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First-principles calculations shed light on semiconductor defects
  • Researchers discover potential defects in ‘the world’s second-favorite semiconductor’ — gallium nitride (GaN), used in satellites, space crafts, and nuclear devices.
  • All of these uses expose GaN to high-energy particle irradiation, leading to a lot of different issues, some of which are grouped as “defect pairs”.
  • Studying all the 21 different types of defect pairs that can form, researchers decided to perform first-principles calculations.
  • The results of these calculations will be fundamental for future multiscale simulations of radiation damages to GaN semiconductors.
  • All of this data will help scientists engineer GaN-based devices with longer lifetimes, and resistant to radiation.

Electric jolt to carbon makes better water purifier
  • Nanocarbons are being studied by scientists because they have potential to be used to clean water—they attract water pollutants, but their force is weak on their own.
  • One team found a way to improve the power of nanocarbons, by creating a method to make “amino-modified nanocarbons”.
  • The method is mixing a source of carbon with a source of amino groups, and zapping it with high voltage to create a plasma in liquid.
  • Then they put the modified nanocarbons through ten cycles of adsorbing heavy metal ions, and compared them to conventionally synthesized nanocarbons.
  • The modified nanocarbon was found suitable for repeatable use, and had the highest adsorption compared to conventional alternatives.

New rubbery material could have plenty of medical applications
  • Scientists develop new material only from components that have been shown to work well in humans, in an effort to meet the demand for new medical materials.
  • They wanted to redesign plexiglass, using a process called nanostructuring, and forge it into a bone replacement alternative.
  • But the material ended up being soft and elastic, and might be suitable for a lot of different medical applications.
  • The team will first try to apply the material in urinary catheters

Polymer patch could reduce negative effects of cardiac scar tissue
  • New device could correct defects caused by scar tissue that forms after heart attacks.
  • It’s a polymer patch that adheres to the heart and bridges the area of scar tissue
  • The novelty of this device comes from the fact that it uses an innovative method to morph traditional materials into a device that can mimic heart muscle movement.
  • So far, it’s only been tested in the lab, and awaits trials in animals.

Making hydrogen fuel using the entire spectrum of visible sunlight
  • Study proves that it’s possible to collect energy from the entire spectrum of visible sunlight, from infrared to ultraviolet, and transform it into hydrogen.
  • The team used just one molecule as a catalyst to make fuel, but the molecule is rhodium, which is limited in supply and hard to obtain.
  • There’s still a lot of work to be done – improving efficiency and finding cheaper materials – before this technology can go mainstream.




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