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Improving solar cell efficiency by optical design

06-11-2013

Scientists in the United States have designed a Cu2ZnSn(S, Se)4 (CZTSSe) solar cell with the greatest efficiency to date using an optical-design approach. The researchers describe a new optical architecture for CZTSSe photovoltaic devices that improves the record power-conversion efficiency for ...

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Solar-powered electrochemistry reduces reagent waste in synthetic organic reactions

30-10-2013

Scientists in the United States have combined electrochemistry with synthetic organic chemistry to perform chemical oxidations that consume only sunlight and produce only hydrogen as a reduction product to reduce reagent waste. The researchers connected a photovoltaic cell to the reaction flask, ...

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Better separations with more permeable membranes

17-09-2013

Researchers in the United States have developed a new type of nanocomposite ultrafiltration membrane that overcomes the usual trade-off between selectivity and liquid permeability associated with ultrafiltration membranes. When designing a membrane for the ultrafiltration of proteins from a ...

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Hydrazine has nowhere to hide

29-08-2013

Scientists in the US and Korea have developed a highly sensitive fluorescent probe that can detect a toxic chemical used in industrial processes in a variety of different environments – including living cells. Hydrazine is used in in many different applications – as the gas-forming agent in air ...

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Destroying stable foams on demand

29-08-2013

An international team of scientists has developed the first example of a stable, environmentally friendly foam that can be broken down on demand by any one of three external stimuli. Foams are commonly applied in the clean-up of chemical spills, where they are sprayed over large areas to prevent ...

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A flexible future for robotics

29-08-2013

Scientists in the US have created smart materials that twist and coil in response to light, which could be used in the muscle systems of future robots to mimic the movements of living creatures. The team produced a series of cantilevers made from azobenzene liquid crystal polymer networks that ...

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Raman keeps lipstick evidence in the bag

14-08-2013

Scientists at the University of Kent, UK have used Raman spectroscopy to identify different types and brands of lipstick on crime scene evidence without having to remove it from the evidence bag. Lipstick marks can link someone to a crime scene and can be crucial for establishing physical contact ...

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Reacting under intensity – a light-responsive oscillating gel

14-08-2013

An international team of chemists has developed a soft material that shows different behaviour depending on the intensity of the light shining on it. The gel could potentially be applied in robots and other devices to enable them to respond to different illumination patterns. The unusual property ...

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Record-breaking number of boron atoms recorded in a single molecular species

14-08-2013

Scientists in the United States have synthesised a molecular species containing the highest number of boron atoms ever recorded by crystallographic characterisation. The unique supramolecular cuboctahedron contains 240 boron atoms. The previous record for the most boron atoms in a single species ...

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Polymer extends life and increases power of lithium sulphide batteries

23-07-2013

Scientists from the United States and China have identified a polymer that makes high energy lithium sulphide batteries work for longer, while providing at least four times the energy available with current technology. Lithium sulphur batteries are a very promising option for energy storage, ...

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