Research + Discoveries

  • 30-year-old Mystery on the Glass Problem Demystified

    The transformation of the free-energy landscape from smooth to hierarchical in glassy materials can significantly impact their low-temperature properties. With 30 pages of handwritten calculations Sho Yaida, a Duke postdoctoral fellow in the Charbonneau lab, has laid to rest a 30-year-old mystery about the nature of this transformation. The work was just published in Physical Review Letters.

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  • Printable Hydrogel Matches the Strength and Elasticity of Human Cartilage

    A cartilage-mimicking material created by the Wiley Lab may one day allow surgeons to 3-D print replacement knee parts that are custom-shaped to each patient’s anatomy. Feichen Yang, a graduate student in the Wiley lab, experimented with mixing together two different types of hydrogels -- one stiffer and stronger, and the other softer and stretchier -- to create what is called a double-network hydrogel.

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  • Lighting the Path Towards Selective Carbon Dioxide Hydrogenation

    The reliance on heated catalysts to overcome high activation energies and achieve practical reaction rates in industrial scale catalysis not only requires high thermal energy inputs but also shortens catalyst lifetime. By comparing light and dark conditions on rhodium catalysts in carbon dioxide hydrogenation, the Liu lab, together with Dr.

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  • Wiley Lab Develops Spray-On Memory for Digital Storage

    USB flash drives are already common accessories in offices and college campuses; but thanks to the rise in printable electronics, digital storage devices like these may soon be everywhere – including on our groceries, pill bottles and even clothing. The Wiley Lab has brought us closer to a future of low-cost, flexible electronics by creating a new “spray-on” digital memory device using only an aerosol jet printer and nanostructure inks. The device, which is analogous to a 4-bit flash drive, is t

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  • Shape Matters for Printed Electronics

    The high temperatures (>200 °C) required to melt silver nanoparticle inks together to make conductive lines has limited the development of printed electronic devices, such as RFID tags, on low-cost, heat-sensitive paper and plastic substrates.  By comparing the resistivity of films made from silver nanostructures with different shapes, the Wiley lab has shown that films of silver nanowires are 4000 times more conductive than the conventionally used silver nanoparticles after drying.

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