Chemistry

04/29/2014 - 15:12

Researchers Jun Lou at Rice and Ting Zhu at Georgia Tech have measured the fracture toughness of imperfect graphene for the first time and found it to be somewhat brittle. While it’s still very useful, graphene is really only as strong as its weakest link, which they determined to be “substantially lower” than the intrinsic strength of graphene. The researchers reported in the journal Nature Communications the results of tests in which they physically pulled graphene apart to see how much force it would take. Specifically, they wanted to see if graphene follows the century-old Griffith theory that quantifies the useful strength of brittle materials.

 

04/13/2014 - 12:00

A new study using a photosensitive molecule, azobenzene and carbon nanotubes demonstrates the feasibility of developing solar thermal fuels with significantly increased energy storage capacity.

 

04/07/2014 - 10:23

New research from North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill reveals that energy is transferred more efficiently inside of complex, three-dimensional organic solar cells when the donor molecules align face-on, rather than edge-on, relative to the acceptor. This finding may aid in the design and manufacture of more efficient and economically viable organic solar cell technology.

 

03/14/2014 - 08:55

Chemists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have devised a greatly improved technique for making amino acids not found in nature. These “unnatural” amino acids traditionally have been very difficult to synthesize, but are sought after by the pharmaceutical industry for their potential medical uses.

 

03/04/2014 - 11:56

The National Nanotechnology Initiative defines nanotechnology as the understanding and control of matter at the nanoscale, at dimensions of approximately 1 and 100 nanometers, where unique phenomena enable novel applications. Nanotechnology is taking the world by storm, revolutionizing the materials and devices used in many applications and products. That’s why a finding announced by Xiang-Feng Zhou and Artem R. Oganov, Group of Theoretical Crystallography in the Department of Geosciences, are so significant.

 

02/05/2014 - 09:45

Perfect sheets of diamond a few atoms thick appear to be possible even without the big squeeze that makes natural gems.Scientists have speculated about it and a few labs have even seen signs of what they call diamane, an extremely thin film of diamond that has all of diamond’s superior semiconducting and thermal properties.