In the past few years, perovskite solar cells have made large leaps forward in efficiency, recently achieving energy conversion with up to 16 percent efficiency. These simple and promising devices are easy enough to make and are made up of earth abundant materials, but little work has been done to explore their atomic makeup.
PETA International Science Consortium will present a non-animal tiered-testing strategy for nanomaterial hazard assessment at the 7th International Nanotoxicology Congress being held in Antalya, Turkey on Apr. 23-26, 2014. The proposed strategy will generate meaningful information on nanomaterial properties and their interaction with biological systems.
Quantum simulators recreate the behaviour on a microscopic scale of biological and quantum systems and even of particles moving at the speed of light. The exact knowledge of these systems will lead to applications ranging from more efficient photovoltaic cells to more specific drugs. Researchers are working on the design of several of these quantum simulators so they can study the dynamics of complex physical systems.
Ions are an essential tool in chip manufacturing, but these electrically charged atoms can also be used to produce nano-sieves with homogeneously distributed pores. A particularly large number of electrons, however, must be removed from the atoms for this purpose. Such highly charged ions either lose a surprisingly large amount of energy or almost no energy at all as they pass through a membrane that measures merely one nanometer in thickness. This discovery is an important step towards developing novel types of electronic components made of graphene.
In the quest to make sun power more competitive, researchers are designing ultrathin solar cells that cut material costs. At the same time they're keeping these thin cells efficient by sculpting their surfaces with photovoltaic nanostructures that behave like a molecular hall of mirrors.
Engineering researchers have achieved the highest efficiency ever in a 9 millimeter-squared solar cell made of gallium arsenide. After coating the cufflink-sized cells with a thin layer of zinc oxide, the research team reached a conversion efficiency of 14 percent.
It's a familiar trope in science fiction: In enemy territory, activate your cloaking device. And real-world viruses use similar tactics to make themselves invisible to the immune system. Now scientists have mimicked these viral tactics to build the first DNA nanodevices that survive the body's immune defenses.
A bullet fired through a block of wood will slow down. In a similar way, ions are decelerated when they pass through a solid material: the thicker the material, the larger the energy loss will be. However, this picture breaks down in ultra-thin target materials, which only consist of a few layers of atoms.
Researchers have synthesized a new class of macromolecules that self-assemble into various ordered structures with feature sizes smaller than 10 nanometers. Called 'giant surfactants', these large molecules mimic the structural features of small surfactants but have been transformed into functional molecular nanoparticles by being 'clicked' with polymer chains. The resulting materials are unique because they bridge the gap between small molecule surfactants and traditional block copolymers and thus possess an interesting duality in their self-assembly behaviors.
Researchers at UT Dallas recently received a $459,000, three-year grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, to track how multi-walled carbon nanotubes interact with human cells.