magnet micro-structures
A team of scientists from Krasnoyarsk Scientific Center (Siberian Department of Russian Academy of Sciences) and Siberian Federal University synthesized thin crystal ferromagnetic films and developed a technology for their shaping. Processed films can be used in electronic and spintronic chips. The results of the study were published in Thin Solid Films journal. (2017-12-12)

Deducing the properties of a new form of diamond
Earlier this year, amorphous diamond was synthesized for the first time using a technique involving high pressures, moderately high temperatures and a tiny amount of glassy carbon as starting material. A father-son team at Clemson University has now successfully calculated a number of basic physical properties for this new substance, including elastic constants and related quantities. The results are reported this week in Applied Physics Letters. (2017-11-30)

RUDN chemists synthesized a new catalyst for oil and gas processing
A team of scientists from the Research Institute of Chemistry of RUDN University together with colleagues from major scientific centers created a new catalyst -- a substance that activates oxidation processes in low-reactive components of oil and gas. The new method of hydrocarbon processing will help efficiently produce valuable organic substances such as acids and alcohols, using a reaction that requires only minor heating and no increased pressure. (2017-11-17)

Strain-free epitaxy of germanium film on mica
Germanium was the material of choice in the early history of electronic devices, and due to its high charge carrier mobility, it's making a comeback. It's generally grown on expensive single-crystal substrates, adding another challenge to making it sustainably viable for most applications. To address this aspect, researchers demonstrate an epitaxy method that incorporates van der Waals' forces to grow germanium on mica. They discuss their work in the Journal of Applied Physics. (2017-11-17)

Scientists demonstrated 1.3 μm submilliamp threshold quantum dot micro-lasers on Si
A group of researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and University of California, Santa Barbara, successfully demonstrated record-small electrically pumped micro-lasers epitaxially grown on industry standard (001) silicon substrates in a recent study. A submilliamp threshold of 0.6 mA, emitting at the near-infrared (1.3?m) was achieved for a micro-laser with a radius of 5 μm. The thresholds and footprints are orders of magnitude smaller than those previously reported lasers epitaxially grown on Si. (2017-09-18)

Lithium-ion batteries will get more efficiency due to silicon, germanium, carbon nanowalls
Members of the D. V. Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics together with their colleagues from the Faculty of Chemistry of the Lomonosov Moscow State University developed a new silicon- and germanium-based material that could significantly increase. The research results have been published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A. (2017-08-30)

This week from AGU: New research bolsters evidence for life on Mars
This Week from AGU features recent research published in journals of the American Geophysical Union. (2017-08-23)

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials
A team of physicists featuring researchers from MIPT and ITMO University has conducted a comparative analysis of a range of materials to determine if they are applicable to dielectric nanophotonics. Their systematic study produced results that can optimize the use of known materials for building optical nanodevices, as well as encourage the search for new materials with superior properties. (2017-07-21)

Researchers develop dynamic templates critical to printable electronics technology
When it comes to efficiency, sometimes it helps to look to Mother Nature for advice -- even in technology as advanced as printable, flexible electronics. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed bio-inspired dynamic templates used to manufacture organic semiconductor materials that produce printable electronics. It uses a process similar to biomineralization -- the way that bones and teeth form. This technique is eco-friendly, which gives the researchers the chance to return the favor to nature. (2017-07-13)

Powerful new photodetector can enable optoelectronics advances
In a nanoscale photodetector that combines a unique fabrication method and light-trapping structures, a team of engineers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University at Buffalo has overcome obstacles to increasing performance in optoelectronic devices -- like camera sensors or solar cells -- without adding bulk. (2017-07-07)

Making ferromagnets stronger by adding non-magnetic elements
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory discovered that they could functionalize magnetic materials through a thoroughly unlikely method, by adding amounts of the virtually non-magnetic element scandium to a gadolinium-germanium alloy. (2017-06-23)

