Researchers in California have recently described a new kind of polymer solar cell that produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light, not visible light, making the cells nearly 70% transparent to the human eye. The device was made from a photoactive plastic that converts infrared light into an electrical current.
Johns Hopkins Hospital tissue engineers have used tiny, artificial fiber scaffolds thousands of times smaller than a human hair to help coax stem cells into developing into cartilage, the shock-absorbing lining of elbows and knees that often wears thin from injury or age.
A drawing program and a 3D printer: These might be the only tools necessary for production of microstructures and nanostructures for devices and sensors of the future. With a new printed 3D silicon manufacturing technology, researchers at Sweden hope to greatly reduce the cost and complexity of creating these building blocks.
A new laser based technology to structure organic solar cells, developed in Germany, has proved itself as fast and efficient at helping to create organic solar cells. Called direct laser beam interference patterning, the method transfers nanostructures in one step into metals, ceramics or polymers.
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory-led Army ManTech program has achieved a breakthrough in the ability to process thermoplastic-based composites for use in the helmets of soldiers. The new material grades have produced several types of head protection, each of which saves at least one-quarter the weight and up to 35% higher tolerance from fragmenting munitions.
Scientists in the U.K. have discovered a previously unrecognized volcanic process called “fluidized spray granulation”, which can occur during kimberlite eruptions to produce well-rounded particles containing mantle, most notably diamonds. This physical process is remarkable similar to the gas injection and spraying process used to form smooth coatings on chocolates.
Stratasys, Inc., a manufacturer of 3D printers and production systems for prototyping and manufacturing applications, and privately-held Objet Ltd., a manufacturer of 3D printers for rapid prototyping, have approved a definitive merger agreement under which the companies would combine in an all-stock transaction worth approximately $1.4 billion.
Medical isotopes are used to treat cancer and heart disease worldwide, but have been typically been made using highly enriched uranium. This material can also be used to create nuclear bombs, which has prompted a recent agreement between several countries to ensure its future supply while improving security.
Inspired by nature's ability to shape a petal, and building on simple techniques used in photolithography and printing, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed a new tool for manufacturing three-dimensional shapes easily and cheaply. A new method of gel lithography allowed them to photo-pattern polymer gel sheets that can then be shaped at will.
Following up on a 2009 demonstration of an efficient electrical interface for nanomechanical resonators, a research team in Munich, Germany, have now built a fully integrated nanomechanical sensor platform that permits robust and sensitive detection of tiny displacements.
A multinational team of scientists has developed a process for creating glass-based, inorganic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that produce light in the ultraviolet range. If successfully integrated into biomedical devices, these would be the first robust, cheap to produce, and chemically stable LEDs to operate in the medically-useful UV spectrum.
Fifteen years ago, an environmentally-friendly solder developed by Ames Laboratory became the first viable, cost-effective alternative to tin-lead solder. The successful tin-silver-copper alloy has now replaced an advanced mass spectrometer as the top royalty generator for both Ames and Iowa State University.
General Motors and Teijin Limited, a manufacturer of carbon fiber and composites, have announced they will co-develop advanced carbon fiber composite technologies for potential high-volume use globally in GM cars, trucks, and crossovers.
The Haber-Bosch process has long been used to convert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia—essential in the manufacture of fertilizer—but scientists have had little understanding of how it actually works. A team of chemists at the University of Rochester have produced new insights into how ammonia is formed.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory has awarded a $13.2 million task order to AREVA Federal Services for fabrication of five drain tanks for the ITER tokamak cooling water system. ITER is an international project to demonstrate the feasibility of commercial fusion energy.
Based on more than nine years of research, a new pressure-volume-temperature (pvT) and thermal conductivity developed by engineers in the UK is intended to improve the design and processing of plastics, including the injection molding process used to make specialized polymers.
Diamonds can be produced artificially only under difficult conditions, and past predictions of the phase transitions involved have been theoretical because of simulation complexity. Advances in computing have allowed researchers in Switzerland to now show exactly how graphite is converted into diamond.
Using a structural laboratory, researchers at Purdue University have designed an experimental method of studying the behavior of buildings on fire. Thermal panels and hydraulic force generators are used to simulate the extreme heat of a structural blaze, and has delivered insights on the fire’s effects.
Because they subsist on the tough, woody bamboo plant, it makes sense that panda waste, according to scientists, contains bacteria with potent effects in breaking down plant material in the way needed to tap biomass.
With the introduction of a new chlorine manufacturing process achieved by combining oxygen depolarized cathode technology and new electrolysis technology, Bayer MaterialScience is poised to save enough electricity to power a small city.
Working together with a European automobile manufacturer, mPhase has produced a refined product with increased functionality over prior examples and a 20% reduction in size, using MEMS processing and microfluidics technologies.
When finished, the 4.2-meter mirror being crafted by the Univ. of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope in Hawaii will be the largest telescope mirror ever pointed at the sun. Complicating the task of polishing this mirror is the shape: the telescope’s design calls for a complex off-axis paraboloid surface.
Unlike crystals, glasses lack a strict organization of repeating patterns. But sometimes they demonstrate atomic-scale order. New research from Carnegie’s Geophysical Laboratory reveals the possibility of creating a metallic glass that is organized on a larger scale: the perfect glass.
Because of its outstanding performance characteristics, polycarbonate resin is widely used to manufacture parts used in a myriad of industries. Now Bayer MaterialScience offering 2-D and 3-D solutions that offer greater scratch resistance for polycarbonate parts.
Making its largest single investment yet in clean energy, Google has inked a deal with photovoltaic installer SolarCity in an effort to help private homeowners put solar panels on their rooftops. The agreement is just one of the many recent renewable energy investments Google has made.