A newly published paper from EMPA, the Swiss federal laboratory, details the steps its technology team took to build a flexible cadmium-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) photovoltaic cell that would achieve a world record 18.7% efficiency rating.
Researchers used a combination of four analysis techniques to make the first detailed images of nitrogen-doped single layer graphene film. The results show that the extra electrons added by nitrogen affect the electricial conductivity of the lattice in a predictable way, an important implication for practical development of the material.
A bio-art project has given Utah State researcher Randy Lewis more reason to hope his genetically engineered spider silk can be used to help surgeons heal large wounds and create artificial tendons and ligaments.
A net of fine lines surrounding tiny silica microspheres confined in thin liquid crystal layers is now a test bed for creating any kind of microscopic knot. The finding by researchers in Germany and Slovenia could have important implications because the knotting of DNA molecules is crucial to the way genes function.
With a $900,000 contract, QD Vision Inc. has been tasked to develop two prototype quantum dot-based devices, one electroluminescent and one photoluminescent, to serve as development tools for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
A team led by researchers at Stanford and Harvard universities has not only created a new material for high-speed organic semiconductors, it has come up with a new approach that can take months, even years, off the development timeline.
With five times the tensile strength of steel, spider thread is a fascinating material. Yet, attempts to produce the material on an industrial scale have failed. Researchers in Germany have unlocked the protein structure of this thread, a finding that could open the door to artificial spider silk.
A team of researchers Argonne National Laboratory has built a multi-thousand-layer lens that focuses high-energy x-rays so tightly it can detect objects as small as 15 nm in size and is in principle capable of focusing to well below 10 nm.
The editors of R&D Magazine have opened the nominations for the 2012 R&D 100 Awards competition, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the awards. If your organization introduced a new product this year, or is planning to, you can begin the entry process now.
HyTAC, from the Industrial Technology Research Institute, is a polarizer protective film made with thermosetting epoxy resin enabled by nano-hybrid technology. The film has superior optical birefringent properties without toxic chemicals.
Engineers at the University of California, Los Angeles have created a new type of liquid-crystal display called a polarizing organic photovoltaic. It could potentially boost the function of these types of display by allowing them to harvest energy.
Engineers at the University of California, Los Angeles have demonstrated for the first time an intrinsically stretchable polymer light-emitting device. They developed a simple process to fabricate the transparent devices using single-walled carbon nanotube polymer composite electrodes.
Graduate students at the Rice University nanotechnology laboratory of chemist James Tour recently showed a Girl Scout troop from Houston how to make their popular shortbread cookies into a valuable single-atom-thick sheet of graphene.
Flexible, see-through video screens are a sought-after development in display technology, and if researchers at Rice University are successful, the solution to this goal is an electrode based on graphene. Their demonstration unit has shown considerable reliability, and avoids the use of rare elements as in indium-based coatings.
Several European countries have gotten together to build a instrument platform that simplifies problematic or currently impossible tasks in the field of nanotechnology R&D. The tool will include a dual focused ion beam and scanning electron microscope joined to a scanning probe microscope. Dubbed FIBLYS (or FIB anaLYSis), the tool is in prototype stage.
Researchers at NIST have demonstrated a measurement technique that reliably determines three fundamental mechanical properties of near-nanoscale films. The technique, which highlights the challenge of making mechanical measurements on an object with at least one dimension comparable to the size of a virus, should enable better design and engineering for a variety of thin-film technologies.
According to work by materials scientists in Japan, the optical properties of carbon nanotubes can be altered by changing the density of electrons in the tube. Visible color change is achieved by applying a voltage of at least 2 V across tube when suspended in an electrolyte solution.
Organisms that stick to the lower structures of ships increase fuel consumption and costs of maintenance substantially. Currently, the organisms are killed with toxic biocides, but efforts are underway to create nano-structured surfaces that make organisms fall off when the ships move.
Chemists at the University of Connecticut have perfected an inexpensive method for creating quick-changing, variable colors in films and displays, such as sunglasses. Typically, self-tinting lenses are equipped with a photochromic film, but the new technology uses an electrochromic mixture of polymers that react electrically when triggered by light.
The upcoming mission to map a billion stars in our galaxy will be accomplished with a digital camera that features just as many pixels. The largest digital camera ever built will feature 106 separate electronic detectors that will detect distant stars a million times fainter than the human eye can see.
Guitar virtuosos have to master all kinds of playing techniques. But how can the intricate process of playing the instrument be captured digitally? A special thin film on the tailpiece has the answer. Functioning as a sensor, it converts the tension on the string into digital control signals.
Graphene is incredibly conductive when it is completely flat. But conditions are not always optimal, and the presence of folds or bends disrupts the flow of electrons along the materials surface. Using computer simulations and x-ray microscopy methods, researchers have observed how folds and ripples hurt conductivity.
Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets has just issued its latest report on the thin-film battery market, projecting that the value of products containing thin-film batteries will reach approximately $14 billion by 2016.
A team of researchers has proposed a way to turn the material graphene into a semiconductor, enabling it to control the flow of electrons with a laser "on-off switch". The obvious roadblock in this scheme is graphene’s lack of a bandgap, but the European team has theorized based on simulations that a mid-IR laser can open an observable gap.
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.