Solar cells made from organic materials are inexpensive, lightweight and flexible, but their performance lags behind cells that contain silicon or other inorganic materials. Cornell chemist William Dichtel and colleagues have found a way to synthesize ordered organic films that could be a major step toward solving this problem.
An initiative that aims to complement the support provided by the offices of technology transfer is the European Commission-funded project ProNano - Promoting Technology Transfer of Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies. Ten companies from Spain, Germany, the UK, Italy, Denmark and France have joined forces within ProNano, to help 30 research groups develop attractive investment propositions and get in contact with interested investors.
As cells assemble into a doughnut shape and ascend a hydrogel cone, they do work and thereby reveal the total power involved in forming a three-dimensional structure. That measure not only could help tissue engineers understand their living building materials better, but could also add insight to the understanding of natural tissue formation.
A new discovery promises to help physicians identify patients most likely to benefit from breast cancer drug therapies. If the compound, called "Nanobody", proves effective in clinical trials, it would represent a significant advance for breast cancer drug therapy because some drugs are effective only in some people.
As part of the Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced nearly $170 million in available funding over three years to support a range of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology areas.
In a development that holds intriguing possibilities for the future of industrial catalysis, as well as for such promising clean green energy technologies as artificial photosynthesis, researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have created bilayered nanocrystals of ametal-metal oxide that are the first to feature multiple catalytic sites on nanocrystal interfaces. These multiple catalytic sites allow for multiple, sequential catalytic reactions to be carried out selectively and in tandem.
When a forensic agent dusts a surface with powder or exposes it to the vapors of an iodine chamber, mystery fans know what is going on: This is how latent fingerprints are made visible so that they can be compared to those of a suspect. Scientists have now developed a new process for especially rapid and simple detection of fingerprints. All it takes is a special nanofiber mat that is pressed onto the suspect surface and briefly treated with hot air - the fingerprints appear as red ridge patterns.
Kuenftig laesst sich vielleicht schon mit einer einzigen Solarzelle etwas anfangen. Forscher des Max-Planck-Instituts fuer Mikrostrukturphysik haben naemlich einen Effekt entdeckt, aufgrund dessen ein fotovoltaisches Element aus Bismutferrit eine Spannung von bis zu 40 Volt und nennenswerte Stromdichten liefert.
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have discovered a new way of making small molecules self-assemble into complex nanopatterns, which will push the limits of what is possible in 'bottom-up' methods of nanopatterning for advanced functional materials through molecular self-assembly.
Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology have developed a replacement for indium tin oxide (ITO), an important material used in displays for all kinds of everyday products such as TVs, telephones and laptops, as well as in solar cells. Unfortunately indium is a rare metal, and the available supplies are expected to be virtually exhausted within as little as ten years. The replacement material is a transparent, conducting film produced in water, and based on electrically conducting carbon nanotubes and plastic nanoparticles. It is made of commonly available materials, and on top of that is also environment-friendly.
Using a special reactor inside a clean room, researchers apply nanometer thick films of aluminum oxide to a sample silver wafer about the size of a silver dollar. The films conform to the recesses and protrusions of the silver, creating a protective barrier.