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Researchers probe the effects of defects in solids to improve the speed of electronic devices
Many of the solid materials used in electronic devices (such as semiconductor devices usually made out of silicon) develop defects in their crystal structure when the crystals are grown. Scientists have for long used these defects to their advantage, and have even wilfully introduced defects to achieve interesting material properties. For instance, electrical properties of semiconductors are improved by adding a few atoms of a different element to it.
Researchers study the structure of taro leaves to make water-repellent material
The leaves of taro plants are a familiar ingredient in many regional delicacies across India. Featuring in dishes like alu wadi and pathrode, the heart-shaped leaves of this plant have an interesting quality — they are hydrophobic. Liquids that land on their surface do not wet the leaves but instead roll off them.