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'Transparent solar cells' can take us towards a new era of personalized energy

Scientists design novel transparent solar cells using thin silicon films, with efficient power generation

04-Nov-2020

Today, the imminent climate change crisis demands a shift from conventionally used fossil fuels to efficient sources of green energy. This has led to researchers looking into the concept of "personalized energy," which would make on-site energy generation possible. For example, solar cells could ...

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Order in the disorder: density fluctuations in amorphous silicon discovered

New study shows that three different phases form within the amorphous matrix, which influences the quality and lifetime of the semiconductor layer

02-Nov-2020

For the first time, a team at HZB has identified the atomic substructure of amorphous silicon with a resolution of 0.8 nanometres using X-ray and neutron scattering at BESSY II and BER II. Such a-Si:H thin films have been used for decades in solar cells, TFT displays, and detectors. The results ...

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How to design more reliable nano- and micro-electro-mechanical systems

Scientists analyse the deformation behaviour of silicon in nano/micro devices

02-Jul-2020

Mobile phones, data storage for laptops, solar cells, power electronics for renewable energy, or sensors in cars are applications where silicon is the first-choice material despite that its mechanical behaviour at elevated temperature is not yet fully understood. To design efficient and reliable ...

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Surprisingly strong and deformable silicon

The strength of lithographically produced silicon pillars even reached values that one would only expect only in theory

12-Jun-2020

Researchers at ETH and Empa have shown that tiny objects can be made from silicon that are much more deformable and stronger than previously thought. In this way, sensors in smartphones could be made smaller and more robust. Since the invention of the MOSFET transistor sixty year ago, the ...

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A leap in using silicon for battery anodes

Novel nanostructure design lends extraordinary strength to a promising storage ingredient

30-Apr-2020

The same material you'll find at the tip of a pencil--graphite--has long been a key component in today's lithium-ion batteries. As our reliance on these batteries increases, however, graphite-based electrodes are due for an upgrade. For that, scientists are looking to the element at the heart of ...

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High-performance electrolyte solves battery puzzle

23-Apr-2020

Lithium ion batteries have already become an integral part of our everyday life. However, our energy-hungry society demands longer life, faster charging, and lighter batteries for a variety of applications from electric vehicles to portable electronics, including lightening the load a soldier ...

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Breakthrough on the way to photonic computing

Light-emitting silicon-germanium alloys

14-Apr-2020

For the past 50 years, researchers around the globe have been looking for a way to make lasers with silicon or germanium. A team from the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now succeeded in developing a light-emitting, silicon-germanium ...

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Battery research: Finding the right blend!

24-Feb-2020

In the battery of the future, solids will replace the currently used electrolyte solutions. A team of scientists at LMU has now developed a series of new sodium ion conductors. The secret of the best material in the series lies in the exact mixing of the ingredients. The days of conventional ...

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2D materials: arrangement of atoms measured in silicene

03-Jan-2020

Silicene consists of a single layer of silicon atoms. In contrast to the ultra-flat material graphene, which is made of carbon, silicene shows surface irregularities that influence its electronic properties. Now, physicists from the University of Basel have been able to precisely determine this ...

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Black silicon can help detect explosives

29-Nov-2019

Scientists from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, and Melbourne Center for Nanofabrication developed an ultrasensitive detector based on black silicon. The device is able to detect trace amounts of ...

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