Tiny components with the ability to emit single particles of light are important for various technological innovations, such as encryption. Researchers in Germany have invented just such a component using three organic complexes groups around a central iridum atom and placed in a substrate. Induce electrical flow and photons are produced.
An R&D 100 Award-winning technology from National Renewable Energy Laboratory has recently been licensed to Natcore, a Colorado-based company that is able to commercialize the “black silicon” technology with its liquid phase deposition process.
Researchers in Stuttgart, Germany, have built an innovative experimental model that allows them to, for the first time, confirm theoretical predictions about how friction at the atomic scale produces localized distortions. This precise insight into how two microscopic surfaces slide over one another could help in the manufacture of low-friction surfaces.
The development of new and advanced materials is often the driver for other industries, such as those involving semiconductors, composites, thin films and coatings, medical devices, chemical and environmental processes, energy systems, and biopharmaceutical products. R&D for these materials involves developing new characteristics, properties, processing capabilities, and entirely new chemical families.
Dye-sensitized solar cells are made of inexpensive and environmentally benign materials including a dye, an electrolyte and titanium dioxide. A recently introduced dye, NCSU-10, has been shown to absorb more photons at lower dye concentrations, possibly helping developers build more transparent cells for windows and facades.
Researchers have used candle soot to produce a transparent superamphiphobic coating made of glass. Oil and water both roll off the new coating, leaving nothing behind. It works even when the layer was damaged with sandblasting.
In Germany, researchers have developed a new film for a VIP, or vacuum isolation panel, that will insulate homes without much additional structural alteration. Just 2-cm thick, the new VIPs reportedly perform just as well as 15-cm layers of polyurethane foam.
Wrinkles and folds, common in nature, do something unusual at the nanoscale. Researchers at Brown University and in Korea have discovered that wrinkles on super-thin films have hidden long waves that produce nanochannels, like thousands of tiny subsurface pipes.
Conventional cantilevers used in magnetic-force microscopes have been compromised either by a low resistance to magnetizing force from the sample material, or by lack of resolution due to coatings that protect them from magnetism. A new composite developed in China avoids both drawbacks.
University of Michigan researchers have capitalized on one of carbon nanotubes' unique properties—the low refractive index of low-density aligned nanotubes—to demonstrate a new application: making 3D objects appear as nothing more than a flat, black sheet.
Among a number of findings announced at the 53rd meeting of the Advanced Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics, scientist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory have learned a surprising a simple lesson about confining plasma in a fusion reactor. The more lithium coating that is used, the better the containment. The result could be smaller, cheaper reactors.
NASA engineers have produced a material that absorbs on average more than 99% of the ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and far-infrared light that hits it. The thin layer of multi-walled carbon nanotubes can absorb light 10 to 100 times better than alternate materials at a given wavelength, and will be useful for applications like stray-light suppression.
After a decade of research into finding ways to coat fibers with silver nanoparticles, materials researchers in Switzerland have, for the first time, created a textile material permanently coated with a durable, nanometer-thin layer of gold. The layer is applied with an argon-ion plasma process.
Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are currently produced using heavy-metal doped glass in order to achieve high efficiency and brightness. Engineers in Canada have re-constructed the high refractive index of these OLEDs on a plastic substrate, making the result light, flexible, and rugged.
A new conformal coating technique developed at Cornell University has allowed researchers to apply gold nanoparticles and conductive polymer layers to the irregular topography of cotton fibers, creating a flexible, cotton-based transistor that is fully tunable.
Sometimes a change in surroundings makes all the difference. That's the approach a group of researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory has used to improve the electricity output of a semiconductor material used in polymer-based solar cells.
For the electronics industry to effectively use graphene, it must first be grown selectively and in larger sheets. Materials experts at the University of California, Santa Barbara have refined a new, scalable chemical vapor deposition process that yields high-quality and high-uniformity graphene on a copper substrate.
Researchers often require a way to measure ultra-thin materials such as human tissue, nanoparticle, and other substances. A team at Penn State University have found that bombarding a material with buckyballs is an effective alternative to existing solutions.
Samsung and a team of researchers in Korea have modified resistance-change random access memory to withstand 1012 switching cycles, which is about 100 times greater than previously demonstrated RRAM technologies and 1,000,000 times better than commercial flash memory.
In traditional LCDs, less than 8% of the backlight actually reaches a viewer's eyes. The rest is absorbed by color filters and polarizers. A new kind of screen pixel has been invented that doubles as a solar cell and could greatly boost the energy efficiency of cell phones and e-readers.
A nearly $2 million grant at the University of California, Riverside is being put to use in making silicon-based electronics obsolete. The new approach will depend on the development of a magnetologic gate, a transistor replacement that is built with graphene.
Researchers at the Ohio Supercomputer Center are accelerating the adoption of carbon nanotubes in practical industrial applications by finding new ways to efficiently model the often complex materials that are currently being researched.
Solar concentrators that rely on mirrors and lenses typically require expensive tracking systems. But another type of cell, a luminescent concentrator proposed by Argonne National Laboratory and Northwestern University experts, would rely on fluorescent plastic to force light to “forget” its incoming wavelength, making its energy easier to harvest.
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.