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February 5, 2019
Polymer fibers (brown) form pores within polyacrylamide hydrogels. Inside one of these tiny pores, water molecules (red, white) exhibit a uniform behavior, but the ions act differently depending on how close they are to the polymer fibers.
Hydrogels Change Water and Solute Dynamics
Hydrogel pores can modify the molecular-level motion of water and dissolved ions.
February 5, 2019
Researchers use extreme ultraviolet pulses (fuchsia line) to determine how visible light (blue line) causes interfacial hole (h ) transfer from iron oxide (Fe2O3) to nickel oxide (NiO), a hole collection layer found in hybrid perovskite solar cells.
Controlling Charge Flow by Managing Electron Holes
Researchers watch and measure in real time charge dynamics between layers of oxide materials, offering insights into solar cells.
February 5, 2019
In water (red and white structures), the direct interaction between graphene (gray) and an ion (yellow) causes the ion to adsorb to the surface. The green and blue lines represent the reflected light pulses during ultraviolet spectroscopy.
The Subtle, but Significant, Role of Surfaces in Ion Stickiness
Direct interactions dominate ion adsorption to aqueous graphene, a process central to vital processes in energy technology.
January 22, 2019
Enhancing the electric field in a molecule can make it a better catalyst. Wrapping a gold-based catalyst (left, center) in a larger complex (blue) provides the catalyst with electric fields. The fields help the catalyst break key bonds (right, arrows).
Optimizing Electric Fields Yields Better Catalysts
A careful consideration of electric fields could lead to faster industrial processes that use less energy and release less waste.
January 22, 2019
When you mix water and acid, the acid dissociates into two parts. One part, the proton, was the subject of a recent study. Scientists discovered that the proton ( ) is strongly bound between two water molecules (red and white structures).
Revealed: Structure of Proton in Liquid Water
Findings could rewrite textbooks about molecular structure for solvent ubiquitous in chemistry and biology.
January 21, 2019
Scientists have devised a spectroscopy method—based on soft X-ray second-harmonic generation—that probes buried graphene layers inside graphite.
New Probe for the Secrets of Complex Interfaces
Element-selective method reveals interfacial properties of materials used for water purification, catalysis, energy conversion, and more.
January 11, 2019
An international research team peered deep into the atomic-level workings of water vapor on a nickel-chromium alloy to provide new insights that could help prevent metal corrosion.
Peering into the Mist: How Water Vapor Changes Metal at the Atomic Level
New insights into molecular-level processes could help prevent corrosion and improve catalytic conversion.
December 12, 2018
How to Best Predict Chemical Reactions of Contaminants in Water
How to Best Predict Chemical Reactions of Contaminants in Water
The availability of fresh water is a global issue that’s driving interest in ways to turn wastewater into clean water. Purifying wastewater
December 6, 2018
Subtlety and the Selective Art of Separating Lanthanides
Subtlety and the Selective Art of Separating Lanthanides
Fundamental understanding of selective recognition and separation of lanthanide ions by chelating agents is of crucial importance for advancing
November 28, 2018
Quickly Capture Tiny Particles Reacting
Quickly Capture Tiny Particles Reacting
Easily tuned nanometer-sized crystals that absorb and react with light with extreme sensitivity would aid both petrochemical and solar energy
November 26, 2018
Review Examines the Science and Needs of Nitrogen-Based Transformations
Review Examines the Science and Needs of Nitrogen-Based Transformations
Since 1913, ammonia has been produced via the Haber-Bosch process. The process transforms nitrogen gas into ammonia, which is packed into
November 7, 2018
Opening Access to Explore the Synthetic Chemistry of Neptunium
Opening Access to Explore the Synthetic Chemistry of Neptunium
Neptunium metal is extremely scarce, limiting its use as an entry route into molecular chemical studies. In contrast, aqueous acidic stock
November 7, 2018
Tiny Titanium Barrier Halts Big Problem in Fuel-Producing Solar Cells
Tiny Titanium Barrier Halts Big Problem in Fuel-Producing Solar Cells
Green leafy plants readily convert sunlight into energy-dense fuels. Conventional solar cells don’t. Why not? A key reaction, splitting water
November 7, 2018
Turning Wood Scraps into Tape
Turning Wood Scraps into Tape
Scientists developed a new and robust process that converts components of lignocellulosic biomass into high-performance high-value PSAs that have
November 7, 2018
Very Heavy Elements Deliver More Electrons
Very Heavy Elements Deliver More Electrons
When forming bonds with oxygen or participating in reactions involving oxygen atom transfer, the early actinide elements, protactinium through
November 7, 2018
Probing Water’s “No-Man’s Land” Temperature Region
Probing Water’s “No-Man’s Land” Temperature Region
While scientists have studied water for a long time, there’s still much that they don’t know. A particularly interesting aspect is
October 29, 2018
How Plant Cells Decide When to Make Oil
How Plant Cells Decide When to Make Oil
This study builds on the team’s previous research, which established clear links between a protein complex that senses sugar levels in plant
October 17, 2018
Shining Light on the Separation of Rare Earth Metals
Shining Light on the Separation of Rare Earth Metals
Rare earth element-containing materials are irreplaceable and used widely in technologies such as lighting, displays, biological sensors, lasers,
October 17, 2018
How to Make Soot and Stardust
How to Make Soot and Stardust
The chemical reactions behind soot particle formation have long been a mystery. The reactions, which turn gaseous hydrocarbons into a solid that
October 16, 2018
Placing Atoms for Optimum Catalysts
Placing Atoms for Optimum Catalysts
The team began with a flat piece of ruthenium metal. On top of the metal, they grew graphene, which is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon. In this
September 15, 2018
Water Plays Unexpected Role in Forming Minerals
Water Plays Unexpected Role in Forming Minerals
Knowing how minerals form is vital for subsurface energy extraction and waste storage, creating tailored catalysts, and more. Minerals can form via
September 6, 2018
Seeing Between the Atoms
Seeing Between the Atoms
For electron microscopes, the traditional approaches to improving resolution are increasing the energy of the electron beam, up to a point where
September 6, 2018
Getting an Up-Close, 3-D View of Gold Nanostars
Getting an Up-Close, 3-D View of Gold Nanostars
Gold nanostars are a class of plasmonic nanomaterials that show promise in surface-enhanced Raman scattering-based applications and hot electron
September 5, 2018
Scaling Up Single-Crystal Graphene
Scaling Up Single-Crystal Graphene
A research team used chemical vapor deposition—with a twist—to localize control of the synthesis process and allow evolutionary, or
September 5, 2018
New Electron Glasses Sharpen Our View of Atomic-Scale Features
New Electron Glasses Sharpen Our View of Atomic-Scale Features
As electronic devices shrink, more precise semiconductor synthesis and characterization are needed to improve these devices. APT can identify atom