Neutrons detect air pollution

Portuguese scientists have analysed lichens from areas with traditional charcoal production for the first time with the help of the Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) of the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Lichens located near areas of charcoal production contained more than twice the concentration of phosphorus, which is generated during the combustion process.

Captured lithium

In our smartphones, our computers and in our electric cars: We use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries everywhere. But their capacity drops after a while. Now a German-American research team has investigated the structure and functionality of these batteries using neutron diffraction: They discovered that the electrolyte fluid’s decomposition products capture mobile lithium in the battery and that the distribution of lithium within the cell is surprisingly uneven.

Windows that generate electricity

Electricity from windowpanes sounds like science fiction at first, but it is an application that is possible with organic solar cells. To better understand the active layer of organic solar cells, a team of scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) studied the dynamic behaviour of the active layer at MLZ.

Ionic Liquid Bursts Open Wood Fibres In Minutes

High-grade biopolymers can be obtained from wood, which could replace fossil resources as a base material for a variety of products. However, this requires gentler processes than, for example, the production of cellulose for paper manufacture. So-called ionic liquids are suitable for breaking down wood in a gentle first-treatment step, and for making its components accessible for further processing.

Pressure and heat: Testing alloys for gas turbines

Gas turbines must endure extreme conditions like high forces at temperatures above 600°C. Gas turbine materials therefore must be sufficiently robust, and as such they are under constant development. Together with the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), VDM Metals International GmbH tested its improved VDM Alloy 780 using a specially developed testing machine at the Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II).