Future bright for mini synchrotrons

Colliding a stream of electrons with laser light near an array of tiny silver structures could be the recipe for a new X-ray source that could revolutionize medical imaging and security scanning.

How slippery surfaces allow sticky pastes and gels to slide

An MIT research team that has already conquered the problem of getting ketchup out of its bottle has now tackled a new category of consumer and manufacturing woe: how to get much thicker materials to slide without sticking ...

Demonstrating a weak topological insulator in bismuth iodide

Topological insulators are one of the most exciting discoveries of the 21st century. They can be simply described as materials that conduct electricity on their surface or edge, but are insulating in their interior bulk. ...

Nature-inspired antibacterial metals

From aviation to medicine, various sectors are increasingly using materials that mimic the lotus plant, whose leaves have self-cleaning properties. Thanks to the bumpy surface structure covered with tube-shaped wax crystals, ...

Building a better fuel cell begins with surface chemistry

Fuel cells powered by electrocatalytic reactions have the potential to eliminate pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, if they could be made more efficient. Key to higher efficiency are the chemical reactions at the surfaces ...

The subtle role of surfaces in ion stickiness

How ions stick to surfaces greatly influences vital processes in everything from water purifiers to batteries. For decades, scientists have debated the mechanics of such binding, or adsorption. Certain ions in water didn't ...

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