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Host-guest nanowires for efficient water splitting and solar energy storage

05-Feb-2016

California is committed to 33 percent energy from renewable resources by 2020. With that deadline fast approaching, researchers across the state are busy exploring options. Solar energy is attractive but for widespread adoption, it requires transformation into a storable form. Researchers report ...

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Polar vortices observed in ferroelectric

02-Feb-2016

The observation in a ferroelectric material of "polar vortices" that appear to be the electrical cousins of magnetic skyrmions holds intriguing possibilities for advanced electronic devices. These polar vortices, which were theoretically predicted more than a decade ago, could also "rewrite our ...

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Simplifying solar cells with a new mix of materials

29-Jan-2016

An international research team has simplified the steps to create highly efficient silicon solar cells by applying a new mix of materials to a standard design. Arrays of solar cells are used in solar panels to convert sunlight to electricity. The special blend of materials--which could also prove ...

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A nanoscale look at why a new alloy is amazingly tough

11-Jan-2016

Just in time for the icy grip of winter: A team of researchers led by scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has identified several mechanisms that make a new, cold-loving material one of the toughest metallic alloys ever. The alloy is made of chromium, ...

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Some like it hot: Simulating single particle excitations

21-Dec-2015

Plasmons, which may be thought of as clouds of electrons that oscillate within a metal nanocluster, could serve as antennae to absorb sunlight more efficiently than semiconductors. Understanding and manipulating them is important for their potential use in photovoltaics, solar cell water ...

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Diamonds may be the key to future NMR/MRI technologies

18-Dec-2015

Researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California Berkeley have demonstrated that diamonds may hold the key to the future for nuclear magnetic resonance and magnetic resonance imaging technologies In a study led by Alexander Pines, a senior faculty ...

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The artificial materials that came in from the cold

15-Dec-2015

It has often been said that nature is history's greatest innovator and if that is true then scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are learning from the best. Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a freeze-casting technique ...

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On the road to ANG vehicles

29-Oct-2015

With new makes of all-electric and hybrid automobiles seeming to emerge as fast as the colors of fall, it is easy to overlook another alternative to gasoline engines that could prove to be a major player in reduced-carbon transportation - cars powered by natural gas. Natural gas, which consists ...

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Is black phosphorous the next big thing in materials?

20-Oct-2015

A new experimental revelation about black phosphorus nanoribbons should facilitate the future application of this highly promising material to electronic, optoelectronic and thermoelectric devices. A team of researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has experimentally confirmed strong ...

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Newly discovered 'design rule' brings nature-inspired nanostructures one step closer

09-Oct-2015

Scientists aspire to build nanostructures that mimic the complexity and function of nature's proteins, but are made of durable and synthetic materials. These microscopic widgets could be customized into incredibly sensitive chemical detectors or long-lasting catalysts, to name a few possible ...

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