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Study Boosts Hope for Cheaper Fuel Cells

Rice researchers show how to optimize nanomaterials for fuel-cell cathodes. Nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes or modified graphene nanoribbons may be suitable replacements for platinum for fast oxygen reduction, the key reaction in fuel cells that transform chemical energy into electricity, according to Rice University researchers. The findings are from computer simulations by Rice scientists who set

Nanoribbons Create On/Off Switch for Graphene

A new way to grow narrow ribbons of graphene, a lightweight and strong structure of single-atom-thick carbon atoms linked into hexagons, may address a shortcoming that has prevented the material from achieving its full potential in electronic applications. Graphene nanoribbons, mere billionths of a meter wide, exhibit different electronic properties than two-dimensional sheets of the

Graphene Composite May Keep Wings Ice-Free

Rice University develops conductive graphen-based material to heat surfaces, simplify ice removal. A thin coating of graphene nanoribbons in epoxy developed at Rice University has proven effective at melting ice on a helicopter blade. The coating by the Rice lab of chemist James Tour may be an effective real-time de-icer for aircraft, wind turbines, transmission