Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

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Researchers have developed a high-performance electrode material for supercapacitors from ...

Using waste hemp fibers as the starting material, researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada have developed a high-performance electrode material for supercapacitors at one thousandth the cost of the more commonly used graphene. The advance could lead to supercapacitors that are both cheaper and able to operate under harsh environmental conditions.  Read More

Bottles filled with water, detergent and graphene flakes – the graphene absorbs a small am...

It is one atom thick and touted to be stronger than steel. Graphene has captured the scientific and public imagination as the wonder material of the 21st century. Now, researchers at Trinity College Dublin have found a way to extract the substance from graphite – using a kitchen blender and some liquid soap.  Read More

Scientists at Stanford University have found a way of creating artificial diamonds out of ...

Pressure makes diamonds, but according to recent findings, there may also be a much quicker, hassle-free way. A team of researchers at Stanford University has stumbled upon a new way of turning graphite (the material used for pencil leads) into a diamond-like carbon structure simply by applying hydrogen over a platinum substrate, without the need to apply external pressure of any kind. The discovery could lead to easier and more flexible manufacturing of diamonds used in cutting tools and other industrial devices.  Read More

A flexible polymer circuit, shown here, could someday be replaced by a cheap and flexible ...

Given the low costs and extensive applications that could be possible with flexible paper circuit boards, we've seen many ideas for their production, from printing with silver ink to embedding chips within paper. Now, however, scientists have developed an elegant method for selectively changing the very nature of the paper itself into conductive graphite. Unlike polymer-based flexible circuits, these paper circuits are, ironically, able to withstand the high temperatures generally used in the production of electronics.  Read More

A microscope image of aerographite, which is now officially the world's lightest solid mat...

While they were each once hailed as the lightest solid material ever made, metallic microlattice and aerogel have now been moved back to second and third place (respectively), with aerographite taking the crown. Developed by a team from the Technical University of Hamburg and Germany’s University of Kiel, the material is composed of 99.99 percent air, along with a three-dimensional network of porous carbon nanotubes that were grown into each other.  Read More

A new discovery regarding a naturally-occurring lubricating layer on artificial hip joints...

For many people who have suffered from an arthritic hip, the replacement of their natural hip bone with a prosthetic implant has meant an end to constant pain, and the restoration of a normal range of movement. Unfortunately, the ball-and-socket joints of the prostheses do wear down over time, so younger patients in need of the implants are typically told to either wait until they are older, or must face the prospect of someday requiring repeat surgery to service their device. A recent discovery, however, could lead to longer-lasting artificial hip joints – this could in turn allow patients to receive prosthetic hips at a younger age, without the need for additional surgery when they get older.  Read More

Last year we reported on a breakthrough by researchers at Rice University that brought graphite’s potential as a mass data storage medium a step closer to reality and created the potential for reprogrammable gate arrays that could bring about a revolution in integrated circuit design and extend the limits of miniaturization subject to Moore’s Law. The researchers showed how electrical current could repeatedly break and reconnect 10-nanometer strips of graphite to create a robust reliable memory “bit”. At the time, they didn’t fully understand why it worked so well. Well, a year is a long time in science and now they do.  Read More

ORNL's James Klett with his LED-cooling graphite foam

LED lamps may soon be able to go much longer between fixture replacements thanks to a new graphite foam cooling system developed at the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The graphite foam works by passively wicking heat away from the lamp via its lightly-packed, open skeletal structure – and given that a ten-degree decrease in operating temperature can double the lifespan of LED lighting components, the benefits of keeping them cool are clear.  Read More

If your second thoughts are better than your first, the Sharpie Liquid Pencil is the writi...

If you’re into writing the “old-fashioned” way – that is with a pen and paper – then you’re probably already acquainted with Sharpie, the company that brought us those markers and pens that come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Their latest offering – called the Sharpie Liquid Pencil – is really quite unique. It writes like a pen but can be erased like a pencil and it becomes as permanent as a permanent marker in three days.  Read More

Graphite stripes are deposited onto silicon with industry-standard lithography to obtain a...

Graphite has long been known to have unique electrical properties and has therefore been put forward by many as a possible substitute for silicon for use in integrated circuitry. Now, in a major step towards making graphene-based electronics, researchers from Rice University have published the results of work on graphite-based mass data storage and reprogrammable gate arrays.  Read More

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