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Recycling old batteries into solar cells

Proposal could divert a dangerous waste stream while producing low-cost photovoltaics

21-08-2014

This could be a classic win-win solution: A system proposed by researchers at MIT recycles materials from discarded car batteries — a potential source of lead pollution — into new, long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power. The system is described in a paper in the journal ...

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Eco-friendly 'pre-fab nanoparticles' could revolutionize nano manufacturing

UMass Amherst team invents a way to create versatile, water-soluble nano-modules

21-08-2014

A team of materials chemists, polymer scientists, device physicists and others at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report a breakthrough technique for controlling molecular assembly of nanoparticles over multiple length scales that should allow faster, cheaper, more ecologically friendly ...

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Spinach could lead to alternative energy more powerful than Popeye

01-08-2014

Spinach gave Popeye super strength, but it also holds the promise of a different power for a group of scientists: the ability to convert sunlight into a clean, efficient alternative fuel. Purdue University physicists are part of an international group using spinach to study the proteins involved ...

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The birth of topological spintronics

31-07-2014

The discovery of a new material combination that could lead to a more efficient approach to computer memory and logic will be described in the journal Nature on July 24, 2014. The research, led by Penn State University and Cornell University physicists, studies "spin torque" in devices that ...

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A noble gas cage

New material traps gases from nuclear fuel better and uses less energy than currently available options

29-07-2014

When nuclear fuel gets recycled, the process releases radioactive krypton and xenon gases. Naturally occurring uranium in rock contaminates basements with the related gas radon. A new porous material called CC3 effectively traps these gases, and research appearing in Nature Materials shows how: ...

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Tiny laser sensor heightens bomb detection sensitivity

24-07-2014

New technology under development at the University of California, Berkeley, could soon give bomb-sniffing dogs some serious competition. A team of researchers led by Xiang Zhang, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering, has found a way to dramatically increase the sensitivity of a ...

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Highly charged ions

Multiply-ionized atoms for clocks, qubits, and constants

24-07-2014

The world is mostly neutral. That is, most of the atoms in our environment are electrically neutral. The number of electrons in the outer parts of atoms equals the number of protons at the centers of atoms. As one or more electrons are plucked away from the atoms, the remaining electrons feel a ...

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Rice nanophotonics experts create powerful molecular sensor

Sensor amplifies optical signature of single molecules about 100 billion times

23-07-2014

Nanophotonics experts at Rice University have created a unique sensor that amplifies the optical signature of molecules by about 100 billion times. Newly published tests found the device could accurately identify the composition and structure of individual molecules containing fewer than 20 ...

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'Nanocamera' takes pictures at distances smaller than light's own wavelength

How is it possible to record optically encoded information for distances smaller than the wavelength of light?

22-07-2014

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated that an array of novel gold, pillar-bowtie nanoantennas (pBNAs) can be used like traditional photographic film to record light for distances that are much smaller than the wavelength of light (for example, distances ...

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Fundamental chemistry findings could help extend Moore's Law

17-07-2014

Over the years, computer chips have gotten smaller thanks to advances in materials science and manufacturing technologies. This march of progress, the doubling of transistors on a microprocessor roughly every two years, is called Moore's Law. But there's one component of the chip-making process ...

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