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Physicists at the University of Brit-

ish Columbia (UBC), Canada, report

creating the first-ever superconducting

graphene sample by coating it with lith-

ium atoms. Although superconductivity

has already been observed in interca-

lated bulk graphite, inducing supercon-

ductivity in single-layer graphene has

eluded scientists until now.

“Decorating monolayer graphene

with a layer of lithium atoms enhanc-

es the graphene’s electron-phonon

coupling to the point where supercon-

ductivity can be stabilized,” explains

researcher Bart Ludbrook.

Given the massive scientific and

technological interest, the ability to in-

duce superconductivity in single-layer

graphene promises to have significant

cross-disciplinary impacts. According

to financial reports, the global mar-

ket for graphene reached $9 million in

2014 with most sales in the semicon-

ductor, electronics, battery, energy,

and composites industries. The re-

searchers, including colleagues at the

Max Planck Institute for Solid State

Research, Germany, through the joint

Max-Planck-UBC Centre for Quantum

Materials, prepared the Li-decorated

graphene in ultra-high vacuum condi-

tions and at ultra-low temperatures of

-449°F (-267°C) to achieve this break-





Researchers at Massachusetts In-

stitute of Technology, Cambridge, de-

veloped a new family of materials that

can emit light of precisely controlled

colors and whose output can be tuned

to respond to a wide variety of external

conditions. The materials could find

applications in detecting chemical and

biological compounds, or mechanical

and thermal conditions.

These light-emitting lanthanide

metallogels can be chemically tuned to

emit light in response to chemical, me-

chanical, or thermal stimuli, potentially

University of British Columbia physicists created the first superconducting graphene

sample by coating it with lithium atoms.

Luminescent materials produced by the

MIT team shown under ultraviolet light,

emitting different colors of light that can

be modified by their environmental con-

ditions. Courtesy of Tara Fadenrecht.



U.S. Department of Defense


FlexTech Alliance

a cooperative

agreement to establish and manage a

Manufacturing Innovation Institute for

Flexible Hybrid Electronics

based in San Jose, Calif. The Alliance is comprised

of 96 companies, 11 laboratories and nonprofits, 42 universities, and 14 state

and regional organizations. The $75 million award, distributed over a five-year

period, will be matched by more than $96 million in cost sharing from nonfed-

eral sources, including the City of San Jose.


providing a visible output to indicate

the presence of a particular substance

or condition. Combining a metal from

the lanthanide group with polyethylene

glycol results in a material that produc-

es tunable, multicolored light emis-

sions. These emissions can then reflect

very subtle changes in the environment,

providing a color-coded output that re-

veals details of those conditions, says

assistant professor of materials science

and engineering Niels Holten-Anders-

en. The materials can also detect me-

chanical changes, and could be used to

detect stresses in mechanical systems.

For example, it’s difficult to measure

forces in fluids, Holten-Andersen says,

but this approach could provide a sen-

sitive means of doing so. The material

can be made in a gel, thin film, or coat-

ing that could be applied to structures,

potentially indicating a developing fail-

ure before it occurs.



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