For the first time, scientists have manipulated hydrogen atoms into stable sites beneath the surface of a palladium crystal, creating a structure predicted to be important in metal catalysts, in hydrogen storage, and in fuel cells. The research will be published in the 13 December 2005 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Observations of the effects of the resulting subsurface hydrides--hydrogen atoms with a partial negative charge--confirmed the existence of the stable sites, which had been predicted but previously had neither been deliberately assembled nor directly observed. The research was led by Paul S. Weiss, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Physics at Penn State.
After moving absorbed hydrogen atoms to just below the crystal surface, the researchers were able to observe how the presence of the hydride in specific sites within a metal crystal affects the chemical, physical, and electronic properties of the metal. Understanding these effects could advance efforts to improve chemical reactions involving metal catalysts. In addition, the subsurface hydride may provide a model material for application in hydrogen storage and fuel cells. The ability to prepare the subsurface hydride provides an important research tool for these applications.
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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