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The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest

Chemists devise technology that could transform solar energy storage

The materials in most of today's residential rooftop solar panels can store energy from the sun for only a few microseconds at a time. A new technology is capable of storing solar energy for up to several weeks - an advance that could change the way scientists think about designing solar cells.

Posted: Jun 19th, 2015

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First solar cell made of highly ordered molecular frameworks

Researchers have developed a material suited for photovoltaics. For the first time, a functioning organic solar cell consisting of a single component has been produced on the basis of metal-organic framework compounds (MOFs). The material is highly elastic and might also be used for the flexible coating of clothes and deformable components.

Posted: Jun 19th, 2015

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A bundled attraction

A magnetic field and a protein jacket are all that is needed to create bundles of one-dimensional arrays of 'superparamagnetic' nanoparticles.

Posted: Jun 19th, 2015

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Adapting nanotechnology imaging tools to study ants' heat-deflecting adaptations

In a typical experiment involving biological material such as nanoscale hairs, it would usually be sufficient to use an electron microscope to create an image of the surface of the specimen. This research, however, required to look inside the ant hairs and produce a cross-section of the structure's interior. The relatively weak beam of electrons from a standard electron microscope would not be able to penetrate the surface of the sample.

Posted: Jun 18th, 2015

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Structural origin of glass transition

Scientists have demonstrated through computer simulations that the enhancement of fluctuations in a liquid's structure plays an important role as a liquid becomes a solid near the glass-transition point, a temperature below the melting point. This result increases our understanding of the origin of the glass transition and is expected to shed new light on the structure of liquids, thought until now to have been uniform and random.

Posted: Jun 18th, 2015

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Nanoscale asymmetry leads to Janus-like nanoparticle membranes

Using grazing incidence small angle x-ray scattering (GISAXS) and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), very small differences in the distribution of coated-nanoparticle membranes were detected and found to be responsible for their folding into tubular structures. Molecular dynamics simulations show this is related to surface molecular packing density and mobility.

Posted: Jun 17th, 2015

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