Scientists using lasers at a Science and Technology Facilities Council facility in the UK believe that they are a step closer to finding a replacement for silicon chips that are faster and use less energy than at present.
Scientists have long known that a molecule's behavior depends on its environment. Taking advantage of this phenomenon, a group of researchers at the University of Chicago developed a new technique to map microscopic environments using the vibrations of molecules.
A hybrid form of perovskite - the same type of material which has recently been found to make highly efficient solar cells that could one day replace silicon - has been used to make low-cost, easily manufactured LEDs, potentially opening up a wide range of commercial applications in future, such as flexible colour displays.
A group of scientists have converted used-cigarette butts into a high-performing material that could be integrated into computers, handheld devices, electrical vehicles and wind turbines to store energy.
Like the perfect sandwich, a perfectly engineered thin film for electronics requires not only the right ingredients, but also just the right thickness of each ingredient in the desired order, down to individual layers of atoms. Researchers have discovered that sometimes, layer-by-layer atomic assembly requires some unconventional 'sandwich making' techniques.