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Simulating Atoms and Fractions of a Second

Simulating Atoms and Fractions of a Second
© Zhigilei

His world is picoseconds – trillionths of seconds; too short for any atomically resolved experiments: Professor Leonid Zhigilei is a materials scientist at the University of Virginia (USA). He was awarded the Humboldt Research Award for his calculations on the production of nanoparticles and will be spending his associated research stay in Technical Chemistry I at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE). The focus will be on materials for catalysis.

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Transfer of Charge Observed

Transfer of Charge Observed
© UDE/Andreas Reichert

Everyone has gotten an electric shock when touching a door handle. That’s because when two different substances touch, an electrostatic charge can occur that dissipates with a small flash. This frictional electricity can be used, for example, to separate particles in exhaust gases, but it can also unintentionally trigger explosions, for example when flammable liquids or powders are being handled. However, what exactly happens during contact electrification is so far only rudimentarily understood.

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Atomic Layer Pushes Surface Steps Away

Atomic Layer Pushes Surface Steps Away
© UDE/Petrović

Elbow mentality in a two-dimensional material: This has recently been discovered by an international team led by the Center for Nanointegration (CENIDE) at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE): The physicists succeeded in creating boron layers with a height of a single atom. While growing, the material simply pushes interfering steps on the substrate out of the way. The team published its results in the scientific journal ACS Nano.

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