Chemistry articles

From muscles to motors: 2016 chemistry Nobel goes to creators of the world’s tiniest machines

From muscles to motors: 2016 chemistry Nobel goes to creators of the world’s tiniest machines

By Nicholas Evans, Lancaster University. The 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to three individuals for designing and developing molecular machines. Jean-Pierre Sauvage of France’s University of Strasbourg, J. Fraser Stoddart of Northwestern University in the US and Bernard L. Feringa from the University of Groningen in the the Netherlands will share a

Can next-generation bomb ‘sniffing’ technology outdo dogs on explosives detection?

By David Atkinson, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. With each terrorist attack on another airport, train station or other public space, the urgency to find new ways to detect bombs before they’re detonated ratchets up. Chemical detection of explosives is a cornerstone of aviation security. Typically called “trace detection,” this approach can find minuscule amounts of

How Nanotubes Can Self-Assemble into Tiny Wires [Video]

The strong force field emitted by a Tesla coil causes carbon nanotubes to self-assemble into long wires, a phenomenon scientists are calling “Teslaphoresis.” Chemist Paul Cherukuri of Rice University, who led the team that made the discovery, thinks the research sets a clear path toward scalable assembly of nanotubes from the bottom up. The system works by

Beyond silicon: the search for new semiconductors

Thomas Vandervelde, Tufts University Our modern world is based on semiconductors. In addition to your computer, cellphones and digital cameras, semiconductors are a critical component of a growing number of devices. Think of the high-efficiency LED lights you are putting in your house, along with everything with a lit display or control circuit: cars, refrigerators,

The science behind the Flint water crisis: corrosion of pipes, erosion of trust

Terese Olson, University of Michigan Flint’s recent water crisis is a stinging reminder that the infrastructure we often take for granted has many vulnerabilities. The crisis also underscores the complexity of providing communities with safe, high-quality potable water. Water utilities interested in using a new river water source, as the city of Flint was last

How Pollen Could Affect the Future of Batteries

That’s right, in one of those unusual twists of science, chemical engineers have discovered a way to use pollen – that stuff that makes many people sneeze – to make batteries. Specifically, what they’ve found is that pollen from bees and cattails could potentially be a renewable material for making anodes in lithium-ion batteries. Batteries