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Organic Photovoltaic Cells of the Future

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Organic photovoltaic cells -- a type of solar cell that uses polymeric materials to capture sunlight -- show tremendous promise as energy conversion devices, thanks to key attributes such as flexibility and low-cost production, but have complex power conversion processes. To maneuver around this problem, researchers have developed a method to determine the absolute value of the charge formation efficiency. The secret of their method is the combination of two types of spectroscopy.

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First Indirect Evidence of So-Far Undetected Strange Baryons

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New supercomputing calculations provide the first evidence that particles predicted by the theory of quark-gluon interactions but never before observed are being produced in heavy-ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC).

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Promising Ferroelectric Materials Suffer From Unexpected Electric Polarizations

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Brookhaven Lab scientists discover surprising head-to-head charge polarizations that impede performance in next-gen materials that might revolutionize data-driven devices

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Molecular Engineers Record an Electron’s Quantum Behavior

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A team of researchers led by the University of Chicago has developed a technique to record the quantum mechanical behavior of an individual electron contained within a nanoscale defect in diamond.

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UPDATED: Keeping Filler Ingredients Out of Your Cup of Coffee

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Coffee drinkers beware: Surprise ingredients may be hiding in your coffee, and growing shortages may well increase the chance of having more fillers in the future. A new test that will be reported today at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, may quickly find them before the beverage reaches stores and restaurants.

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3-D Microscope Method to Look Inside Brains

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A University of Utah team discovered a method for turning a small, $40 needle into a 3-D microscope capable of taking images up to 70 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

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‘Shape-Shifting’ Material Could Help Reconstruct Faces

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Injuries, birth defects or surgery to remove a tumor can create large gaps in bone. And when they occur in the head, face or jaw, these defects can dramatically alter a person’s appearance. Researchers will report at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society that they have developed a “self-fitting” material that expands with warm salt water to precisely fill bone defects, and also acts as a scaffold for bone growth.

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Rooting Out Skin Creams That Contain Toxic Mercury 


As most countries try to rid themselves of mercury pollution, some people are massaging creams containing the metal directly onto their skin to lighten it, putting themselves and others at risk for serious health problems. To find those most at risk, scientists are reporting today that they can now identify these creams and intervene much faster than before. They’re speaking at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

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Dust — And the Microbes Hitching Rides on It — Influences Rain, Climate


Dusty air blowing across the Pacific from Asia and Africa plays a critical role in precipitation patterns throughout the drought-stricken western U.S. Today, a scientist will present new research suggesting that the exact chemical make-up of that dust, including microbes found in it, is key to making better rain event predictions and explaining how air pollution influences regional climate. She will talk at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

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A New Look at What’s in ‘Fracking’ Fluids Raises Red Flags 


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As the oil and gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing proliferates, a new study on the contents of the fluids used raises concerns over several ingredients. The scientists presenting the work today at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society say out of nearly 200 commonly used compounds in “fracking,” there’s very little known about the potential health risks of about one-third, and eight are toxic to mammals.

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