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Painting with crystals

12-Aug-2020

Semiconductors made of organic materials, e.g. for light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and solar cells, could replace or supplement silicon-based electronics in the future. The efficiency of such devices depends crucially on the quality of thin layers of such organic semiconductors. These layers are ...

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COVID-19 impacts on the Earth System

COVID-19 crisis affects the entire Earth System in unprecedented ways and reveals systemic risks in our highly interconnected world

31-Jul-2020

COVID-19 immediately affects the health, economy and social well-being in our personal lives. Yet, the consequences on the entire Earth System, in particular the ones emerging from the widespread sheltering and lock-down measures, may be much more far-fetching and long-lasting. This has been ...

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Self-healing soft material outsmarts nature

New stretchable material entirely recovers its structure and properties at the blink of an eye – and it can do this over and over again

30-Jul-2020

A soft material that heals itself instantaneously is now reality. A team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and at Pennsylvania State University tune the nanostructure of a new stretchable material in such a way that it now entirely recovers its structure and ...

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Microscopic structures could further improve perovskite solar cells

Electrons in the fast lane

06-Jul-2020

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the ...

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How to design more reliable nano- and micro-electro-mechanical systems

Scientists analyse the deformation behaviour of silicon in nano/micro devices

02-Jul-2020

Mobile phones, data storage for laptops, solar cells, power electronics for renewable energy, or sensors in cars are applications where silicon is the first-choice material despite that its mechanical behaviour at elevated temperature is not yet fully understood. To design efficient and reliable ...

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A touch of gold and silver

For the first time, it is possible to produce crystalline layers of precious metals that consist of a single atomic layer and which are semiconducting

05-Jun-2020

Metals are usually characterized by good electrical conductivity. This applies in particular to gold and silver. However, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, together with partners in Pisa and Lund, have now discovered that some precious metals lose ...

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Environmentally friendly production of mandelic acid

Scientists found a method for the "green" production of the important starting material for the chemical industry

29-May-2020

Sometimes potentially useful enzymes are not easy to discover because their biocatalytic capabilities may go beyond their natural and thus known range of action. By recombining a newly discovered enzymatic capability, a research team from the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology led ...

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The Higgs boson and superconductivity

New form of spectroscopy provides insights for the development of resistance-free current transport at ambient temperature

20-May-2020

Without the Higgs mechanism, particles would have no mass. The Higgs boson, which was discovered in 2012, is therefore also referred to as the “God particle”. It arises as an oscillating excitation of the Higgs field, which penetrates the world. Superconductivity displays similar properties. ...

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Weighing an ant on top of an elephant: Quantum jump tipping the balance

Tiny change in the mass of individual atoms for the first time measured

08-May-2020

A new door to the quantum world: when an atom absorbs or releases energy via the quantum jump of an electron, it becomes heavier or lighter, according to Einstein’s theory of relativity (E = mc²). However, the effect is minuscule for a single atom. Nevertheless, the team of Klaus Blaum and Sergey ...

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Largest Synthetic Polysaccharide Assembled

Linear 100-mer polysaccharide within 188 hours

05-May-2020

Chemists at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (Potsdam, Germany) have set a milestone by preparing the two largest carbohydrates ever assembled. Using an Automated Glycan Assembly (AGA) instrument originally developed at the institute they prepared a linear 100-mer and achieved ...

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