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Molecules/Matter & Energy

Electrifying ink, superelastic alloys, knotty molecules and more in this week's news

10:24pm, July 3, 2011

Electrifying ink
New electricity-conducting ink can be used to make flexible electronic devices. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory created a silver-nanoparticle ink that smoothly flows through a rollerball pen tip without leaking, skipping or clogging and remains stable for months. The team then drew electrodes on ordinary office paper and, with a few other ingredients, used the paper to create a flexible sheet of light-emitting diodes and a 3-D radio-frequency antenna. Such a strategy could work for making paper-based batteries and medical diagnostic devices, the researchers report online June 20 in Advanced Materials. —Rachel Ehrenberg

Fossil pigments leave trace
A dark brown pigment leaves a trail of metal breadcrumbs in fossils that’s detectable millions of years later, an international team reports online June 30 in

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