Reusing the first stage of a commercial rocket: Economic cost of retrofitting a used rocket

Rockets for satellite launches remain the most important cost item of the launch process of any commercial satellite project, given the single use nature of the rocket. Thus, commercial space launch companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin have endeavoured to develop reusable rocket systems for reducing the cost of commercial satellite launches, and helping … More Reusing the first stage of a commercial rocket: Economic cost of retrofitting a used rocket

Challenges of recycling lithium-ion batteries

With increasing use of lithium ion batteries for personal mobile devices and computers, there is a concomitant need to plan the end of life treatment of these batteries that contain precious metals as well as toxic and flammable substances. Specifically, while lithium ion is thought to be the most important element for recover in the … More Challenges of recycling lithium-ion batteries

Synthesis of zig-zag shape graphene nanoribbons

Article in Nature, Vol. 531, 24 March 2016, pp. 489, “On-surface synthesis of graphene nanoribbons with zigzag edge topology”   Summary of article: Using a combination of polymerisation and dehydrogenation, zigzag graphene nanoribbons with bandgaps suitable for spintronics were synthesized and characterized, the latter by scanning tunnelling microscopy and tip functionalized non-contact atomic force microscopy. … More Synthesis of zig-zag shape graphene nanoribbons

Understanding laser induced removal of surface coating for materials engineering

Article in Nature, Vol. 537, Issue 7618, pp. 84, “Ablation-cooled material removal with ultrafast bursts of pulses”   Summary of article: Laser assisted ablation cooling was shown to be useful for precision removal of surface coating; thereby, opening up its use for modifying the surface characteristics and functionalities of a material. A top-down approach for … More Understanding laser induced removal of surface coating for materials engineering

How does the outsole design affect the performance of the midsole in shock absorption?

Focus on running shoes have always been on the midsole foam technology as well as the upper mesh design and colors. But, what is less well known is the strong influence of the outsole on the performance of the midsole foam in absorbing shock and stress. Specifically, the thread pattern of the outsole affects the … More How does the outsole design affect the performance of the midsole in shock absorption?

Strain gauges for measuring structural stability of buildings

Many buildings in earthquake prone regions of the world are vulnerable to structural damage resulting from slow creep of movement of earth. Thus, could it be possible that modern buildings incorporate strain gauges and pressure sensors for understanding the vibrations within the building due to wind effect, ground movement, or inherent oscillations of the building? … More Strain gauges for measuring structural stability of buildings

High temperature magnetic topological insulators

Article in Nature, Vol. 533, Issue 7604, pp. 513, “A high temperature ferromagnetic topological insulating phase by proximity coupling”   Summary of article: Bi2Se3 and EuS adatom bilayer was shown to exhibit topological insulating and magnetic properties. Topological insulator is a class of relatively new materials where the properties of the material differs between the … More High temperature magnetic topological insulators

Computational chemistry for investigating materials’ properties

Perspective article in Science, Vol. 354, Issue. 6309, pp. 180-181, “Making the most of materials computations”   Summary of article: Density functional theory (DFT) is the most popular ab initio (or from first principles) computational chemistry method for investigating interactions between small number of atoms and molecules. Advances in computational resources and algorithms together with … More Computational chemistry for investigating materials’ properties

Surface functionalization for improving the efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells

Article in Science, Vol. 354, Issue, 6309, pp. 203-206, “Improving efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells with photocurable fluoropolymers”   Summary of article: Efficiency of fluoropolymer coating on solar cells in absorbing solar photons in evaluated in this article. Perovskite solar cells, as a class of photovoltaic materials suffer from poor stability under normal … More Surface functionalization for improving the efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells