Material

Methane gobbling material found, scientists say

Publication: NBC News   Date: April 17, 2013   View Article

Scientists have discovered a new material that can capture and concentrate methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

While carbon dioxide, the most abundant greenhouse gas, can be captured using a variety of techniques, methane capture has proved elusive primarily because it interacts weakly with other materials, according Amitesh Maiti, a researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

He and colleagues discovered that various forms of zeolites, which are commonly used in water purification and other industrial processes, appear well-suited for the task. That’s because the material’s crystalline structure can be fine-tuned for various gas separation or storage applications, he explained.

Stretchable batteries are here! Power to the bendy electronics

Publication: NBC News   Date: February 26, 2013   View Article

The next frontier in electronics are the flexible, stretchable kind. Yes, that means a rubber, bouncy smartphone (eventually), but it also means heart monitors threaded into cardiac tissue. For devices like that to work, they require flexible, stretchable batteries. And such batteries are here, according to researchers who just published their work.

‘Nano-shish-kebabs’ are a recipe for better lithium-ion batteries

Publication: NBC News   Date: February 20, 2013   View Article

Powerful energy storage devices of the future may trace their roots back to a research lab that cooked up “nano-shish-kebabs” out of germanium sulfide, a semiconductor material.

Unlike the skewered meats and assorted veggies grilled on backyard barbeques, these kebabs are single, three-dimensional structures that consist of sheets of the semiconductor material grown along a nanowire. Each wire is about 100 nanometers long.

Seriously? Dress becomes transparent when wearer is aroused

Publication: NBC News   Date: February 8, 2013   View Article

For those who need a visual cue on their partner’s readiness to get it on, there’s a new high-tech garment in the offing that turns increasingly transparent as the wearer’s state of arousal heightens.

“We call it techno poetry when this relationship between technology and the human body get immersed,” Daan Roosegaarde, who heads up the Netherlands-based design firm that created the garments, told NBC News.

Apple bends to pressure, aims to reduce pollutants in supply chain

Publication: NBC News   Date: February 4, 2013   View Article

Under pressure from environmental groups and other activists, Apple, the maker of iPhones and iPads, has reduced the amount toxic pollutants its suppliers release into the environment, according to a new report.

“They are far from done, but they are definitely in motion,” Linda Greer, head of the health and environment program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a U.S. based environmental group, told NBC News.

Liquid-metal wire stretches eight times its original length

Publication: NBC News   Date: December 18, 2012   View Article

For those times when you need extra length in your headphones or phone charger, there’re now super-stretchable wires. In the not-too distant future, they could be woven into fabrics – think gym clothes with an embedded heart rate monitor to help you burn off the holiday fat.

The wire “has perfect electrical properties without compromising the mechanical properties at all,” Michael Dickey, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at North Carolina State University, told NBC News.

Hydrogel remembers its shape – just add water

Publication: NBC News   Date: December 5, 2012   View Article

Scientists have created a shape-remembering material out of synthetic DNA that is eerily reminiscent of T-1000, the liquid metal assassin in the hit sci-fi film Terminator 2.

“It is almost as soft as water and it is still gel. And water you cannot stretch, but this gel can stretch. That is why it is very, very unusual,” Dan Luo, a professor of biological and environmental engineering at Cornell University, told NBC News.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach