A ring-shaped molecule based on pillararene conjugated with benzoquinone has been developed, the powder of which selectively captures n-alkane gas molecule by host-guest complexation but not branched or cyclic alkane molecule. Upon forming such host-guest complex, its color changed from dark-brown to light-red, a chromophore-like behavior. The complex is highly-stable at room temperature and under atmospheric pressure. Thus, the new compound may serve as a sensor and/or a storage material for specific alkane molecules.
A new type of nanocatalyst can result in the long-awaited commercial breakthrough for fuel cell cars. Research results from Chalmers University of Technology and Technical University of Denmark show that it is possible to significantly reduce the need for platinum, a precious and rare metal, by creating a nanoalloy using a new production technique. The technology is also well suited for mass production.
Japanese researchers have succeeded in deriving a theoretical formula that quantitatively predicts the wetting and spreading behavior of droplets that collide with the flat surface of a solid material. In the past, researchers from all over the world have attempted to make quantitative predictions about the extent of wetted areas through experimentation, theory, and numerical analysis, but predictions, particularly during slow collision speeds, have not been realized.
The research group led by Profs. FU Qiang and BAO Xinhe from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences revealed both the geometric constraint and confinement field in 2-D space between a graphene overlayer and Pt(111). The researchers demonstrated a new concept of confined catalysis under 2-D materials, which they have named 'catalysis under cover.'
Recent interest in lignocellulosic fibers was devoted to improve the mechanical properties of polymers. But one of their main limitation is the poor compatibility and adhesion between these polar/hydrophilic fibers with most commercial resins being non-polar and hydrophobic. This problem has been partially solved using physical and chemical surface treatments, and/or the addition of a coupling agent (phase compatibilization).
Rice University scientists build high-capacity lithium metal batteries with anodes made of a graphene-carbon nanotube hybrid. The anodes quench the formation of damaging dendrites.
Engineers have known for some time that calcium chloride salt, commonly used as deicer, reacts with the calcium hydroxide in concrete to form a chemical byproduct that causes roadways to crumble. A civil engineer from Drexel University is working on a new recipe for concrete, using cast-off products from furnaces, that can hold its own against the forces of chemical erosion.
Hydrogen is an alternative source of energy that can be produced from renewable sources of sunlight and water. A group of Japanese researchers has developed a photocatalyst that increases hydrogen production tenfold.
Nanoscale stretching or compressing significantly boost the performance of ceria, a material widely used in catalytic converters and clean-energy technologies, Stanford scientists report.
Through a collaborative research program funded by Oricon Energy Inc., the research group of Professor Yuji Wada and Adjunct Professor Satoshi Fujii of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, School of Materials and Chemical Technology devised a magnesium smelting method that uses nearly 70 percent less energy than conventional methods by using microwaves.