Neutrons offer guide to getting more out of solid-state lithium-ion batteries

A new study has revealed promising results that could drastically boost the performance of solid-state electrolytes, and could potentially lead to a safer, even more efficient battery. Researchers used neutron diffraction (the VULCAN instrument, SNS beam line 7) to conduct an in-depth study probing the entire structure evolution of doped garnet-type electrolytes during the synthesis process to unravel the mechanism that boosts the lithium-ionic conductivity.

Storms and microbes are behind the mystery of the wandering stones

The ‘sailing’ stones of Death Valley in California are famous for apparently moving by themselves, with the phenomenon not being exclusive to this North American desert but also occurring in Spain, in the Manchego lagoon Altillo Chica. Researchers have observed that wind from winter storms generates currents that can push the stones over a surface colonized by microbes. Then once the water has vanished, the mysterious trail is left on the dry bottom of the lagoon.

Near zero friction from nanoscale lubricants

Friction hampers the movement of all mechanical parts, including engines for transportation. Scientists built a system with virtually no friction. The system wraps graphene flakes around nanodiamonds that then roll between a diamond-like carbon-surface and graphene on silica.