Chemistry in the News

Science Daily

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:20:04 EDT
A new chemical process can transform waste sulfur into lightweight plastic lenses that have a high refractive index and are transparent to mid-range infrared light. The lenses may have applications in thermal imaging devices. Other potential applications for the new plastic include sulfur-lithium batteries.

Surprising material could play huge role in saving energy: Tin selenide is best at converting waste heat to electricity
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:45:19 EDT
One strategy for addressing the world's energy crisis is to stop wasting so much energy when producing and using it, such as in coal-fired power plants or transportation. Nearly two-thirds of energy input is lost as waste heat. Now scientists have discovered a surprising material that is the best in the world at converting waste heat to useful electricity. This outstanding property could be exploited in solid-state thermoelectric devices, with potentially enormous energy savings.

Patented research remotely detects nitrogen-rich explosives
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:41:50 EDT
A patented technique that improves military security and remotely detects improvised explosive devices has been developed by an engineer. The same technique could help police during drug searches. The majority of chemical explosives are nitrogen-rich explosives.

Chiral breathing: Electrically controlled polymer changes its optical properties
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:05:43 EDT
Electrically controlled glasses with continuously adjustable transparency, new polarization filters, and even chemosensors capable of detecting single molecules of specific chemicals could be fabricated thanks to a new polymer unprecedentedly combining optical and electrical properties.

An abundant and inexpensive water-splitting photocatalyst with low toxicity
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:20:27 EDT
Researchers in Japan have discovered a new photocatalyst, Sn3O4, which facilitates the production of hydrogen fuel from water, using sunlight as an energy source.