Category Chemistry/ Nanotechnology

Ultrathin Black Phosphorus for Solar-driven Hydrogen economy

 Photocatalytic overall pure-water splitting using the 2D heterostructures of BP/BiVO4 without any sacrificial agents under visible light irradiation.

Photocatalytic overall pure-water splitting using the 2D heterostructures of BP/BiVO4 without any sacrificial agents under visible light irradiation.

Researchers combined 2 2D materials – black phosphorus and bismuth vanadate – to form a biologically inspired water-splitting catalyst. Normal sunlight could drive the reactions and careful design of the catalyst enabled the expected ratio of hydrogen and oxygen production. Burning hydrogen produces harmless water with the potential to eliminate CO2 emissions and their environmental burden. In pursuit of technologies that could lead to a breakthrough in achieving a hydrogen economy, a key issue is making hydrogen cheaply...

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Scaling to new Heights with Gecko-inspired Adhesive

Gecko-Inspired Dry Adhesive Based on Micro–Nanoscale Hierarchical Arrays for Application in Climbing Devices

Gecko-Inspired Dry Adhesive Based on Micro–Nanoscale Hierarchical Arrays for Application in Climbing Devices

Some animals, such as geckos, can easily climb up walls and across ceilings. But currently, no material exists that allows everyday people to scale walls or transverse ceilings as effortlessly. Now, scientists report in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces a dry adhesive that could someday make it easier to defy gravity. Geckos can scale walls because of their unique toe pads that help them quickly attach and detach from surfaces. Interestingly, gecko toe pads are covered with bristle-like layers of keratin, which helps it to stick – each pad is covered with microscopic pillars, which then branch out at the tips into even smaller structures.

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Faint Galactic Glow: Intriguing Organic molecule Benzonitrile in interstellar space

The aromatic molecule benzonitrile was detected by the GBT in the Taurus Molecular Cloud 1 (TMC-1). Credit: B. McGuire, B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

The aromatic molecule benzonitrile was detected by the GBT in the Taurus Molecular Cloud 1 (TMC-1). Credit: B. McGuire, B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

Astronomers using the Green Bank Telescope have made the first definitive interstellar detection of benzonitrile, an intriguing organic molecule that helps to chemically link simple carbon-based molecules and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This discovery is a vital clue in a 30-year-old mystery: identifying the source of a faint infrared glow that permeates the Milky Way and other galaxies.

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Water-based, Eco-friendly and Energy-saving Air-conditioner

NUS Engineering researchers developed a novel air cooling technology that could redefine the future of air-conditioning.

NUS Engineering researchers developed a novel air cooling technology that could redefine the future of air-conditioning.

All-weather friendly cooling technology works without mechanical compressors or chemical refrigerants, and generates drinking water. A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has pioneered a new water-based air-conditioning system that cools air to as low as 18C without the use of energy-intensive compressors and environmentally harmful refrigerants. This game-changing technology could potentially replace the century-old air-cooling principle that is still being used in our modern-day air-conditioners. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, the novel system is portable and it can also be customised for all types of weather conditions.

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