Jeopardy answer: Death Valley and "ionic liquids." Correct question: Where does a little bit of water make a whole lot of difference?
Molecular "space filling" models demonstrate the difference in size for the positively charged "anion" (top image) and the negatively charged "cation" (bottom left) that combine to form a promising ionic liquid. It is still a mystery how the much smaller water molecule (right) can have such a large effect on the viscosity of such ionic liquids.
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) report* that flow properties for a relatively new class of alternative solvents called ionic liquids are extremely sensitive to tiny amounts of water. For example, for one of these solvents, just a 0.01 percent increase in water dissolved into a sample, caused a 1 percent decrease in flow resistance--a 100-fold effect. The finding should be helpful in the design of new industrial processes such as chemical separations that are both more efficient and more environmentally friendly.
Ionic liquids are salts. Just like table salt, ionic liquids consist of two components, one positively and one negatively charged. Unlike most simple salts, however, most of these new solvents are liquid at room temperature.
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
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COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
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'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
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