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UChicago-Argonne National Lab Team Improves Solar-Cell Efficiency

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New light has been shed on solar power generation using devices made with polymers, thanks to a collaboration between scientists in the University of Chicago’s chemistry department, the Institute for Molecular Engineering, and Argonne National Laboratory.

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EMBARGOED

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 23-Sep-2014 11:00 AM EDT

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Can Biomass Harvesting Reduce the Risk of Wildfires: HSU Forestry Expert Can Comment

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A More Efficient, Lightweight and Low-Cost Solar Cell

Scientists trying to improve the power conversion efficiency of organic solar cells were long hampered by drawbacks of metal electrodes. Now comes a more efficient, easily processable and lightweight solar cell that can use any metal for the electrode, breaking down this barrier.

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Germanium Tin Could Mean Better and Cheaper Infrared Cameras in Smartphones

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University of Arkansas researchers have fabricated a new semiconductor material that can be used to build better and less expensive infrared cameras for smartphone and automobiles.

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Physicists Heat Freestanding Graphene to Control Curvature of Ripples

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An international team of physicists, led by a research group at the University of Arkansas, has discovered that heating can be used to control the curvature of ripples in freestanding graphene.

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The Future Face of Molecular Electronics

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The emerging field of molecular electronics could take our definition of portable to the next level, enabling the construction of tiny circuits from molecular components. In these highly efficient devices, individual molecules would take on the roles currently played by comparatively-bulky wires, resistors and transistors. A team of researchers has identified a potential candidate for use in small-scale electronics: a molecule called picene.

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Angling Chromium to Let Oxygen Through

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More efficient fuel cells might gain wider use in vehicles or as quiet, pollution-free, neighborhood electricity generating stations. A serendipitous finding has resulted in a semiconducting material that could enable fuel cells to operate at temperatures two-thirds lower than current technology, scientists reported August 18 in Nature Communications.

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Artificial Membranes on Silicon

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Artificial membranes mimicking those found in living organisms have many potential applications ranging from detecting bacterial contaminants in food to toxic pollution in the environment to dangerous diseases in people. Now a group of scientists in Chile has developed a way to create these delicate, ultra-thin constructs through a "dry" process, by evaporating two commercial, off-the-shelf chemicals onto silicon surfaces.

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First-Ever Look Inside a Working Lithium-Ion Battery

In an unprecedented view inside a working lithium-ion battery, researchers used a neutron beam to "see" the flow of lithium in real time, as the battery charged and discharged. What they saw could one day help explain why rechargeable batteries lose capacity over time, and why they even sometimes catch fire.

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