Quantum Materials Quest Could Benefit From Graphene That Buckles

Graphene, an extremely thin two-dimensional layer of the graphite used in pencils, buckles when cooled while attached to a flat surface, resulting in beautiful pucker patterns that could benefit the search for novel quantum materials and superconductors, according to Rutgers-led research in the journal Nature. Quantum materials host strongly interacting electrons with special properties, such as entangled trajectories, that could provide building blocks for super-fast quantum computers. They also can become superconductors that could slash energy consumption by making power transmission and electronic devices more efficient.

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‘Blinking” Crystals May Convert CO2 into Fuels

Imagine tiny crystals that “blink” like fireflies and can convert carbon dioxide, a key cause of climate change, into fuels. A Rutgers-led team has created ultra-small titanium dioxide crystals that exhibit unusual “blinking” behavior and may help to produce methane and other fuels, according to a study in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The crystals, also known as nanoparticles, stay charged for a long time and could benefit efforts to develop quantum computers.

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Tiny Bubbles Make a Quantum Leap

Researchers at Columbia Engineering and Montana State University have found that placing sufficient strain in a 2D material creates localized states that can yield single-photon emitters. Using sophisticated optical microscopy techniques developed at Columbia over the past 3 years, the team was able to directly image these states for the first time, revealing that even at room temperature they are highly tunable and act as quantum dots, tightly confined pieces of semiconductors that emit light.

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2D Semiconductors Found to Be Close-To-Ideal Fractional Quantum Hall Platform

Columbia University researchers report that they have observed a quantum fluid known as the fractional quantum Hall states (FQHS), one of the most delicate phases of matter, for the first time in a monolayer 2D semiconductor. Their findings demonstrate the excellent intrinsic quality of 2D semiconductors and establish them as a unique test platform for future applications in quantum computing.

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Harmful Microbes Found on Sewer Pipe Walls

Can antibiotic-resistant bacteria escape from sewers into waterways and cause a disease outbreak? A new Rutgers study, published in the journal Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, examined the microbe-laden “biofilms” that cling to sewer walls, and even built a simulated sewer to study the germs that survive within.

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Summit Helps Predict Molecular Breakups

A team used the Summit supercomputer to simulate transition metal systems—such as copper bound to molecules of nitrogen, dihydrogen, or water—and correctly predicted the amount of energy required to break apart dozens of molecular systems, paving the way for a greater understanding of these materials.

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New method measures temperature within 3D objects

University of Wisconsin–Madison engineers have made it possible to remotely determine the temperature beneath the surface of certain materials using a new technique they call depth thermography. The method may be useful in applications where traditional temperature probes won’t work, like monitoring semiconductor performance or next-generation nuclear reactors.

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‘Artificial Chemist’ Combines AI, Robotics to Conduct Autonomous R&D

Researchers have developed a technology called “Artificial Chemist,” which incorporates artificial intelligence and an automated system for performing chemical reactions to accelerate R&D and manufacturing of commercially desirable materials.

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