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'NanoPen' may write new chapter in nanotechnology manufacturing


Researchers in California are reporting development of a so-called "NanoPen" that could provide a quick, convenient way of laying down patterns of nanoparticles - from wires to circuits - for making futuristic electronic devices, medical diagnostic tests, and other much-anticipated nanotech ...


World's smallest semiconductor laser heralds new era in optical science


Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have reached a new milestone in laser physics by creating the world's smallest semiconductor laser, capable of generating visible light in a space smaller than a single protein molecule. This breakthrough, described in an advanced online ...


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Exploring the standard model of physics without the high-energy collider


Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the US, have performed sophisticated laser measurements to detect the subtle effects of one of nature's most elusive forces - the "weak interaction". Their work, which reveals the largest effect of ...


Nanopillars promise cheap, efficient, flexible solar cells


Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have demonstrated a way to fabricate efficient solar cells from low-cost and flexible materials. The new design grows optically active semiconductors in arrays of ...


Tunable semiconductors possible with hot new material called graphene


Today's transistors and light emitting diodes (LED) are based on silicon and gallium arsenide semiconductors, which have fixed electronic and optical properties. Now, University of California, Berkeley, researchers have shown that a form of carbon called graphene has an electronic structure that ...


A billion-year ultra-dense memory chip


When it comes to data storage, density and durability have always moved in opposite directions – the greater the density the shorter the durability. For example, information carved in stone is not dense but can last thousands of years, whereas today's silicon memory chips can hold their ...


Biomass the new petroleum?


Biomass-derived carbohydrates convert to alkenes using a one-pot technique that could lead to biomass refinery processes, say scientists in the US. Alkenes are extensively used in industry, but at present they are derived almost exclusively from petroleum resources. The petrochemical industry ...


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Carbon rising from the flames


Scientists in the US offer new insights into how polycyclic aromatic pollutants are formed in flames and other combustion processes. Peter Vollhardt and colleagues from the University of California, and William Karney from the University of San Francisco, in the US, use flash-vacuum-pyrolytic ...


Cracking a controversial solid state mystery


Scientists can easily explain the structural order that makes steel and aluminium out of molten metal. And they have discovered the molecular changes that take place as water turns to ice. But, despite the fact that glass blowers have been plying their trade since the first century BC, we have ...


Engineering algae to make fuel instead of sugar

Optics Express research describes how tiny organism can make biofuel


In pursuing cleaner energy there is such a thing as being too green. Unicellular microalgae, for instance, can be considered too green. In a paper in a special energy issue of Optics Express, the Optical Society's (OSA) open-access journal, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley ...


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