UCLA-Led Research Shows Efficient and Inexpensive Fuel-Cells in Sight

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A team of UCLA, Caltech and Ford Motor Company researchers has improved fuel-cell technologies to exceed the U.S. Department of Energy targets in efficiency, stability and power. No other reported fuel cells have reached all these milestones simultaneously.

 

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From CO2 to Ethylene — UCLA and Caltech Researchers Discover Effective Pathway to Convert Greenhouse Gas into Valuable Products

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A research team from Caltech and the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering has demonstrated a promising way to efficiently convert carbon dioxide into ethylene — an important chemical used to produce plastics, solvents, cosmetics and other important products globally.

 

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Superinsulating aerogel resists mechanical and thermal shocks

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A new mechanically strong, double-pane ceramic aerogel made from hexagonal boron nitride that is resistant to high temperatures could be used in aerospace and industrial applications. The material, which boasts both a negative Poisson’s ratio and a negative thermal expansion coefficient, is very different to typical ceramic aerogels that are brittle and structurally degrade under thermal shocks.

 

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A new approach to prepare solution-processable 2-D semiconductors

 Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Texas at Austin, and Hunan University (China) have recently devised a new method of preparing highly uniform, solution-processable, phase-pure semiconducting nanosheets. Their approach, outlined in a paper published in Nature, involves the electrochemical intercalation of quaternary ammonium molecules into 2-D crystals, followed by a mild sonication and exfoliation process.

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Tiny defects in semiconductors created ‘bumps’ for electrons. UCLA researchers cleared the path

UCLA scientists and engineers have developed a new process for assembling semiconductor devices. The advance could lead to much more energy-efficient transistors for electronics and computer chips, diodes for solar cells and light-emitting diodes, and other semiconductor-based devices.

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UCLA researchers develop a new class of two-dimensional materials

A research team led by UCLA scientists and engineers has developed a method to make new kinds of artificial “superlattices” — materials comprised of alternating layers of ultra-thin “two-dimensional” sheets, which are only one or a few atoms thick. Unlike current state-of-the art superlattices, in which alternating layers have similar atomic structures, and thus similar electronic properties, these alternating layers can have radically different structures, properties and functions, something not previously available.

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2D semiconductors could make negative conductance devices

Researchers in the US and Saudi Arabia are the first to have observed negative transconductance (NTC) inside multilayer molybdenum-disulphide (MoS2) transistors with optimized graphene/metal hybrid contacts. The NTC behaviour comes about thanks to competition between inter-layer charge transport and charge transport through a vertical potential barrier in the MoS2. This unique effect could be exploited for making frequency doublers and phase-shift keying circuits with only one multilayer transistor – something that would greatly simplify circuit design compared to conventional technology, says the team.

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Researchers develop lower-cost, more efficient nanostructure for fuel cells

Researchers have developed nanostructures made from a compound of three metals that increases the efficiency and durability of fuel cells while lowering the cost to produce them. Their solution addresses vexing problems that have stalled the adoption of this technology. Many problems have prevented widespread adoption of fuel cells, and this development could help increase its adoption. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells are considered to be a promising technology for clean energy applications.

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UCLA researchers win $2M grant to study nanoscale 2DL materials

A team of UCLA researchers has received a $2-million, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Frontiers in Research and Innovation to explore new approaches to assembling nanoscale materials for use in a variety of manufacturing and research applications. Known as two-dimensional layered materials, or 2DLMs, this emerging class of materials shows breakthrough potential in fundamental materials science and technologies, including electronics, optoelectronics, bioelectronics, energy conversion and energy storage...

 

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Catalytic Duo Combats Blood Clots

Celia Henry Arnaud of Chemical & Engineering News reports: A pair of natural catalysts attached to graphene work in tandem to make nitroxyl, which could prevent blood clots from forming on medical implants

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UCLA researchers now one step closer to controlled engineering of nanocatalysts

Currently, some 20 percent of the world's industrial production is based on catalysts — molecules that can quicken the pace of chemical reactions by factors of billions. Oil, pharmaceuticals, plastics and countless other products are made by catalysts.

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