Materials

Desalination solution

Desalination – the conversion of saltwater to freshwater – has been limited by high operational costs. A new device capable of turning desalination waste into commercially valuable chemicals could make the process cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

Experimental two-in-one shot could aid diabetics

Researchers have developed a way to combine insulin with a second hormone known as amylin, to create a two-in-one injection that could, if proven safe and effective in human trials, make it easier for diabetics to more effectively control their blood sugar levels.

A better way to build diamonds

With the right amount of pressure and surprisingly little heat, a substance found in fossil fuels can transform into pure diamond.

Defects add color to quantum systems

Researchers are investigating light-emitting defects in materials that may someday enable quantum-based technologies, such as quantum computers, quantum networks or engines that run on light. Once understood, these defects can become controllable features.

New catalyst helps turn carbon dioxide into fuel

Stanford engineers Aisulu Aitbekova and Matteo Cargnello say a new process shows promise in turning the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide back into usable fuels, and yields four times as much fuel as previous approaches.

What it’s like to be a chemist

Laura Dassama and her fellow Stanford chemists talk about their paths into the field, the joys of making new molecules and the way in which the “central science” pervades our lives.

Atomically thin heat shield protects electronics

Atomically thin materials developed by Stanford researchers could create heat shields for cell phones or laptops that would protect people and temperature-sensitive components and make future electronic gadgets even more compact.

Wireless sensors stick to skin and track health

Stanford engineers have developed experimental stickers that pick up physiological signals emanating from the skin, then wirelessly beam these health readings to a receiver clipped onto clothing. It’s all part of a system called BodyNet.