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(964 articles)
MATERIALS, CHEMICALS, COATINGS NEWS
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Nanolaser Uses Atomically Thin Gain Medium
SEATTLE, March 26, 2015 — With potential for on-chip optical communications applications, a tungsten-based nanoscale laser operates reliably on a tiny amount of electricity. Developed by researchers at the University of Washington and Stanford University, the device incorporates a photonic crystal cavity with a monolayer of tungsten diselenide. “This is a recently discovered, new type of semiconductor which is very thin and emits light efficiently,” said Washington doctoral candidate...

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Natcore, Eurotron Partner on HIT Solar Cells
RED BANK, N.J., March 24, 2015 — Natcore Technology Inc. has teamed up with Eurotron BV to produce next-generation photovoltaic modules. The company recently announced that it had produced an all-back-contact silicon heterojunction with intrinsic thin layer (HIT) solar...
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Pairing of Silicon, Perovskite Promising for Solar Efficiency
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 24, 2015 — A pairing of silicon and perovskite has the potential to achieve significantly higher solar energy conversion efficiencies than standard, single-junction silicon cells. A prototype tandem solar cell developed by researchers at MIT and...

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Squid Skin Inspires IR Camouflage Tape (with video)
IRVINE, Calif., March 24, 2015 — A protein derived from squid skin could be adapted into a kind of IR camouflage for soldiers. Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, have developed an adhesive film that, when stretched, reflects near-infrared light. Future...
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Honeycomb Steers Light around Sharp Curves
ORLANDO, Fla., March 20, 2015 — Microscale plastic honeycomb structures can make light beams turn on a dime, a development that could allow more optical relays to be packed onto photonic integrated chips. These spatially variant photonic crystals (SVPCs) were designed by...

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Melody Encoded onto Plasmonic Nanostructure
CHAMPAIGN, Ill., March 17, 2015 — With data storage capacity 5600 times greater than magnetic film, a chip made of tiny gold bow ties could be the next best place to store all your MP3s. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently created the...
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Photoelectric Dye May Restore Some Sight to the Blind
OKAYAMA, Japan, March 13, 2015 — Photoelectric dyes may be used to send images to the brains of the blind, potentially presenting a simpler alternative to artificial eyes based on image sensors. Blind patients with hereditary diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa have dead...

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Narrower Lasers Could Yield Better Atomic Clocks
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, March 10, 2015 — Atomic clocks lose 1 second every 300 million years, but that level of accuracy isn’t good enough for researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute. For even better precision, they’ve devised a new way to narrow the linewidth of the...
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Nanowire Optical Properties Tuned by Alloy Catalyst
BERKELEY, Calif., March 9, 2015 — A new growth catalyst gives greater control over the colors of light emitted by gallium nitride nanowires. Rather than using a single metal, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory used gold-nickel alloys as a catalyst. By...

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Black Phosphorus Shows Promise in Optical Circuits
MINNEAPOLIS, March 5, 2015 — With a tunable bandgap, black phosphorus could be used to make better optical communications circuits than graphene and even germanium. Researchers at the University of Minnesota used black phosphorus, a 2-D, stable crystalline form of...
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Multilayer QD Solar Cells Promising for Natcore
RED BANK, N.J., Feb. 23, 2015 — A new breed of quantum dots (QDs) could enable multilayer solar cells that capture more of the sun’s energy. Natcore Technology Inc. said scientists in the laboratories of co-founder Dr. Andrew Barron, who is also a professor at Rice...

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Film Enables Touch Displays That Respond to Bending, Heat
WURZBURG, Germany, Feb. 6, 2015 — A novel film could be used to make flexible displays that respond not only to touch but also to bending and heat. Developed by a team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research (ISC), the film is based on piezoelectric printing...
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Ultrafast Lasers Signal Batman from Magnetic Hard Drive
VILLIGEN, Switzerland, Jan. 19, 2015 — Researchers may have unintentionally summoned Batman as they work to store larger amounts of data on smaller hard drives using lasers. An international team has demonstrated sub-100-ps magnetization reversal inside a hard drive using...

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Inorganic Compound Could Replace Laser Dyes
MADRID and PRAGUE, Jan. 14, 2015 — An inorganic compound may serve as a longer-lasting replacement for laser dyes in a variety of applications. A team from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, developed a laser whose...
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Nanolaser Detects Biomolecules
YOKOHAMA, Japan, Jan. 13, 2015 — A laser biosensor has demonstrated a simpler way to identify DNA and biomarker proteins via changes in a solution’s surface charge density or pH. A team from Yokohama National University developed the GaInAsP photonic crystal...

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Delta Spins Out Optical Thin Films Business
HØRSHOLM, Denmark, Dec. 23, 2014 — Delta Danish Electronics, Light & Acoustics has spun off its optical thin films business. Following a management buyout, Delta Optical Thin Film AS will be run by business manager Poul Svensgaard and development manager Henrik...
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Evatec to Grow Deposition Business with Acquisition from Oerlikon
FLUMS, Switzerland, Dec. 23, 2014 — Evatec plans to acquire Oerlikon’s advanced technologies segment to expand its thin-film deposition systems business. Applications for the segment include power devices, read/write heads for hard disks, LEDs, microelectromechanical...

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Terahertz, IR Beams Detect Trace Gases at a Distance
DURHAM, N.C., Dec. 17, 2014 — A combination of IR and terahertz radiation (T-rays) is giving scientists a nose-up on toxic gases. This technology is able to sniff out even trace amounts of harmful gases — from chemical spill effects to nerve gas attacks — in the air...
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QD Solution Provides Spray-On Solar Power
TORONTO, Dec. 9, 2014 — A technique akin to spray painting could be used to create a new wave of solar cells. A team from the University of Toronto’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the IBM Canada Research and Development Center...

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Transparent Spheres Simplify 3-D Nanolithography
RALEIGH, N.C., Dec. 9, 2014 — A photolithography technique using nanospheres could make fabrication of 3-D structures easier, and at lower costs. The new technique, developed by a team from North Carolina State University and based on oblique illumination of colloidal...
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Ultratech Sues Ensure NanoTech, Alleging Patent Infringement
SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 9, 2014 — Ultratech Inc. has sued a former distributor, claiming it stole and is now marketing proprietary optical thin-film deposition technology. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Northern District of California, levels charges against...

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‘Digital’ Metamaterials Constructed from the Bit Up
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 2, 2014 — There could be a simpler way to create metamaterials, ultimately leading to light-bending invisibility cloaks and other seemingly impossible devices. A team from the University of Pennsylvania has discovered that a metamaterial with a given...
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Coating Reflects Sunlight, Radiates Heat to Cool Buildings
STANDFORD, Calif., Nov. 26, 2014 — A thin-film coating has the potential to cool buildings by simultaneously radiating heat from inside and reflecting sunlight. The photonic radiative cooling material reflects incoming sunlight (the sun’s reflection seen on the...

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Graphene Phenomenon Could Enable New Lasers
DRESDEN, Germany, Nov. 25, 2014 — Understanding the dynamics of electrons in graphene under strong magnetic fields could lead to development of new types of broadband lasers. An international team led by Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) exposed graphene to a...
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Optex Systems Acquires L-3’s Applied Optics Center for $1M
RICHARDSON, Texas, Nov. 17, 2014 — Seeking to branch out beyond military contracts, Optex Systems has acquired Applied Optics Center, formerly a division of L-3 Communications, for $1,013,053. Applied Optics Center designs and manufactures complex thin-film coatings and...






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