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Today: 12 June 2021, Saturday.

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#1

 

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Description Hierarchical heterostructures of two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials are versatile platforms for nanoscale optoelectronics. Further coupling of these 2D materials with plasmonic nanostructures, especially in non-close-packed morphologies, imparts new metastructural properties such as increased photosensitivity as well as spectral selectivity and range. However, the integration of plasmonic nanoparticles with 2D materials has largely been limited to lithographic patterning and/or undefined deposition of metallic structures. Here we show that colloidally synthesized zero-dimensional (0D) gold nanoparticles of various sizes can be deterministically self-assembled in highly-ordered, anisotropic, non-close-packed, multi-scale morphologies with templates designed from instability-driven, deformed 2D nanomaterials. The anisotropic plasmonic coupling of the particle arrays exhibits emergent polarization-dependent absorbance in the visible to near-IR regions. Additionally, controllable metasurface arrays of nanoparticles by functionalization with varying polymer brushes modulate the plasmonic coupling between polarization dependent and independent assemblies. This self-assembly method shows potential for bottom-up nanomanufacturing of diverse optoelectronic components and can potentially be adapted to a wide array of nanoscale 0D, 1D, and 2D materials.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 10 June 2021

#2

 

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Description Researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have developed novel techniques, known as Automated Fiber Embedding (AFE), to produce complex fiber and silicone composite structures for soft robotics ...

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 09 June 2021

#3

 

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Description The nature of the “forbidden” local- and long-range polar order in nominally non-polar paraelectric phases of ferroelectric materials has been an open question since the discovery of ferroelectricity in oxide perovskites, ABO3. A currently considered model suggests locally correlated displacements of B-site atoms along a subset of <111> cubic directions. Such off-site displacements have been confirmed experimentally; however, being essentially dynamic in nature they cannot account for the static nature of the symmetry-forbidden polarization implied by the macroscopic experiments. Here, in an atomically resolved study by aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy complemented by Raman spectroscopy, we reveal, directly visualize and quantitatively describe static, 2–4 nm large polar nanoclusters in the nominally non-polar cubic phases of (Ba,Sr)TiO3 and BaTiO3. These results have implications on understanding of the atomic-scale structure of disordered materials, the origin of precursor states in ferroelectrics, and may help answering ambiguities on the dynamic-versus-static nature of nano-sized clusters. The existence and atomic-level structure of the hypothetical polar nanoclusters above the Curie temperature is one of the oldest open questions in the physics of ferroelectrics. Here, the authors find the polar nanoclusters in the paraelectric phases of classical perovskite ferroelectrics.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 09 June 2021

#4

 

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Description Two-dimensional materials (2DMs) have been used widely in constructing photodetectors (PDs) because of their advantages in flexible integration and ultrabroad operation wavelength range. Specifically, 2DM PDs on silicon have attracted much attention because silicon microelectronics and silicon photonics have been developed successfully for many applications. 2DM PDs meet the imperious demand of silicon photonics on low-cost, high-performance, and broadband photodetection. In this work, a review is given for the recent progresses of Si/2DM PDs working in the wavelength band from near-infrared to mid-infrared, which are attractive for many applications. The operation mechanisms and the device configurations are summarized in the first part. The waveguide-integrated PDs and the surface-illuminated PDs are then reviewed in details, respectively. The discussion and outlook for 2DM PDs on silicon are finally given.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 09 June 2021

#5

 

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Description Nonreciprocity can be passively achieved by harnessing material nonlinearities. In particular, networks of nonlinear bistable elements with asymmetric energy landscapes have recently been shown to support unidirectional transition waves. However, in these systems energy can be transferred only when the elements switch from the higher to the lower energy well, allowing for a one-time signal transmission. Here, we show that in a mechanical metamaterial comprising a 1D array of bistable arches nonreciprocity and reversibility can be independently programmed and are not mutually exclusive. By connecting shallow arches with symmetric energy wells and decreasing energy barriers, we design a reversible mechanical diode that can sustain multiple signal transmissions. Further, by alternating arches with symmetric and asymmetric energy landscapes we realize a nonreciprocal chain that enables propagation of different transition waves in opposite directions. This work presents a mechanical metamaterial with 1D array of bistable arches where nonreciprocity and reversibility can be independently programmed. The effects of asymmetry both at the structural and element level on propagation of transition waves are examined.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 08 June 2021

#6

 

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Description An article in Nature Biomedical Engineering reports that softening the surface of silicone implants prevents the foreign body response and thus fibrotic encapsulation of the material.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 07 June 2021

#7

 

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Description It is widely thought that the water-oxidation reaction limits the maximum work function to about 5.25 eV for hole-doped semiconductors exposed to the ambient, constrained by the oxidation potential of air-saturated water. Here, we show that polymer organic semiconductors, when hole-doped, can show work functions up to 5.9 eV, and yet remain stable in the ambient. We further show that de-doping of the polymer is not determined by the oxidation of bulk water, as previously thought, due to its general absence, but by the counter-balancing anion and its ubiquitously hydrated complexes. The effective donor levels of these species, representing the edge of the ‘chemical’ density of states, can be depressed to about 6.0 eV below vacuum level. This can be achieved by raising the oxidation potential for hydronium generation, using large super-acid anions that are themselves also stable against oxidation. In this way, we demonstrate that poly(fluorene-alt-triarylamine) derivatives with tethered perfluoroalkyl-sulfonylimidosulfonyl anions can provide ambient solution-processability directly in the ultrahigh-workfunction hole-doped state to give films with good thermal stability. These results lay the path for design of soft materials for battery, bio-electronic and thermoelectric applications. Realizing ultra-high work functions (UHWFs) in hole-doped polymer semiconductors remains a challenge due to water-oxidation reactions. Here, the authors determine the role of water-anion complexes in limiting the work function and develop a design strategy for realizing UHWF polymers.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 07 June 2021

#8

 

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Description In this work we have tried to prepare Ni and Ag doped ZnO nanopowders using the sol gel technique. The influence of Ni and Ag (1, 3 and 5 mol.%) on the crystalline structure and optical properties of ZnO was investigated. The samples were characterized by XRD, FTIR and UV–visible spectrophotometer. XRD patterns confirmed the wurtzite formation of doped and undoped ZnO nanopowders. The average crystallite sizes of the prepared samples found from XRD were 19 nm for undoped ZnO, from 17 to 22 nm for Ni-ZnO and from 19 to 26 nm for Ag-ZnO. The average crystallite size of Ag-ZnO increased with increasing Ag contents. Different optical properties of Ni-ZnO and Ag-ZnO nanopowders were observed for different Ni and Ag content. The band gaps of Ni-ZnO and Ag-ZnO nanopowders were lower than that of the undoped ZnO (3.1 eV). The band gaps of Ag-ZnO were lower than that of Ni-ZnO. The optical properties of ZnO were enhanced by Ni (mol.%) in the UV region and by Ag (3 and 5 mol.%) in the visible region.

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 07 June 2021

#9

 

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Description NIMS has succeeded in enhancing the thermoelectric performance of an n-type Mg3Sb2-based material by minutely doping with copper. NIMS and AIST then constructed a module by combining this material with a high-performance ...

#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 07 June 2021

#10

 

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#Materials
Field # Materials
Updated 07 June 2021