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Tiny light detectors work like gecko ears

02-Nov-2018

Geckos and many other animals have heads that are too small to triangulate the location of noises the way we do, with widely spaced ears. Instead, they have a tiny tunnel through their heads that measures the way incoming sound waves bounce around to figure out which direction they came ...

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Efficient electrochemical cells for CO2 conversion

29-Oct-2018

Scientists at Stanford University have developed electrochemical cells that convert carbon monoxide (CO) derived from CO2 into commercially viable compounds more effectively and efficiently than existing technologies. Their research provides a new strategy for capturing CO2 and converting it into ...

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A new way of generating ultra-short bursts of light

08-Feb-2018

Although critical for varied applications, such as cutting and welding, surgery and transmitting bits through optical fiber, lasers have some limitations - namely, they only produce light in limited wavelength ranges. Now, researchers from the Ginzton Lab at Stanford University have modified ...

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A cooling system that works without electricity

07-Sep-2017

It looks like a regular roof, but the top of the Packard Electrical Engineering Building at Stanford University has been the setting of many milestones in the development of an innovative cooling technology that could someday be part of our everyday lives. Since 2013, Shanhui Fan, professor of ...

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Insect eyes inspire new solar cell design from Stanford

04-Sep-2017

Packing tiny solar cells together, like micro-lenses in the compound eye of an insect, could pave the way to a new generation of advanced photovoltaics, say Stanford University scientists. In a new study, the Stanford team used the insect-inspired design to protect a fragile photovoltaic material ...

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Sustainable ethanol made from carbon dioxide?

21-Jun-2017

Most cars and trucks in the United States run on a blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol, a renewable fuel made primarily from fermented corn. But to produce the 14 billion gallons of ethanol consumed annually by American drivers requires millions of acres of farmland. A recent ...

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Revealing structure and dynamics of glassy polymers during transition

09-Mar-2017

Glasses are not, perhaps surprisingly, technically solid in a crystalized form, but are substances frozen in a liquidlike structure. Many fundamental questions remain as to exactly how glasses form, transitioning from flowing liquid to solid glass. A central factor materials scientists study when ...

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Nanoscale view of energy storage

18-Jan-2017

In a lab 18 feet below the Engineering Quad of Stanford University, researchers in the Dionne lab camped out with one of the most advanced microscopes in the world to capture an unimaginably small reaction. The lab members conducted arduous experiments - sometimes requiring a continuous 30 hours ...

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For platinum catalysts, tiny squeeze gives big boost in performance

28-Nov-2016

A nanosize squeeze can significantly boost the performance of platinum catalysts that help generate energy in fuel cells, according to a new study by Stanford scientists. The team bonded a platinum catalyst to a thin material that expands and contracts as electrons move in and out, and found that ...

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Sending messages using household chemicals

18-Nov-2016

Nearing the completion of his master’s degree in computer engineering and computer science at York University in Ontario, Canada, Nariman Farsad was considering pursuing further study elsewhere. But his supervisor, Andrew Eckford, convinced him to stay by suggesting an odd line of research. The ...

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