A multidisciplinary engineering team developed a new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants designed to absorb and convert to heat more than 90 percent of the sunlight it captures. The new material can also withstand temperatures greater than 700 degrees Celsius and survive many years outdoors in spite of exposure to air and humidity.
Empa toxicologist Harald Krug has lambasted his colleagues in the journal Angewandte Chemie. He evaluated several thousand studies on the risks associated with nanoparticles and discovered no end of shortcomings: poorly prepared experiments and results that don't carry any clout. Instead of merely leveling criticism, however, Empa is also developing new standards for such experiments within an international network.
Researchers have shown that crystalline gold nanoparticles aligned and then fused into long chains can be used to confine light energy down to the nanometer scale while allowing its long-range propagation.
Researchers succeeded in direct observation and video imaging of electron flow at 80,000m per second in a semiconductor. They did so by combining a new laser pulse light source and a photoemission electron microscope (PEEM) to develop an ultra high-speed microscope that enabled visualization of electrons on a 20 nanometer and 200 femtosecond scale.
Electrons are elementary particles - indivisible, unbreakable. But new research suggests the electron's quantum state - the electron wave function - can be separated into many parts. That has some strange implications for the theory of quantum mechanics.
A new way to calculate the electrical properties of individual components of composite materials could open a path toward more energy-efficient medical refrigerators, air-conditioned car seats and more.
Recently, scientists used self-assembly under controlled conditions to create a membrane consisting of layers with distinctly different structures. Now, the team utilized small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) to better determine these structures and study how they form. This new information paves the way for design and synthesis of hierarchical structures with biomedical applications.
Researchers have developed a new method to overcome the problems of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS), an ultra-sensitive analytical technique able to detect chemicals in very low concentration, even up to single molecules, and also to retrieve structural information.
Scientists have made the first observation of the electronic structure in silver-rhodium (Ag-Rh) alloy nanoparticles to investigate why the alloy possesses a hydrogen absorbing/storage property like palladium does, given that bulk Ag and Rh do not form an alloy, and that neither element alone is a hydrogen absorbing/storage metal.
New device screens for kidney disease, prostate cancer on the spot. The tiny tube is lined with DNA sequences that latch onto disease markers in urine. While healthy samples flow freely, a diseased sample gets clogged and stops short of the mark.
Scientists have succeeded in simultaneously observing the reorganizations of atomic positions and electron distribution during the transformation of the 'smart material' vanadium dioxide from a semiconductor into a metal - in a timeframe a trillion times faster than the blink of an eye. This marks the first time experiments have been able to distinguish changes in a material's atomic-lattice structure from the relocation of the electrons in such a blazingly fast process.
You don't always need GPS, a map or a compass to find the right way. What demands a tremendous amount of computational power from today's navigation computers can also be achieved by taking advantage of the laws of physical chemistry and practicing so-called 'chemical computing'.