Tag Archives: crystals

Reinventing the laser

High-power lasers have many potential applications: from medical imaging to manufacturing, shooting down drones or space junk, or powering deep space probes. But current laser technologies overheat at high power.

Associate Professor Rich Mildren and his team have developed a technique to make diamond lasers that, in theory, have extraordinary power range. Five years ago, their lasers were just a few watts in power. Now they’ve reached 400 watts, close to the limit for comparable conventional lasers.

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Add colour for 10 times more gas

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Matthew Lee (left) and Mike (right) injecting nutrients into a coal seam 80 metres below ground. Credit: Sabrina Beckmann

Adding a simple textile dye can increase the methane yield of coal seam gas wells by a factor of 10, researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have found.

The discovery could breathe new life into old, exhausted wells, reducing the need for new ones.

It could also improve the economics of renewable biogas energy production.

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Australian crystals clean gas, food, air…

Forty per cent of the energy consumed by industry is used to separate things— in natural gas production, mineral processing, food production, pollution control. The list goes on.

Matthew Hill’s crystals will save energy across industry. Credit: Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science/WildBear
Matthew Hill’s crystals will save energy across industry. Credit: Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science/WildBear

Each offers an application for Matthew Hill’s crystals. He has demonstrated that the space inside metal–organic frameworks (MOFs)—the world’s most porous materials—can be used as efficient and long-lasting filters.

By choosing different combinations of metals and plastics, Matthew’s CSIRO team can make a wide range of customised crystals. Then, using antimatter and synchrotron light, they map the internal pores, determine what each crystal can do and explore potential applications.

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The lighting revolution has only just begun

Zinc oxide crystal. Credit: Matthew Foley, UTS.
Zinc oxide crystal. Credit: Matthew Foley, UTS.

LED lighting is sweeping the world. It’s energy efficient, long lasting, and could save users billions of dollars worldwide and dramatically reduce carbon emissions. But it’s still a young technology. Much more efficient lights are on the way.

Continue reading The lighting revolution has only just begun