In the race to make solar cells cheaper and more efficient, many researchers and start-up companies are betting on new designs that exploit nanostructures. Using nanotechnology, researchers can experiment with and control how a material generates, captures, transports, and stores free electrons - properties that are important for the conversion of sunlight into electricity.
ONAMI and SNNI (Safer Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacting Initiative) present the Greener Nano 2008 Conference: Nanoscience for a Sustainable Future, 10-11 March 2008 at the Hewlett-Packard Company Corvallis, OR site.
Over the last four decades, computer chips have found their way into virtually every electronic device in the world. During that time they have become smaller, cheaper and more powerful, but, for a team of European researchers, there is still plenty of scope to push back the limits of miniaturization.
Researchers have achieved optical waveguiding of near-infrared light through features embedded in self-assembled, three-dimensional photonic crystals. Applications for the optically active crystals include low-loss waveguides, low-threshold lasers and on-chip optical circuitry.
Developing smart, multifunctional materials that can be used in protective clothing, medical applications and buildings is the goal of the EU-funded INTELTEX ('Intelligent multi-reactive textiles integrating nano-filler based CPC-fibres') project.
One currently popular response to rapid technological evolution is to call for 'the democratization of technology.' Among other things, this approach calls for increased awareness and sensitivity of technologists to the social implications of their work, and greater efforts to include society in decisions regarding the particular structure and deployment of various technologies.