A phenomenon of "photoexpansion" in hard plastic films with a high glass transition temperature in the dry state was established, which was essentially different from very soft actuators, such as elastomers or gels. The photoexpanding hard actuators were expected to apply in the wide fields because they do not contain vaporable matters such as solvents and were much more thermoresistant than conventional ones.
Plastics are ubiquitous, but they're not practical. Less than 10% are recycled, and the other ~8 billion tons are creating a pollution crisis. A Berkeley Lab team is determined to change that. A new analysis shows producing and recycling their game-changing new plastic could be easy and cheap enough to leave old plastics in the dust.
A new paper is the first to study the effects of advanced shoe technology on the performance of elite long-distance runners. Researchers found that the new footwear, featuring lightweight foam and a rigid plate in the midsole, significantly reduced race times for both men and women. Female runners benefited most, shaving about 2 minutes and 10 seconds off marathon times, which represents a 1.7 percent boost in performance.
Careful criminals usually clean a scene, wiping away visible blood and fingerprints. However, prints made with trace amounts of blood, invisible to the naked eye, could remain. Dyes can detect these hidden prints, but the dyes don't work well on certain surfaces. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces have developed a fluorescent polymer that binds to blood in a fingerprint -- without damaging any DNA also on the surface -- to create high-contrast images.
Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have designed an enzyme-activated compostable plastic that could diminish microplastics pollution. Household tap water or soil composts break the hybrid plastic material down to reusable small molecules, called monomers, in just a few days or weeks.
Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a stable high-conductivity polymer ink. The advance paves the way for innovative printed electronics with high energy efficiency. The results have been published in Nature Communications.
Eliminating plastic pollution has become a priority for many nations, yet today's biodegradable plastics, like PLA, do not completely degrade during typical composting processes, and much of the biodegradable plastic ends up in landfills. UC Berkeley scientists show that enzymes can be embedded in polyester plastic if protected by nanoscale polymers, and then unleased by heat and moisture to degrade the plastic to simple molecules. Plastics made with this process compost within weeks.
Using a novel molecular-data-storage technique, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have encoded a quote from Jane Austen's classic novel Mansfield Park in a series of oligomers, which a third party could read back without prior knowledge of the structures that encoded the passage. The findings appear April 21st in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science.
Using machine learning methods, researchers at TU Graz can predict the structure formation of functionalized molecules at the interfaces of hybrid materials. Now they have also succeeded in looking behind the driving forces of this structure formation.
Russian scientists have proposed a theory of phase transformation in polymer gels. It explains the mechanisms of the dramatic reduction in volume of zwitterionic hydrogels when they are cooled. The results are published in the journal Chemical Communications (ChemComm).