06-03-2016   -   Chemistry

Sun 6 Mar 2016. Researchers devise one-step process to convert carbon dioxide and water directly into renewable liquid hydrocarbon fuels. This simple and inexpensive new sustainable fuels technology could potentially help limit global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make fuel. The process also reverts oxygen back into the system as a byproduct of the reaction, with a clear positive environmental impact. It is the first time light and heat are used to synthesize liquid hydrocarbons in a single stage reactor from carbon dioxide and water. Concentrated light drives the photochemical reaction, which generates high-energy intermediates and heat to drive thermochemical carbon-chain-forming reactions, thus producing hydrocarbons in a single-step process. More

  24-02-2016   -   Physics

Wed 24 Feb 2016. New record in nanoelectronics at ultralow temperatures. The first ever measurement of the temperature of electrons in a nanoelectronic device a few thousandths of a degree above absolute zero was demonstrated. This is a notable achievement that has finally broken through the 4 millikelvin barrier, which has been the record in such structures for over 15 years. This breakthrough paves the way towards sub-millikelvin nanoelectronic circuits and is another step on the way to develop new quantum technologies including quantum computers and sensors. Quantum technologies use quantum mechanical effects to outperform any possible technology based only on classical physics. More

  27-01-2016   -   Physics

Wed 27 Jan 2016. Physicists develop a cooling system for the processors of the future. Researchers have found a solution to the problem of the overheating of active plasmonic components for high-speed data transfer in the optoelectronic microprocessors that are tens of thousands of times faster than the microprocessors currently in use today. It was demonstrated how to efficiently cool optoelectronic chips using industry-standard heatsinks despite the high heat generation in active plasmonic components. Based on the results of numerical simulations, it was concluded that if an optoelectronic chip with active plasmonic waveguides is placed in air, its temperature will increase by several hundred degrees Celsius, which will cause the device to malfunction. Multi-layered thermal interfaces of nano- and micrometer thickness, combined with simple cooling systems, can reduce the temperature of the chip from several hundred degrees to approximately ten degrees with respect to the ambient temperature. This opens the prospects for the implementation of high-performance optoelectronic microprocessors in a wide range of applications, including supercomputers and compact electronic devices. More

  21-12-2015   -   Chemistry

Mon 21 Dec 2015. A new course for extracting uranium from seawater. An ultra-high-resolution technique used for the first time to study polymer fibers that trap uranium in seawater may cause researchers to rethink the best methods to harvest this potential fuel for nuclear reactors. Despite the low concentration of uranium and the presence of many other metals extracted from seawater, reserachers were able to investigate the local atomic environment around uranium and better understand how it is bound by the polymer fibers using X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS) spectroscopy. More

  14-12-2015   -   Nuclear Energy

Mon 14 Dec 2015. Nuclear Waste Storage Sites in Rock Salt May be More Vulnerable Than Previously Thought. rock salt, used by Germany and the United States as a subsurface container for radioactive waste, might not be as impermeable as thought or as capable of isolating nuclear waste from groundwater in the event that a capsule or storage vessel failed. A recent research has used field testing and 3-D micro-CT imaging of laboratory experiments to show that rock salt can become permeable. This new finding has implications for oil and gas operations, and, most notably, nuclear waste storage. More

  03-11-2015   -   Nuclear

Tue 3 Nov 2015. Chemical complexity promises improved structural alloys for next-gen nuclear energy. Designing alloys to withstand extreme environments is a fundamental challenge for materials scientists. Energy from radiation can create imperfections in alloys, so researchers are investigating ways to design structural materials that develop fewer, smaller flaws under irradiation. Advanced structural materials that can withstand radiation are a critical national need for nuclear reactor applications. Next-generation reactors will be expected to serve over longer lifetimes and withstand higher irradiation levels. More

  27-10-2015   -   Physics

Tue 27 Oct 2015. Breakthrough to the development of energy-saving devices for the next generation. Wide-gap semiconductors such as gallium nitride (GaN) are widely used for optical devices such as blue LED and are also anticipated as materials for next-generation energy saving power devices and solar cells. However, the quality of GaN crystals does not come up to that of conventional semiconductor materials such as silicon (Si) and this prevents GaN from being used for power devices. A group of researchers have recently succeeded in visualizing changes in defect density on the surface of GaN through the laser terahertz emission microscope (LTEM) which measures THz waves generated by laser emission. It was shown that LTEM is useful as a new method for evaluating the quality of wide-gap semiconductors and it is also expected that LTEM will bring a breakthrough in the development of next-generation optical devices, super high frequency devices, and energy devices. More

  07-10-2015   -   Chemistry

Wed 7 Oct 2015. The 2015 Nobel Prize for chemistry has been jointly awarded to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich, and Aziz Sancar for mechanistic studies of DNA repair. Having mapped, at a molecular level, how cells repair damaged DNA and safeguard the genetic information, their work has provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions and is, for instance, used for the development of new cancer treatments. They have provided fundamental insights into how cells function, knowledge that can be used, for instance, in the development of new cancer treatments. More

  06-10-2015   -   Physics

Tue 6 Oct 2015. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 recognises Takaaki Kajita in Japan and Arthur B. McDonald in Canada, for their key contributions to the experiments which demonstrated that neutrinos change identities. This metamorphosis requires that neutrinos have mass. The discovery has changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to our view of the universe. A neutrino puzzle that physicists had wrestled with for decades had been resolved. Compared to theoretical calculations of the number of neutrinos, up to two thirds of the neutrinos were missing in measurements performed on Earth. Now, the two experiments discovered that the neutrinos had changed identities. More

  05-10-2015   -   Medicine

Mon 5 Oct 2015. The Nobel Prize for medicine has been jointly awarded to two scientists for their work on diseases caused by parasites and another for her research into the treatment of malaria. The winners are William Campbell of Ireland and Satoshi Omura of Japan, who discovered a new drug to treat parasitic diseases, and Youyou Tu of China, who used Chinese herbal medicine to find a new kind of antimalarial agent. More

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