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Disorder can improve the performance of plastic solar cells

Instead of mimicking rigid solar cells made of silicon crystals, materials scientists should embrace the inherently disordered nature of plastic polymers, say Stanford University scientists. Their findings could speed up the development of low-cost, commercially available plastic solar cells and other electronic devices.

Posted: Aug 4th, 2013

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Engine lubricant could rev up medical imaging

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have built a device that could speed up medical imaging without breaking the bank. The key ingredient? An engine lubricant called molybdenum disulfide, or MoS2, which has been sold in auto parts shops for decades.

Posted: Aug 3rd, 2013

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Versatile polymer film synthesis method invented

Forming perfect porous polymer films is not enough; they need both large and small pores, and the process of making them needs to be simple, versatile and repeatable. Creatively combining already established techniques, Cornell materials researchers have devised a so-called hierarchical porous polymer film synthesis method that may help make these materials useful for applications ranging from catalysis to bioengineering.

Posted: Aug 1st, 2013

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Light that moves and molds gels

Researchers have demonstrated a biomimetic response using hydrogels - a material that constitutes most contact lenses and microfluidic or fluid-controlled technologies. Their study is the first to show that these gels can be both reconfigured and controlled by light, undergoing self-sustained motion - a uniquely biomimetic behavior.

Posted: Aug 1st, 2013

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Catching cancer early by chasing it

Reaching a clinic in time to receive an early diagnosis for cancer - when the disease is most treatable - is a global problem. And now a team of Chinese researchers proposes a global solution: have a user-friendly diagnostic device travel to the patient, anywhere in the world.

Posted: Aug 1st, 2013

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Saws made of nanocarbon

More material could be saved when manufacturing wafers in future. Ultra-thin saws made of carbon nanotubes and diamond would be able to cut through silicon wafers with minimum kerf loss. A new method makes it possible to manufacture the saw wires.

Posted: Aug 1st, 2013

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