School children learn the difference between liquids and gases, but centuries of scholarship have failed to produce consensus about how to categorize glass. Now, combining theory and numerical simulations, researchers have resolved an enduring question in the theory of glasses, showing that their energy landscapes are far rougher than previously believed. The new model shows that molecules in glassy materials settle into a fractal hierarchy of states.
A new AIP report, titled Physics Entrepreneurship and Innovation, is based on extensive interviews with 140 PhD physicists and other professionals who co-founded and work at some 91 startup companies in 14 states that were established in the last few decades. These companies are engaged in making medical devices, manufacturing tools, nanotechnology, lasers and optical devices, renewable energy technologies and other products.
Treating cadmium-telluride solar cell materials with cadmium-chloride improves their efficiency, but researchers have not fully understood why. Now, an atomic-scale examination of the thin-film solar cells has answered this decades-long debate about the materials' photovoltaic efficiency increase after treatment.
Scientists have developed a very simple method for the modification of membranes through the inclusion of microgels.They report hollow-fiber membranes that demonstrate temperature-dependent flow and retention, thanks to thermoresponsive microgels.
A new nanomembrane made out of graphene is extremely light and breathable. Not only can this open the door to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing, but also to ultra-rapid filtration. The membrane is as thin as is technologically feasible.
With ultra-short laser pulses, chemical reactions can be controlled; electrons have little mass and are therefore influenced by the laser, whereas the atomic nuclei are much heavier and are hardly affected.
In the past few years, perovskite solar cells have made large leaps forward in efficiency, recently achieving energy conversion with up to 16 percent efficiency. These simple and promising devices are easy enough to make and are made up of earth abundant materials, but little work has been done to explore their atomic makeup.
PETA International Science Consortium will present a non-animal tiered-testing strategy for nanomaterial hazard assessment at the 7th International Nanotoxicology Congress being held in Antalya, Turkey on Apr. 23-26, 2014. The proposed strategy will generate meaningful information on nanomaterial properties and their interaction with biological systems.