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Scientists get to the heart of fool's gold as a solar material

Theoretically, iron pyrite could do the job, but when it works at all, the conversion efficiency remains frustratingly low. Now, a research team explains why that is, in a discovery that suggests how improvements in this promising material could lead to inexpensive yet efficient solar cells.

Posted: Nov 19th, 2014

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New model clarifies photoexcited thin-film lattice dynamics

No comprehensive study has yet been carried out to characterize the photoexcited lattice dynamics of an opaque thin film on a semi-infinite transparent substrate. As a result, ultrafast X-ray diffraction data for such samples can be challenging to interpret. Now a new study builds a model to help interpret such data.

Posted: Nov 18th, 2014

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Billions of nanoreactors inform materials design

Imagine building a chemical reactor small enough to study nanoparticles a billionth of a meter across. A billion times smaller than a raindrop is the volume of an E. coli cell. And another million times smaller would be a reactor small enough to study isolated nanoparticles. Add to that the challenge of making not just one of these tiny reactors, but billions of them, all identical in size and shape. Researchers at Cornell have done just that.

Posted: Nov 17th, 2014

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