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Unzipping Graphene’s Potential

April 16, 2009

By slicing open carbon nanotubes, Rice University and Stanford University researchers have devised simple methods for unfurling carbon nanotubes to make “nanoribbons” of graphene, which could be used to create electronics faster than those made of silicon.

Unzipped nanotubes as an alternative to costly platinum for fuel cells

March 4, 2015

An illustration shows a three-dimensional aerogel created by researchers at Rice University who combined graphene nanoribbons with boron and nitrogen. The aerogels show promise as a possible alternative to expensive platinum in fuel cells (credit: Ajayan Group/Rice University)

Rice University researchers have formed graphene nanoribbons into a three-dimensional aerogel enhanced with boron and nitrogen as catalysts for fuel cells as a replacement for platinum.

In tests involving half of the catalytic reaction that takes place in fuel cells, a team led by materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan and chemist James Tou discovered that versions with about 10 percent boron and nitrogen were efficient in catalyzing an… read more

‘Unzipped’ carbon nanotubes could help energize fuel cells and batteries, Stanford scientists say

May 29, 2012

damaged_outer_wall_nanotube

Multi-walled carbon nanotubes riddled with defects and impurities on the outside could replace some of the expensive platinum catalysts used in fuel cells and metal-air batteries, according to scientists at Stanford University.

“Platinum is very expensive and thus impractical for large-scale commercialization,” said Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford and co-author of the study. “Developing a low-cost alternative has been a… read more

Unveiling the “Sixth Sense,” game-changing wearable tech

March 11, 2009

TED has just released the video of MIT scientists Pattie Maes & Pranav Mistry unveiling their “Sixth Sense,” a wearable device with a projector, as in Minority Report — the buzz of TED.

Unusually Long and Aligned ‘Buckytubes’ Grown at Duke

April 23, 2003

Duke University chemists have developed a method of growing one-atom-thick cylinders of carbon (nanotubes) 100 times longer than usual, while maintaining a soda-straw straightness with controllable orientation. Their achievement solves a major barrier to the nanotubes’ use in ultra-small nanoelectronic devices, said the team’s leader.

Unusually long and aligned ‘buckytubes’ grown at Duke

April 25, 2003

Duke University chemists have developed a method of growing nanotubes 100 times longer than usual (4 mm.), while maintaining straightness with controllable orientation and cross-connecting nanotube grids. The achievement solves a major barrier to nanotubes’ use in ultra-small nanoelectronic devices.

Unusual 3D nanostructure could benefit nanoelectronics, gas storage

July 18, 2014

3-D boron nitride featured

An unusual three-dimensional porous nanostructure called pillared boron nitride (PBN) could achieve a balance of strength, toughness, and ability to transfer heat that could benefit nanoelectronics, gas storage, and composite materials that perform multiple functions, Rice University engineers have discovered.

Their findings were published online July 14 in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

The 3-D prototypes they made (using computer simulations) fuse one-dimensional boron nitride… read more

Until Cryonics Do Us Part

July 12, 2010

The men who want to be cryonically preserved — like Robin Hanson, an associate professor of economics at George Mason University — and the women who sometimes find it hard to be married to them.

Unthinking Machines

May 4, 2011

Artificial intelligence needs a reboot, according to experts at MIT’s Brains, Minds, and Machines symposium, calling for a return to the style of research that marked the early years of the field, one driven more by curiosity rather than narrow applications.

Patrick Winston, director of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory from 1972 to 1997, blamed the stagnation in part on the decline in funding after the… read more

Untangling Web Information

October 21, 2008

Radar Networks’ Twine, a Web organizer based on semantic technology, launches publicly today.

Twine is part bookmarking tool, part social network, and part recommendation engine, helping users collect, manage, and share online information related to any area of interest.

Twine uses machine learning and natural language processing to parse the contents of Web pages and extract key concepts, such as people, places, and organizations, from the pages that… read more

Untangling life’s origins

The "Big Bang" of protein evolution
March 13, 2013

protein_topologies_optimization

Researchers in the Evolutionary Bioinformatics Laboratory at the University of Illinois in collaboration with German scientists have been using bioinformatics techniques to probe the world of proteins for answers to questions about the origins of life.

Proteins are formed from chains of amino acids and fold into three-dimensional structures that determine their function. According to crop sciences professor Gustavo Caetano-Anollés, very little is known about… read more

Unstoppable Trend? Survey Says Online Music Swap Pervasive

March 18, 2002

Despite controversy over Web-based downloadable music, recent surveys show that this online trend is gaining momentum.

American youth, turned off by limited radio song selections and lured by the ease of Internet access, collect thousands of songs online without ever paying a cent.In particular, rising CD costs have turned many US college students into Web music download aficionados. Many have even traded in their stereos, using their PCs as… read more

Unreal Meetings

July 11, 2007

MIT researcher Drew Harry designs virtual spaces that don’t look like the familiar world–his virtual meeting room looks more like a football field than like a conference room. He says his goal is to stop mimicking the physical world and start creating a new kind of space.

His virtual meeting room arranges people based on their allegiance. Where an avatar stands signifies whether a person agrees or disagrees with… read more

Unprecedented growth seen for solar energy

February 9, 2009

“To go from the 1 gigawatt of generation capacity that we have now [in the United States] to the 170 to 200 gigawatts called for by 2030 amounts to a 26 percent compounded annual growth rate over the next 20 years,” according to John Lushetsky, program manager of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technology Program for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Lushetsky predicted that the solar energy… read more

Unplugged? Sue your ISP (at least in Germany)

January 25, 2013

Palais-Bundesgerichtshof-Karlsruhe-Germany

Can you force your ISP to pay for loss of access to an Internet connection?

Apparently yes, at least in Germany, where a Federal Court of Justice awarded a plaintiff €50 ($65) per day for the period his was unable to use his DSL, fax over IP and VoIP services, Computerworld UK reports.

The rationale: the Internet has been a crucial part of people’s economic living… read more

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