During World War II the Germans relied on their strong chemical knowledge to overcome the limited access to critical raw materials that the circumstances of the war itself imposed. One of these raw materials was Chilean saltpeter (sodium nitrate), which […]
Common glass, used in windows or bottles, for example, is made by heating a mixture of calcium oxide (lime), sodium carbonate (soda), and silicon (IV) oxide (sand), resulting in a calcium silicate. This silicate is not a crystal but a […]
When we approximate two superconducting materials at low temperature, so that they are only separated by a very thin layer (less than 10 nanometres thick) of an insulating material, some new and very interesting electrical effects can be observed.
Gold is the quintessential noble metal. Its lack of chemical reactivity, particularly to acids and atmospheric corrosion, together with is rarity and malleability make it the precious metal it is since ancient times.
Today, if we go for a description […]
When light encounters molecules, the predominant mode of scattering is elastic scattering (Rayleigh). This scattering is responsible for the blue colour of the sky, for example. It is also possible for the incident photons to interact with the molecules in […]
Nanopore DNA sequencing was one the ten scientific breakthroughs of 2016 highlighted by Science magazine. In principle, graphene is the perfect pore material for DNA sequencing . Its monoatomic thickness of 0.35 nm is similar to the DNA base spacing […]
Faster. That is the word that describes de evolution of electronics. Any new development has to be faster than anything before, if it is going to cope with the huge amount of information that the device where it may be […]
Carbon has four valence electrons. To fill its octet, it requires four additional electrons, which can be obtained through the formation of four covalent bonds. Carbon forms single, double, and triple bonds to achieve a filled octet. As a result, […]
A topological insulator is a material in which there is order associated to topology, i.e., the surface can conduct electricity but the bulk of the material is an insulator. In these last years topological insulators have received the attention of […]
Geometrical structure, lattice periodicity and atomic arrangement are subtly intertwined with the electronic properties of materials. Sub-angstrom changes in the atomic distance are sufficient to modify the physical and chemical properties, such as the band-structure, carrier mobility and the chemical […]