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Improving solar cell efficiency by optical design

06-Nov-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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Melting sea ice releases trapped pollutants

30-Oct-2013

Scientists in Denmark have found evidence that melting sea ice is causing the re-emission of banned pesticides, presenting a further potential consequence of global warming. Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) have been banned or restricted in most countries because of their tendency to ...

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Solar-powered electrochemistry reduces reagent waste in synthetic organic reactions

30-Oct-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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Royal Society of Chemistry comment on the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

11-Oct-2013

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel “for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.” Professor Dominic Tildesley, President-Elect of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and a world-leading expert in large-scale ...

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‘Terminator’ polymer that regenerates itself

17-Sep-2013

Scientists in Spain have reported the first self-healing polymer that spontaneously and independently repairs itself without any intervention. The new material could be used to improve the security and lifetime of plastic parts in everyday products such as electrical components, cars and even ...

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A look behind Dalí’s paintings

17-Sep-2013

A collaboration of scientists, conservators and curators has developed a technique for assessing the condition of works of art without the need to remove samples from them, and used it to analyse a valuable collection of paintings by the enigmatic artist Salvador Dalí. Paintings undergo little ...

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Better separations with more permeable membranes

17-Sep-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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Multifunctional 3D shape-memory materials

17-Sep-2013

Chinese scientists have found a simple way to produce multifunctional 3D materials by developing a polymer scaffold that ‘remembers’ its shape and can be used as a host for functional nanoparticles. The shape-memory polymer scaffold can host a wide range of functional nanoparticles, enabling the ...

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Cheaper Chinese solar panels are not due to low-cost labour

Comparison of photovoltaic manufacturing in the US and China shows that scale and supply-chain development gives China the competitive advantage

09-Sep-2013

A study of the photovoltaic industries in the US and China shows that China’s dominance in solar panel manufacturing is not driven solely by cheaper labour and government support, but by larger-scale manufacturing and resulting supply-chain benefits. But the researchers say a balance could be ...

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Hydrazine has nowhere to hide

29-Aug-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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