Materials

Identifying Effective Carbon Capture Technologies

Approximately 75 percent of electricity used in the U.S. is produced by coal-burning power plants that expel carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Berkeley Lab researchers are searching for porous materials to filter out the CO2 before it reaches the atmosphere, but identifying these materials is easier said than done.

Posted in: Remediation Technologies, Greenhouse Gases, Materials, Mathematical/Scientific Software, News

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Sealing Materials for Use in Vacuum at High Temperatures

These materials retain favorable handling properties in vacuum for usefully long times. Sealing materials that can be applied and left in place in vacuum over a wide range of temperatures (especially temperatures of a few thousand degrees Celsius) have been conceived and investigated for potential utility in repairing thermal-protection tiles on the space shuttles in orbit before returning to Earth. These materials are also adaptable to numerous terrestrial applications that involve vacuum processing and/or repair of structures that must withstand high temperatures. These materials can be formulated to have mechanical handling characteristics ranging from almost freely flowing liquid- like consistency through paste-like consistency to stiff putty-like consistency, and to retain these characteristics in vacuum until heated to high curing temperatures.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Radiation Shielding System Using a Composite of Carbon Nanotubes Loaded With Electropolymers

A lightweight and replenishable system is effective against all types of radiation particles. Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) coated with a hydrogen-rich, electrically conducting polymer such as polyethylene, receive and dissipate a portion of incoming radiation pulse energy to electrical signals that are transmitted along the CNT axes, and are received at energy-dissipating terminals.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Nano Sponges for Drug Delivery and Medicinal Applications

These non-toxic nano sponges are a means to deliver a drug or payload to cells in an extended-release fashion. This invention is a means of delivering a drug, or payload, to cells using non-covalent associations of the payload with nanoengineered scaffolds; specifically, functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and their derivatives where the payload is effectively sequestered by the nanotube’s addends and then delivered to the site (often interior of a cell) of interest.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Molecular Technique to Understand Deep Microbial Diversity

Current sequencing-based and DNA microarray techniques to study microbial diversity are based on an initial PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification step. However, a number of factors are known to bias PCR amplification and jeopardize the true representation of bacterial diversity. PCR amplification of the minor template appears to be suppressed by the exponential amplification of the more abundant template. It is widely acknowledged among environmental molecular microbiologists that genetic biosignatures identified from an environment only represent the most dominant populations. The technological bottleneck has overlooked the presence of the less abundant “minority population,” and underestimated their role in the ecosystem maintenance.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Methods and Compositions Based on Culturing Microorganisms in Low Sedimental Fluid Shear Conditions

The benefits of applying a low sedimental fluid shear environment to manipulate microorganisms were examined. Microorganisms obtained from a low sedimental fluid shear culture, which exhibit modified phenotypic and molecular genetic characteristics, are useful for the development of novel and improved diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and bio-industrial products. Furthermore, application of low sedimental fluid conditions to microorganisms permits identification of molecules uniquely expressed under these conditions, providing a basis for the design of new therapeutic targets.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Device Uses Temperature Differences to Create Electrical Charge

Power Felt is a new thermoelectric device developed by researchers at the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University. By touching a small piece, body heat is converted into an electrical current.

Posted in: Batteries, Power Management, Materials, Thermoelectrics, Energy Harvesting, Nanotechnology, News

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