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News & Publications

Wireless Gas Sensors Tap into the Power of Smartphones

Materials Research Society Chemical sensor 220

When it comes to potentially dangerous gases on a job site, having highly responsive sensors is key to maintaining a safe work environment. Many sensors currently in use are good at sniffing out gases, but they can be expensive to produce and maintain. To make sensors that are easier to create and use, new research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) points toward tapping into the omnipresence of wireless devices. Using RF signals, a new line of simple chemical resistors may make testing for gases as easy as sending a text message.

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Color-switching Redox Ink Makes for Rewritable Paper

Materials Research Society Jenna redox 220

Businesses retain up to 90% of all information on paper, many pages of which are read once then discarded. All that printing requires a lot of ink, and with the cheapest printer ink costing a staggering $13 per ounce (over $1600 per gallon), printing is not cheap. In a new report published in this month’s issue of Nature Communications, researchers at the University of California–Riverside have come up with a lower cost solution: rewritable paper.

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Polymer Blends with H-Bonds Increase Thermal Conductivity

Materials Research SocietyJoe conductivity-220

Researchers at the University of Michigan (UM) have created a polymer blend with 10 times the thermal conductivity of other amorphous polymers, by engineering its thermal properties via molecular design.

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Solid-state batteries enter EV fray

Materials Research Society/Energy QuarterlySolid state battery 220

Lithium-ion batteries with liquid electrolytes power most of the electric vehicles (EVs) that are widely seen as an essential step toward halting the march of global warming. But EVs currently cost significantly more while suffering from a lower driving range than gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles. Despite significant lithium-ion battery advances in the last two decades, many in the field feel that further progress will crest in the next few years and are seeking a successor technology.

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Materials Research Society Announces New Board Appointment for 2015

Materials Research SocietyParrillo

The Materials Research Society (MRS) announces a new appointment to its Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2015. David J. Parrillo, Global Research and Development Director, Packaging and Specialty Plastics for The Dow Chemical Company, has accepted a one-year appointment to the MRS Board of Directors and will serve on the MRS Finance Committee.

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Thinnest Generator of Electricity

Materials Research Society/MRS Bulletin Balu 220

A single layer of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), 0.6 nm thick, generates a peak electrical output of 15 mV and 20 pA when strained by 0.53%, which corresponds to a mechanical-to-electrical energy conversion of 5.8%. These observations were made by a research team from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and Columbia University

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Blu-ray Patterns Improve Solar Cell Performance

Materials Research Society blu-ray-220

Everyday objects can sometimes inspire unexpected solutions to seemingly unrelated scientific problems. Blu-ray discs turn out to offer one such surprising potential fix. The patterns Blu-rays use for storing data, a team of interdisciplinary researchers found, are just right for improving light absorption capabilities for solar cells. As Jiaxing Huang, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University, put it: “We discovered that the folks working in the Blu-ray industry seem to be doing our job for us.”

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Polymorphs of single organic compound provide insights into structure-spectra relationships

Materials Research Society/MRS Bulletin polymorph-220

A research team at Jilin University in China has reported the growth and stimulated emission characteristics of several luminescent polymorphs of a single organic compound in which molecular conformation and packing vary independently.

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Paper-based Device Produces Rapid 1000-fold Increase in Sample Concentration

Materials Research Society microfluidic 220

A new study out of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology has adapted paper microdevices that can help detect low biomarker concentrations, create up to 1000-fold concentration increases of a solution within minutes.

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Landscape Inversion Mechanism Stabilizes Unstable Crystal Phases

Materials Research Society landscape inversion 220

First-order phase transitions typically occur when a stable state loses favor to a metastable state under an external influence. Unstable states are passed over completely. Now, researchers at the University of Barcelona have found a way to stabilize states that should be thermodynamically unstable. When studying a polarized colloidal system, they observed a new type of first-order phase transition that could be used to tune the structure of two-dimensional crystals.

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Bio-solar Cell Gets a Power Boost

Materials Research Society biosolar cells 220

A new study published in Lab on a Chip shows how a change in device architecture of bio-solar devices can maximize solar energy capture and bacterial attachment.

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Superhalogens Could Yield Less-Toxic Lithium-Ion Batteries

Materials Research Society Halgoen-free-image 220

A new study published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition points to at least one way the toxicity of lithium-ion batteries might be decreased. Utilizing first principles’ theory, the report suggests that by altering the make-up of the batteries’ electrolytes, toxic halogens can be replaced by far more environmentally friendly chemicals.

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MRS Congratulates Physicist Mildred Dresselhaus on Presidential Medal of Freedom

Materials Research SocietyDresselhaus

The Materials Research Society (MRS) congratulates Mildred Dresselhaus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on today's award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States. Dresselhaus was among 19 winners honored today by President Barack Obama.

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Physicist Mildred Dresselhaus Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Materials Research SocietyDresselhaus

The Materials Research Society (MRS) congratulates Mildred Dresselhaus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on today's award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States. Dresselhaus was among 19 winners honored today by President Barack Obama.

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AIXTRON Receives Award of Outstanding Achievement for Global SSL Development


AIXTRON SE, a worldwide provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry, received the “Award of Outstanding Achievement for Global SSL Development” from the International SSL Alliance (ISA) in the context of this years’ China SSL.

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MXene Nanocomposites are Flexible, Conductive, and Hydrophilic

Materials Research Society Mxene 220

In 2011, Drexel University materials scientists discovered a new family of two-dimensional (2D) materials created by immersing MAX phase powders—layered hexagonal carbides and nitrides—in hydrofluoric acid, which yielded 2D transition metal carbides and carbon nitrides. They named the resulting materials MXenes—a hat tip to MAX phases (without A-element) and graphene, which has a similar strength and electrical conductivity. Unlike graphene, however, the MXenes featured new properties such as a hydrophilic surface, opening up new avenues of research and commercial development.

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DNA Molds Form Custom-Shaped Nanoparticles

Materials Research Society Bennington crop 220

Inorganic nanostructures with prescribed shapes are important for a wide variety of applications such as in nanoelectronics, photonics, and biosensing. But current techniques are limited and unable to produce such nanoparticles quickly and with sub-5 nm resolution. Now, researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have devised a new, simple method to quickly cast nanoparticles with user-specified three-dimensional (3D) shapes using DNA molds fashioned by computer-aided design (CAD).

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Targeted drug delivery, again and again

Materials Research Society/MRS Bulletin Lukmaan 220

A major aim in biomaterials research is to develop improved strategies for delivering therapeutic drugs to injury- and disease-affected tissues in an efficient, effective, and safe manner. Now researchers have developed a way to use drug-carrying polymer strands (or drug payloads) that are introduced into the bloodstream in a relatively noninvasive manner, such as through intravenous injection.

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Long-Qing Chen Awarded 2014 Materials Theory Award

Materials Research SocietyLong Qing Chen 220

The Materials Research Society (MRS) has named Long-Qing Chen, The Pennsylvania State University, the recipient of its Materials Theory Award for his "pioneering work in the development of the phase-field method and its applications in the computational modeling of mesoscale structures and their dynamics in inhomogeneous materials."

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Materials researchers honored as Top Global Thinkers for 2014

Foreign Policy

Each year, Foreign Policy recognizes the top 100 Leading Global Thinkers. This year, materials researchers are among the innovators.

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