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Triboelectric generators capture wasted power (w/video)

With one stomp of his foot, Zhong Lin Wang illuminates a thousand LED bulbs - with no batteries or power cord. The current comes from essentially the same source as that tiny spark that jumps from a fingertip to a doorknob when you walk across carpet on a cold, dry day. Wang and his research team have learned to harvest this power and put it to work.

Posted: Dec 9th, 2013

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Polymers can be semimetals

Polymers can behave like insulators, semiconductors and metals - as well as semimetals. Twenty researchers, under the leadership of Xavier Crispin, Docent in organic electronics at Linköping University, are behind the breakthrough.

Posted: Dec 9th, 2013

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Optical techniques for accurately determining the toxicity of nanomaterials

EPFL researchers have developed a method for accurately determining the toxicity of nanomaterials. By using optical techniques, they are able to measure the concentration of the oxidizing substances produced by a damaged cell. Furthermore, this research also offers a new way to know more about the mechanisms of oxidative stress.

Posted: Dec 9th, 2013

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Electrical control of single atom magnets

The energy needed to change the magnetic orientation of a single atom - which determines its magnetic stability and therefore its usefulness in a variety of future device applications - can be modified by varying the atom's electrical coupling to nearby metals.

Posted: Dec 8th, 2013

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Characterizing solar cells with nanoscale precision using a low-energy electron beam

Researchers have demonstrated a new low energy electron beam technique and used it to probe the nanoscale electronic properties of grain boundaries and grain interiors in cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells. Their results suggest that controlling material properties near the grain boundaries could provide a path for increasing the efficiency of such solar cells.

Posted: Dec 6th, 2013

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