Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Technical University Munch have discovered evidence of a phenomenon that may lead to drastically lowering the cost of manufacturing of materials from plastics to fertilizers. Studying nano-sized clusters of gold on a magnesium oxide surface, scientists found direct evidence for electrical charging of a nano-sized catalyst. This is an important factor in increasing the rate of chemical reactions. The research will appear in the 21 January, 2005, issue of the journal Science, published by the AAAS, the science society, the world’s largest general scientific organization. See http://www.sciencemag.org, and also http://www.aaas.org.
"The fabrication of most synthetic materials that we use involves using catalysts to promote reaction rates," said Uzi Landman, director of the Center for Computational Materials Science, Regents’ professor and Callaway chair of physics at Georgia Tech. "Designing catalysts that are more efficient, more selective and more specific to a certain type of reaction can lead to significant savings in manufacturing expenses. Understanding the principles that govern nanocatalysis is key to developing more effective catalysts."
The current study builds on joint research done since 1999 by the two groups that found gold, which is non-reactive in its bulk form, is a very effective catalyst when it’s in nanoclusters of eight to about two dozen atoms in size. Those specific sizes allow the gold clusters to take on a three-dimensional structure, which is important for its reactivity.
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Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
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Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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