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20 Current news of University of Utah

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Solar cells: Losses made visible on the nanoscale

19-Mar-2021

Solar cells made of crystalline silicon achieve peak efficiencies, especially in combination with selective contacts made of amorphous silicon (a-Si:H). However, their efficiency is limited by losses in these contact layers. Now, for the first time, a team at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and ...

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Why nanomaterial loses superconductivity

11-Jul-2018

The struggle to keep drinks cold during the summer is a lesson in classical phase transitions. To study phase transitions, apply heat to a substance and watch how its properties change. Add heat to water and at the so-called "critical point," watch as it transforms into a gas (steam). Remove heat ...

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Bond dissociation energies for transition metal silicides accurately determined

25-Aug-2017

Transition metal silicides, a distinct class of semiconducting materials that contain silicon, demonstrate superior oxidation resistance, high temperature stability and low corrosion rates, which make them promising for a variety of future developments in electronic devices. Despite their ...

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How seawater strengthens ancient Roman concrete

05-Jul-2017

Around A.D. 79, Roman author Pliny the Elder wrote in his Naturalis Historia that concrete structures in harbors, exposed to the constant assault of the saltwater waves, become "a single stone mass, impregnable to the waves and every day stronger." He wasn't exaggerating. While modern marine ...

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Stabilizing energy storage

23-Feb-2017

Because the sun doesn't always shine, solar utilities need a way to store extra charge for a rainy day. The same goes for wind power facilities, since the wind doesn't always blow. To take full advantage of renewable energy, electrical grids need large batteries that can store the power coming ...

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Flipping the switch on ammonia production

07-Feb-2017

Nearly a century ago, German chemist Fritz Haber won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for a process to generate ammonia from hydrogen and nitrogen gases. The process, still in use today, ushered in a revolution in agriculture, but now consumes around one percent of the world's energy to achieve the ...

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I can see clearly now

'Smart glasses' that automatically focus on what wearer sees

27-Jan-2017

A team led by University of Utah electrical and computer engineering professor Carlos Mastrangelo and doctoral student Nazmul Hasan has created "smart glasses" with liquid-based lenses that can automatically adjust the focus on what a person is seeing, whether it is far away or close up. The ...

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New math tools for new materials

24-Nov-2016

University of Utah mathematician Graeme Milton presents a new tool for understanding how energy waves move through complex materials, opening up possibilities to design materials that absorb or bend energy as desired. Scientists have long known that the pattern of atoms in a material affects how ...

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A new way to get electricity from magnetism

'Inverse spin Hall effect' works in several organic semiconductors

20-Apr-2016

By showing that a phenomenon dubbed the "inverse spin Hall effect" works in several organic semiconductors - including carbon-60 buckyballs - University of Utah physicists changed magnetic "spin current" into electric current. The efficiency of this new power conversion method isn't yet known, ...

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Sniffing out a dangerous vapor

31-Mar-2016

Alkane fuel is a key ingredient in combustible material such as gasoline, airplane fuel, oil -- even a homemade bomb. Yet it's difficult to detect and there are no portable scanners available that can sniff out the odorless and colorless vapor. But University of Utah engineers have developed a ...

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