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News & Publications

South Africa’s Science and Technology is Advanced

Department of Science and Technology, South Africa

South Africa can be counted among some of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, said the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor. The Minister made the comments during her address to international and local engineers and scientists at the 19th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) in Cape Town on August 24th.

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A-STAR and Industry Form S$200m Semiconductor R&D Joint Labs

Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore

Four joint laboratories, representing a commitment of S$200 million between private and public sectors, were launched this summer between the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR’s) Institute of Microelectronics (IME), and its 10 industry partners.

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Active Surfaces Control Movement of Fluids and Particles

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An international team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia has now created “active surfaces” that allow for the precise manipulation of particles and droplets using a magnetic field.

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Discounted Lodging Available for 2014 MRS Fall Meeting

Materials Research Society

Discounted hotel rooms are available through the Sheraton Boston Hotel, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Hilton Boston Back Bay, The Westin Copley Place, Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers, Embassy Suites Boston at Logan Airport and The Colonnade Hotel.

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IWZnO 2014 Preregistration Ends Soon

Materials Research Society

The preregistration period for the 8th International Workshop on Zinc Oxide and Related Materials will end at 5 p.m. (ET) on August 26, 2014. Be sure to register before then to ensure discounted rates!

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Subsidize Green Energy by Taxing Consumption of Electricity, Asserts Article from MRS Energy & Sustainability—A Review Journal

Materials Research Society and Cambridge University Press Energy and sustainability 220

Renewables expert David Faiman, director of the Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center and chairman of the Department of Solar Energy & Environmental Physics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, makes the controversial case for an electricity consumption tax to break dependence on fossil fuels in his uncompromising paper, Concerning the global-scale introduction of renewable energies: Technical and economic challenges, set to trigger debate about the costs and benefits of taxing electricity use.

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES: NIST Announces New Competition for Advanced Manufacturing Planning Awards

US National Institute of Standards and Technology

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced a new competition for planning awards to support industry-driven consortia in developing research plans and charting collaborative actions to solve high-priority technology challenges and accelerate the growth of advanced manufacturing in the United States.

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First Perovskite-Based Flexible Fiber Solar Cell

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Researchers at Fudan University in China have made the first fiber-based perovskite solar cells. These low-cost threads could be woven into textiles to make a wearable power source for charging electronic gadgets, displays and sensors.

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Ultrafast Cooling Finally Produces Monatomic Metallic Glass by Vitrification

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Ultrafast cooling of a novel nano-tip device made of a single metallic element placed inside a TEM vacuum chamber has enabled scientists to finally succeed in making an elusive material-monatomic metallic glass.

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iMatSci Application Period Open

Materials Research Society

iMatSci—Innovation in Materials Science—is an event where select innovators will be invited to pitch new technologies to companies from a variety of industries as well as investors.

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A New Use for Phosphorus in Flexible Circuits and Optoelectronics

Materials Research Societyblack-phosphorus-220

Researchers are revisiting an old material, black phosphorus, that shows new promise for flexible electronics. Last month, researchers at Yale University and University of Southern California described work on transistors made from thin films of black phosphorus.

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New Chemistry for Covalent Organic Frameworks

Materials Research Societycovalent-organic-framework-220

Until recently, there were only five or so reactions available to make covalent organic frameworks (COFs), limiting the versatility of these materials. Now Yushan Yan, professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware, has added another reaction to the COF toolbox by combining sophisticated design principles with empirical screening of reaction conditions.

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Next-generation nuclear power in the UK: A challenge but not an impossibility

MRS BulletinUK-nuclear-plant-220

A briefing document recently released by the UK's Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), which provides independent policy analysis, states that nuclear power could help the country achieve its policy of cutting greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050. At the same time, it notes, almost all of the country's nuclear power stations are due to close by 2023.

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Aluminum-Indium Precursor Creates Low-Defect Dense Film

Materials Research Societymetal-film-pic-220

As the demand for transparent electronics is on the rise, so is the search for cheaper means of production. For a large scale application, the thin film electronics would not only need to be made cheaply, but would have to comprise relatively inexpensive materials. In a new paper published in Inorganic Chemistry, a proof-of-concept design shows how a transmetalation process can be used to create an aluminum- and indium-based aqueous precursor for thin film metal oxide design.

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IWZnO 2014 Preregistration Now Open

Materials Research Society

Registration is now open for the 8th International Workshop on Zinc Oxide and Related Materials (IWZnO 2014) in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Attendees can register online, by mail/fax or by phone. Preregistration deadline is 5 p.m. (ET), August 26, 2014.

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ISGD-4 Preregistration Now Open

Materials Research Society

Registration is now open for the 4th International Symposium on Graphene Devices (ISGD-4) in Bellevue, Washington. Attendees can register online, by mail/fax, or by phone. Register before 5 pm (ET) on September 5, 2014, to receive discounted preregistration pricing.

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Carbon Double Layers Improve Efficiency of Solar Steam Generation

Materials Research Societydouble-layer-structure-220

Solar thermal systems tend to be large scale systems in which sunlight is focused on a vessel containing a fluid such as water. But it takes a lot of energy to heat up a lot of water. So now researchers at MIT are developing small scale systems that heat up and evaporate a small amount of water at time using a double-layer structure of carbon-based materials to achieve high efficiencies. A scaled-up version might eventually be used to desalinate water or to produce enough steam to drive turbines. 

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Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Can Be Achieved with Self-Organized, All-Oxide Electrodes

Materials Research Societymoth-eye-solar-cell-220

A team of Swiss researchers  has created new photonic light trapping structures using iron and tungsten oxide to split water to obtain hydrogen fuel. Florent Boudoire, a graduate student at University of Basel and researcher at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, created the new electrode architecture, which decouples light absorption and charge management. 

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“Anti-crystal” Useful in Describing Disordered and Partially Ordered Materials

Materials Research Societyanticrystal-220

The study of materials has had great success for a century or more in starting with the “perfect crystal” and adding defects as perturbations to describe real, imperfect systems. Now, researchers are having some success, at least at the simulation stage using ideal spherical atoms, by starting at the opposite end of the spectrum with a completely disordered state called an “anti-crystal” and adding order as the perturbation. 

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Resonant Vibrations Trigger Charge Transfer in Photosynthesis

Materials Research Societyspinach-leaf-photosynthesis-220

Photosynthesis is the most important chemical reaction on the planet. It is the process by which plants thrive, and, in turn, gives the rest of the living world oxygen to breathe. For materials scientists, photosynthesis is a blueprint for solar energy. Just how the reaction works on the molecular level in plants, though, is still a mystery. However, a new study published in Nature Chemistry might pinpoint how electron transfer works in plants, perhaps leading to even more efficient solar cells. 

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