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ENERGY NEWS
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Self-Cooling Solar Cells Boost Efficiency
STANFORD, Calif., July 24, 2014 — A new technique allows solar cells to passively cool themselves by driving away unwanted thermal radiation. Developed by a team from Stanford University, the new solar cells offer high efficiency and more longevity than conventional cells (most commonly silicon semiconductors), which typically convert only about 30 percent of incident sunlight into usable electricity. Pyramid structures made of silica glass provide maximal radiative cooling capability for a solar cell....

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Novel Laser Could Transmit Quantum Data
HANOVER, N.H., July 23, 2014 — A laser made from a superconducting artificial atom could aid information transfer in quantum computing. To create the laser, a team from Dartmouth College embedded a pair of electrons called a Cooper pair in a high-quality microwave...
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Pickering Chooses Japanese Representative
CLACTON-ON-SEA, Essex, England, July 23, 2014 — Pickering Interfaces Ltd. has chosen Andor System Support Co. Ltd. of Tokyo as its new representative in Japan. Pickering designs and manufactures modular optical and electronic signal switching and instrumentation for use in test and...

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'Air Waveguides' Function Like Optical Fibers
COLLEGE PARK, Md., July 22, 2014 — A team from the University of Maryland has discovered how to make air behave like optical fiber, guiding light beams over short distances without losing power. Using “air waveguides” the researchers have been able to enhance...
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Solar Energy Researcher wins $10,000 Award
EDISON, N.J., July 18, 2014 — Theresa McCormick has been awarded the Spring 2014 Equipment Grant Competition, along with $10,000 from Horiba Scientific (formerly Photon Technology International). McCormick is a professor at Portland State University where her research...

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Glass Lends Flexibility to Organic PVs
POTSDAM, Germany, July 10, 2014 — A new carrier substrate made from flexible, 100-µm-thin layers of glass better protects organic solar modules and could simplify their manufacture. A team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research is developing...
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Process Combines Arc, Laser Welding
HANNOVER, Germany, July 8, 2014 — A new hybrid laser welding technique could reduce processing time and costs associated with manufacturing tanks and pipelines for liquid gas. The hybrid welding process forms a very narrow welding seam, seen here in an aluminum welding...

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Researchers Probe Inner Workings of Solar Panels
MONTREAL, July 3, 2014 — Using femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy (SRS), scientists now understand the inner workings of plastic solar panels. A team from the University of Montreal, in conjunction with England’s Science and Technology Facilities...
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Solar Cell Converts CO2 into Useful Acid
PRINCETON, N.J., July 3, 2014 — Researchers at Princeton University have found a way to convert carbon dioxide into a potential fuel with record efficiency. The study, lead by chemistry professor Dr. Andrew Bocarsly, involved converting CO2 and water into formic acid...

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Smartenergy Names New Leaders, Upgrades Solar Factory
ZURICH, June 30, 2014 — Smartenergy Renewables AG has completed the conversion and upgrade of its crystalline solar panel manufacturing facility in Luckenwalde, Germany, and is aiming for a maximum capacity of 120 MW. Meanwhile, the company has hired two new...
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Tofu Chemical Could Prompt New Wave of Solar Cells
LIVERPOOL, England, June 27, 2014 — Solar cells could learn a thing or two from tofu and bath salts. Researchers from the Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy at the University of Liverpool have found that magnesium chloride (MgCl2) — found in tofu, bath salts and...

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Nano-engineered Quantum Dots Push Solar Cell Efficiency
LOS ALAMOS, N.M., June 26, 2014 — A new approach to building quantum dots has shown considerable gains in generating photocurrent. This could potentially create a new generation of solar cells. In a new study, a team from the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics (CASP) at...
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Photocatalytic Approach Produces New Drug Candidates
PRINCETON, N.J., June 25, 2014 — Light and nickel share a unique bond as chemical catalysts for potential new drugs. Princeton University chemists studying photoredox catalysis and nickel catalysis have discovered that bringing the two processes together enables reactions...

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Funding Extended for Bio-inspired Solar Energy Research
ST. LOUIS, June 24, 2014 — The Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center (PARC) at Washington University has won a four-year, $14.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to continue research on natural and bio-inspired systems for harvesting the sun’s energy. ...
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Red Phosphor Heightens White LEDs
MUNICH and AACHEN, Germany, June 24, 2014 — A new material could help LEDs produce more pleasing white light. A team from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU), in collaboration with Philips Technologie in Aachen, Germany, has developed a new red phosphor material based on the...

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Pyramid Structure Makes Better PHOLEDs
ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 23, 2014 — Arranging phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes (PHOLEDs) into a pyramid shape can enhance their efficiency, making them brighter and more productive.  PHOLEDs are an efficient alternative to traditional incandescent...
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Two-Mode Imaging System More Efficient for Tumor ID
TUCSON, Ariz., and ST. LOUIS, June 23, 2014 — Using NIR fluorescence with visible light reflectance imaging can help surgeons pinpoint the exact location of tumors, making removal easier and safer. A dual-mode imager developed by a team from the University of Arizona and Washington...

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More Efficient Solar Cells with a One-Step Process
HOUSTON, June 20, 2014 — A new one-step process for producing efficient antireflective materials could mean big things for solar cells. A cross section shows inverted pyramids etched into silicon with a chemical mixture. Images courtesy of the Barron Group/Rice...
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New Spectroscopy Technique Probes Photochemical Reactions
BERKELEY, Calif., June 18, 2014 — An experimental spectroscopic technique combines IR and electronic technologies to probe the relationship between electrons and atomic nuclei within molecular systems excited by light.  The new technique, developed by researchers...

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Sub-RF Imaging Advanced by Lasers
GAITHERSBURG, Md., and ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 18, 2014 — Laser-enhanced radio-frequency mapping could lead to better assessment of metamaterials. Traditional field mapping requires the use of millimeter-scale antennas and dipoles, similar in size to the radio frequencies they measure. This poses...
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New Class of Nanoparticles Could Herald Flexible Solar Cells
TORONTO, June 10, 2014 — Nanoparticles could prompt a new generation of outdoor solar cells that may replace the traditional. A team from the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto — in...

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Spectroscopy Helps Capture Charge Transfer in Solar Cells
OLDENBURG, Germany, MODENA, Italy, and MILAN, June 6, 2014 — Ultrafast spectroscopy has allowed physicists, for the first time, to observe and capture the light-to-current conversion process in an organic solar cell as it happens. The quantum-mechanical nature of electrons and their coupling to...
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Crystals Set in Motion by UV Light
SINGAPORE, June 3, 2014 — Tiny crystals of a cobalt coordination compound leap, twirl and burst apart like popcorn when exposed to UV light. A team led by researchers at the National University of Singapore suggests the microscopic phenomenon could find macroscopic...

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Report: Linear LEDs More Cost-Effective
WASHINGTON, June 4, 2014 — Linear LED lamps are likely a better investment than fluorescents in the long term, according to a new government-commissioned report. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Commercially Available LED Product Evaluation and Reporting program...
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4 Photonics Projects Get Defense Funding
WASHINGTON, June 3, 2014 — The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded funding totaling $28.3 million for four photonics graduate research projects under its Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI). Brief summaries of the projects follow. For further...






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