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MATERIALS, CHEMICALS, COATINGS NEWS
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Gold Nanoclusters Enhance Solar Power
LONDON, Ontario, Canada, Sept. 30, 2014 — Gold nanoclusters could improve solar cell performance by more than 10 percent. A nanocluster made of just 144 gold atoms was used as a building block in the creation of a flexible network of plasmonic antennas that attracted extra light to solar panels. A team from Western University fused the cluster onto the transparent conducting layer of the solar panel. “Picture an extremely delicate fishnet of gold,” said professor Dr. Giovanni Fanchini. “The fishnet catches the...

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Deposition Technique Enables Large-Scale MoS2 Fabrication
SOUTHAMPTON, England, Sept. 24, 2014 — A new technique for fabricating larger amounts of molybdenum disulfide than previously possible could lead to an expanded array of optoelectronic devices. The technique involves depositing nanoscale MoS2 thin films on a variety of...
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Inorganic Semiconductors Guide New Optoelectronic Devices
SEOUL, South Korea, Sept. 22, 2014 — Inorganic compound semiconductors could potentially replace those developed with organic materials. A research team from Seoul National University (SNU) has grown gallium nitride (GaN) microrods on graphene substrates, which may ultimately...

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New Polymer Mix Crafts More Efficient Solar Cells
CHICAGO and LEMONT, Ill., Sept. 22, 2014 — An enhanced polymer-based device could boost solar power generation and improve the efficiency of solar cells. The new device, developed by a team from the University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering in collaboration...
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‘Electrode Barrier’ Broken for Organic Solar Cells
AMHERST, Mass., Sept. 19, 2014 — A new organic solar cell has broken the “electrode barrier” known to hamper efforts to enhance efficiency. A team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst developed the cell, which can use virtually any metal as the...

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Element Six Joins EU Disk-Laser Development Project
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 17, 2014 — Element Six has been chosen to help develop a new ultrafast-pulse disk laser for the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program for Research and Technological Development. The supermaterials company will be part of a...
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Color Display Technology Furthers ‘Squid Skin’ Project
HOUSTON, Sept. 16, 2014 — A new color display brings scientists one step closer to metamaterials that mimic the unique optical properties of squid, octopus and cuttlefish skin. Developed at Rice University’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP), the new...

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Video: University, Spinoff Develop Flexible Graphene Display
CAMBRIDGE, England, Sept. 11, 2014 — A prototype flexible display that uses graphene could lead to wider implementation of the material in flexible electronics. A team from the University of Cambridge, in conjunction with spinoff Plastic Logic, successfully demonstrated the...
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Chemical Treatment Makes 3-D Cell Cultures Clearer
PROVIDENCE, R.I., Sept. 8, 2014 — A chemical treatment could lead to better imaging of cells in 3-D cultures. A team at Brown University made the finding while studying how neural tissues grow from stem cells. The researchers created sphere-shaped cell cultures to allow the...

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Plasmonic Nanowire Shows Promise as Photonic Circuit
ROCHESTER, N.Y., and ZURICH, Sept. 5, 2014 — A new kind of nanowire efficiently guides both light and electricity. A team from the University of Rochester and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology developed a basic photonic integrated circuit consisting of a silver nanowire and a...
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Carbon Nanotubes Get Better as Solar Cells
EVANSTON, Ill., Sept. 4, 2014 — A new type of carbon nanotube has taken a “big jump” beyond its predecessors in solar cell applications. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT), developed by a team from Northwestern University’s McCormick School of...

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Polymers Bring Future Solar Cells
LEIOA, Spain, Sept. 4, 2014 — A polymer-based technique could lead to production of highly efficient solar cells. A team from IK4-Ikerlan and the University of the Basque Country used polymers that absorb light at different wavelengths to produce solar cells with a...
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Fibercore Acquires Fibertronix
SOUTHAMPTON, Hampshire, England, Sept. 1, 2014 — Fibercore has acquired Fibertronix of Hudiksvall, Sweden, for an undisclosed sum. Fibertronix produces specialty fiber and hermetic carbon and high-temperature polyimide coatings for harsh environments, targeting the oil and gas and medical...

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Laser Cooling Halts Trapped Molecule's Rotation
EVANSTON, Ill., Sept. 2, 2014 — It’s relatively easy to trap molecules using lasers, yet they persist in rotating as if they were not trapped at all. But a new laser cooling technique has helped a team from Northwestern University stop a trapped, rotating molecule...
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Biomimetic Photodetector Distinguishes Color
HOUSTON, Aug. 26, 2014 — A new photodetector mimics living organisms’ ability to sense colors, enhancing color filtering and selectivity. The biomimetic color photodetector, developed at Rice University’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP), uses an...

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Sulfur Copolymers Boost IR Optics
TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 15, 2014 — A new polymer made from sulfur demonstrates high transmission of IR light that could greatly enhance thermal imaging systems. While crystalline IR materials such as silicon, germanium, zinc selenide and halide salts are all frequently used...
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Highest Conversion Efficiency Reached
TEMPE, Ariz., Aug. 7, 2014 — First Solar Inc. announced it has set a record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic research cell conversion efficiency. The record has been documented in the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory "Best...

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Hybrid ‘Wonder Material’ Creates Efficient LEDs
CAMBRIDGE, England, OXFORD, England, and MUNICH, Aug. 7, 2014 — A new type of perovskite — touted as a “wonder material” — has been used to create a new type of LED that has the potential to create more efficient light sources than those that rely on conventional solar cells. A...
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NASA Engineer to Complete First 3-D-Printed Space Camera
GREENBELT, Md., Aug. 7, 2014 — New imaging instruments made using laser-based 3-D printing could bring the benefits of such technology to the forefront. NASA aerospace engineer Jason Budinoff is developing a 350-mm dual-channel imaging telescope and a 50-mm camera whose...

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California Engineers Awarded $1.7 Million Grant
RIVERSIDE, Calif., Aug. 6, 2014 — A research team of University of California, Riverside engineers was awarded a $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation to characterize, analyze and synthesize ultrathin film materials. The project will focus on practical...
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Logos Technologies to Provide High-Energy Laser
FAIRFAX, Va., Aug. 4, 2014 — Logos Technologies has been selected to design, build and install a high-energy laser at Washington State University. The laser will be used at WSU’s Dynamic Compression Sector (DCS) at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National...

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New Material Allows for Ultra-Thin Solar Cells
WIEN, Austria, August 5, 2014 — A new structure that combines atomic-layered semiconductor materials could pave the way to more efficient solar cells. Researchers from the Vienna University of Technology created the new structure, which merges together two semiconductor...
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Light Pulses Control Graphene Behavior
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 4, 2014 — A new way to control how graphene conducts electricity could prompt its use as a broadband light detector. A research team at MIT found that changing the concentration of electrons in a graphene sheet can change the way the material...

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Low-Temperature Fabrication Process Yields Superblack Material
NEWHAVEN, England, July 31, 2014 — A novel superblack material can absorb 99.96 percent of incident light. Its developers say the carbon nanotube technology could enhance optical devices like apertures and MEMS sensors. “It reduces stray light, improving the ability of...
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Meta-Atoms Alter Light Polarization
CANBERRA, Australia, July 30, 2014 — A new metamaterial that is deformed by light while altering its polarization could become a tool for developing photonic circuits. A team from Australian National University’s Research School of Physics and Engineering (RSPE) made...






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