Development of low-dimensional nanomaterials could revolutionize future technologies
Javier Vela, scientist at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, believes improvements in computer processors, TV displays and solar cells will come from scientific advancements in the synthesis of low-dimensional nanomaterials. (2017-06-15)

Zig-zagging device focuses high-energy radiation emissions
Equipment used in cancer treatment requires a strong, monochromatic source of radiation to produce hard X-rays. Other similar radiation sources find applications in nuclear waste processing. To design devices that steadily emit a specific type of radiation, physicists use a special kind of crystal, referred to as a crystalline undulator. In a study published in EPJ D, a team has demonstrated the ability to control radiation emissions from a particle traveling through such a device. (2017-06-12)

A more sustainable way to refine metals
A team of chemists in Canada has developed a way to process metals without using toxic solvents and reagents. The system, which also consumes far less energy than conventional techniques, could greatly shrink the environmental impact of producing metals from raw materials or from post-consumer electronics. (2017-06-07)

Three-dimensional direction-dependent force measurement at the subatomic scale
Osaka University and collaborators have developed a new atomic force microscopy (AFM) technique that can measure the three-dimensional force fields of atoms. In their technique, the precisely controlled tip of a mechanical arm is moved over a material surface at two different frequencies to provide information about the material surface in both vertical and parallel directions. This AFM technique will expand understanding of the structure and physical properties of material surfaces at the subatomic scale. (2017-05-10)

Method improves semiconductor fiber optics, paves way for developing devices
A new method to improve semiconductor fiber optics may lead to a material structure that might one day revolutionize the global transmission of data, according to an interdisciplinary team of researchers. (2017-04-13)

To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of silicon when it comes to computing, solar energy, and other technological applications. Yet there is still so much to learn about how to harness the capabilities of element number 14. The most-common form of silicon crystallizes in the same structure as diamond. New work shows that one form of silicon, Si-III, which is synthesized using a high-pressure process, is what's called a narrow band gap semiconductor. (2017-04-04)

Germanium outperforms silicon in energy efficient transistors with n- und p- conduction
NaMLab and cfaed reached an important breakthrough in the development of energy-efficient electronic circuits using transistors based on germanium. (2017-02-03)

Dressing a metal in various colors
DGIST research team developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials. This technology can be applied to solar cells, wearable devices, displays, and the like. (2017-01-16)

Germanium's semiconducting and optical properties probed under pressure
Germanium may not be a household name like silicon, its group-mate on the periodic table, but it has great potential for use in next-generation electronics and energy technology. Of particular interest are forms of germanium that can be synthesized in the lab under extreme pressure conditions. However, until now one of the most-promising forms of germanium for practical applications, called ST12, has only been created in tiny sample sizes -- too small to definitively confirm its properties. (2017-01-03)

Studying structure to understand function within 'material families'
Carbon, silicon, germanium, tin and lead are all part of a family that share the same structure of their outermost electrons, yet range from acting as insulators to semiconductors to metals. Is it possible to understand these and other trends within element families? In this week's The Journal of Chemical Physics, researchers describe probing the relationship between the structure (arrangement of atoms) and function (physical properties) of a liquid metal form of the element bismuth. (2016-11-08)

Recovering critical and economically important metals from low-grade ores and waste
Researchers at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland are developing technologies for extracting valuable metals from metallurgical waste and low-grade ores, from which recovery is not yet economically viable. (2016-11-07)

Making silicon-germanium core fibers a reality
When the glass in the core of an optical fiber is replaced with a mixture of silicon and germanium and 'baked' at high temperature using a laser, the result is a single crystal fiber that has potential far beyond the transmission of light. (2016-10-25)

A new class of materials could realize quantum computers
Scientists at EPFL and PSI have discovered a new class of materials that can prove ideal for the implementation of spintronics. (2016-10-21)

DFG awards 2016 Bernd Rendel Prize
Young geoscientists are recognized for their predoctoral research. (2016-08-31)

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