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Stretchy solar cells a step closer

Organic photovoltaics with new properties

15-Nov-2018

Organic solar cells that can be painted or printed on surfaces are increasingly efficient, and now show promise for incorporation into applications like clothing that also require them to be flexible. The Rice University lab of chemical and biomolecular engineer Rafael Verduzco has developed ...

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More effective catalyst with light

Plasmonic effect allows catalyst to work at lower energy

08-Oct-2018

Rice University nanoscientists have demonstrated a new catalyst that can convert ammonia into hydrogen fuel at ambient pressure using only light energy, mainly due to a plasmonic effect that makes the catalyst more efficient. A study from Rice's Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) describes the ...

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Shedding light on - and through - 2D materials

26-Sep-2018

The ability of metallic or semiconducting materials to absorb, reflect and act upon light is of primary importance to scientists developing optoelectronics - electronic devices that interact with light to perform tasks. Rice University scientists have now produced a method to determine the ...

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Nanotubes change the shape of water

Rice University engineers show how water molecules square up in nanotubes

28-Aug-2018

First, according to Rice University engineers, get a nanotube hole. Then insert water. If the nanotube is just the right width, the water molecules will align into a square rod. Rice materials scientist Rouzbeh Shahsavari and his team used molecular models to demonstrate their theory that weak ...

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Particles pull last drops of oil from well water

Nanoscale solution to ‘produced water’ problem

17-Aug-2018

Oil and water tend to separate, but they mix well enough to form stable oil-in-water emulsions in produced water from oil reservoirs to become a problem. Rice University scientists have developed a nanoparticle-based solution that reliably removes more than 99 percent of the emulsified oil that ...

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System selectively sequesters toxins from water

09-Aug-2018

Rice University scientists are developing technology to remove contaminants from water - but only as many as necessary. The Rice lab of engineer Qilin Li is building a treatment system that can be tuned to selectively pull toxins from drinking water and wastewater from factories, sewage systems ...

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Nanotube 'rebar' makes graphene twice as tough

Material shows promise for flexible electronics

08-Aug-2018

Rice University researchers have found that fracture-resistant "rebar graphene" is more than twice as tough as pristine graphene. Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon. On the two-dimensional scale, the material is stronger than steel, but because graphene is so thin, it is still subject ...

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Nearly pure nanotubes from unusual catalyst

30-Jul-2018

Growing a batch of carbon nanotubes that are all the same may not be as simple as researchers had hoped, according to Rice University scientists. Rice materials theorist Boris Yakobson and his team bucked a theory that when growing nanotubes in a furnace, a catalyst with a specific atomic ...

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Cementless fly ash binder makes concrete 'green'

Researchers use byproduct from coal-fired power plants to replace Portland cement

22-Jun-2018

Rice University engineers have developed a composite binder made primarily of fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, that can replace Portland cement in concrete. The material is cementless and environmentally friendly, according to Rice materials scientist Rouzbeh Shahsavari, who ...

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Sculpting with graphene foam

18-Jun-2018

Rice University scientists have developed a simple way to produce conductive, three-dimensional objects made of graphene foam. The squishy solids look and feel something like a child's toy but offer new possibilities for energy storage and flexible electronic sensor applications, according to ...

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