DNA Origami Enables Fabricating Superconducting Nanowires

In AIP Advances, researchers describe how to exploit DNA origami as a platform to build superconducting nanoarchitectures. The structures they built are addressable with nanometric precision that can be used as a template for 3D architectures that are not possible today via conventional fabrication techniques. Inspired by previous works using the DNA molecule as a template for superconducting nanowires, the group took advantage of a recent bioengineering advance known as DNA origami to fold DNA into arbitrary shapes.

Read more

Inducing Plasma in Biomass Could Make Biogas Easier to Produce

Producing biogas from the bacterial breakdown of biomass presents options for a greener energy future, but the complex composition of biomass comes with challenges. Cellulose and woody lignocellulose are especially hard for bacteria to digest but pretreatment can make it easier. Researchers are testing plasma formation in biomass and finding a promising method: A plasma-liquid interaction forms reactive species that help break down the biomass and decrease the viscosity of the biomass material.

Read more

Digital Content on Track to Equal Half Earth’s Mass by 2245

As we use resources to power massive computer farms and process digital information, our technological progress is redistributing Earth’s matter from physical atoms to digital information. Eventually, we will reach a point of full saturation, a period in our evolution in which digital bits will outnumber atoms on Earth, a world “mostly computer simulated and dominated by digital bits and computer code,” according to an article published in AIP Advances. It is just a matter of time.

Read more

The Problem with Microwaving Tea

Through convection, as the liquid toward the bottom of a container warms up, it becomes less dense and moves to the top, allowing a cooler section of the liquid to contact the heating source. This ultimately results in a uniform temperature throughout the container. Inside a microwave, however, the electric field acting as the heating source exists everywhere and the convection process does not occur. Researchers studied this nonuniform heating behavior and present a solution in AIP Advances.

Read more

Nanostructures Modeled on Moth Eyes Effective for Anti-Icing

Researchers have been working for decades on improving the anti-icing performance of functional surfaces and work published in AIP Advances investigates a unique nanostructure, modeled on moth eyes, that has anti-icing properties. Moth eyes are of interest because they have a distinct ice-phobic and transparent surface. The researchers fabricated the moth eye nanostructure on a quartz substrate that was covered with a paraffin layer to isolate it from a cold and humid environment.

Read more

Promising New Method for Producing Tiny Liquid Capsules

Microcapsules for the storage and delivery of substances are tiny versions of the type of capsule used for fish oil or other liquid supplements. A new method for synthesizing microcapsules, reported in AIP Advances, creates microcapsules with a liquid core that are ideal for the storage and delivery of oil-based materials in skin care products. They also show promise in some applications as tiny bioreactors. In this new method, a surfactant-free microfluidics process is used.

Read more

Fossil Fuel-Free Jet Propulsion with Air Plasmas

Humans depend on fossil fuels as their primary energy source, especially in transportation. However, fossil fuels are both unsustainable and unsafe, serving as the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers in China have demonstrated a prototype device that uses microwave air plasmas for jet propulsion, generating the high-temperature, high-pressure plasma in situ using only injected air and electricity. They describe the engine in AIP Advances.

Read more

Smaller Detection Device Effective for Nuclear Treaty Verification, Archaeology Digs

Most nuclear data measurements are performed at accelerators large enough to occupy a geologic formation a kilometer wide. But a portable device that can reveal the composition of materials quickly on-site would greatly benefit cases such as in archaeology and nuclear arms treaty verification. Research published this week in AIP Advances used computational simulations to show that with the right geometric adjustments, it is possible to perform accurate neutron resonance transmission analysis in a device just 5 meters long.

Read more