Groovy key to nanotubes in 2-D

Ultrathin carbon nanotubes crystals could have wonderous uses, like converting waste heat into electricity with near-perfect efficiency, and Rice University engineers have taken a big step toward that goal.

Flexible photonic crystal from liquid thin-film metasurface

Photonic crystals are predicted to be one of the wonders of the 21st century. In the 20th century, new understanding of the electronic band structure-the physics that determines when a solid conducts or insulates-revolutionized ...

Silver improves the efficiency of monograin layer solar cells

As a result of their two-year joint project, the materials researchers of Tallinn University of Technology have improved the efficiency of next generation solar cells by partial substitution of copper with silver in absorber ...

Turning up the heat to create new nanostructured metals

Scientists have developed a new approach for making metal-metal composites and porous metals with a 3-D interconnected "bicontinuous" structure in thin films at size scales ranging from tens of nanometers to microns. Metallic ...

A single-digit-micrometer thickness wood speaker

In a recent report on Nature Communications, Wentao Gan and a team of researchers at the departments of materials science and engineering in the U.S. have detailed the use of an ultrathin film of natural wood to create an ...

Stretchable, degradable semiconductors

To seamlessly integrate electronics with the natural world, materials are needed that are both stretchable and degradable—for example, flexible medical devices that conform to the surfaces of internal organs, but that dissolve ...

Dietary fiber effectively purifies carbon nanotubes

A new, cheaper method easily and effectively separates two types of carbon nanotubes. The process, developed by Nagoya University researchers in Japan, could be upscaled for manufacturing purified batches of single-wall carbon ...

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Thin film

Thin films are thin material layers ranging from fractions of a nanometre to several micrometres in thickness. Electronic semiconductor devices and optical coatings are the main applications benefiting from thin film construction.

Work is being done with ferromagnetic thin films for use as computer memory. It is also being applied to pharmaceuticals, via thin film drug delivery. Thin-films are used to produce thin-film batteries.

Ceramic thin films are in wide use. The relatively high hardness and inertness of ceramic materials make this type of thin coating of interest for protection of substrate materials against corrosion, oxidation and wear. In particular, the use of such coatings on cutting tools can extend the life of these items by several orders of magnitude.

Research is being done on a new class of thin film inorganic oxide materials, called amorphous heavy-metal cation multicomponent oxide, which could be used to make transparent transistors that are inexpensive, stable, and environmentally benign.

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