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

Reverse osmosis is the only means for removing trace contaminants in water

Current drinking water treatment techniques, while effective, is increasingly unable to cope with the larger set of trace contaminants in treated water found to impact on human health. For example, in some areas of the world, treated water contains trace concentration of lead (~ 3 parts per billion, ppb level), arsenic (~ 2 ppb), boron, … More Reverse osmosis is the only means for removing trace contaminants in water

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

An orbit around a body should be circular without propellant thrust

Cassini spacecraft is making its final 22 orbits around Saturn and is diving between the planet and its rings. Highly elliptical in trajectory, Cassini is said to be orbiting Saturn, but is it?   The answer is yes, but it must be noted that Cassini is travelling around Saturn with the help of timely thruster … More An orbit around a body should be circular without propellant thrust

Probing complex molecules with infrared frequency comb spectroscopy

Article in Nature, Vol. 533, Issue 7604, pp. 517, “Continuous probing of cold complex molecules with infrared frequency comb spectroscopy”   Summary of article: Cavity enhanced direct frequency comb infrared spectroscopy was demonstrated to be useful in detecting multiple rotations and vibrational states of a molecule in a broadband manner; thus, opening up its use … More Probing complex molecules with infrared frequency comb spectroscopy

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

Rare earth element doping for improving perovskite solar cell photovoltaic performance

Research article in Science, Vol. 354, Issue 6309, pp. 206-209, “Incorporation of rubidium cations into perovskite solar cells improves photovoltaic performance”   Summary of article: Expensive rubidium cations were used in improving the photo conversion efficiency of perovskite solar cells, but cost and scarcity of the precious metal could be major factors preventing its use. … More Rare earth element doping for improving perovskite solar cell photovoltaic performance

Carbon fibre as material of construction for car axle and suspension?

During my travel around Singapore delivering plastic bags to various shops, I noticed that there is a nascent trend of using carbon fibre as material of construction for cars’ axles and suspension unit. Specifically, while carbon fibre is a strong material capable of withstanding significant amount of load before failure, its catastrophic mode of failure … More Carbon fibre as material of construction for car axle and suspension?