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Marine plant replacement for platinum in solar cells


An international research team has shown that that the power conversion efficiency of sea tangle extract is comparable to platinum in solar cell electrodes. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) are quickly becoming a widespread and affordable alternative to photovoltaic solar cells. The electrode ...


Solar-powered electrochemistry reduces reagent waste in synthetic organic reactions


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, ...


Water-soluble catalyst converts carbon dioxide to promising green fuel


Scientists in the United States have developed a water-soluble catalyst that can selectively reduce carbon dioxide to formate, a promising green fuel for fuel cells. Researchers describe the design of an iridium pincer catalyst that electrocatalytically reduces carbon dioxide to formate in water. ...


Sustainable iron catalyst for clean hydrogenations


New research reports a clean, sustainable method for performing hydrogenation reactions in water using polymer-supported iron nanoparticles. Hydrogenation reactions have numerous industrial applications, including in the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries, but they usually rely heavily ...


Squaraine rotaxane shuttle as a ratiometric deep-red optical chloride sensor


Chloride ions are central to many biological processes and measuring the concentration of chloride ions in biological fluids can help diagnose a number of diseases, including cystic fibrosis. Scientists from the US have synthesised a squaraine rotaxane which can detect chloride ions via ...


Quantitative analysis of solvent effects on molecular recognition


Scientists in the UK are attempting to understand the host–guest chemistry of molecular cages in solution by separately quantifying the free energy contributions of (at least) three host–guest interaction mechanisms that usually work in unison: hydrogen-bonding, non-polar interactions and ...


Monitoring crude oil components in the water column


Using excitation and emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence and parallel factorial analysis (PARAFAC) modelling techniques to monitor crude oil components, scientists from the US were able to attribute an investigated plume in the water column in the Gulf of Mexico to the dispersed crude oil from the ...


Biomimetic bricks inspired by nacre


Chinese chemists have developed a new nacre-like material which is stronger than natural nacre (mother of pearl). Nacre is a naturally occurring composite formed from calcium carbonate and biopolymers which create a brickwork structure. It is also nearly a thousand times stronger than any of its ...


Portable macro x-ray fluorescence spectrometer enables routine investigation of old-master paintings


A portable macro x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer has been developed for the examination of historical paintings in situ. The device, which will be commercially available, enables scientists to look for layers of paint hidden below the visible top layer. This often reveals any alterations or ...


Surface freezing in nanodroplets


Scientists looking at the controversial topic of how very small droplets freeze have presented new evidence. By observing nanodroplets of the hydrocarbons n-octane and n-nonane with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, the researchers have established that such droplets freeze in a two-step ...


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