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MATERIALS, CHEMICALS, COATINGS NEWS
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Magnetic Mirror Reflects Light in New Ways
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Oct. 16, 2014 — A new magnetic mirror uses non-metallic metamaterial properties to reflect IR light. Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories developed the magnetic mirror by placing nanoscale antennas at or very near the mirror’s surface, thereby allowing the researchers to harness IR radiation. At optical frequencies, the magnetic properties required for strong interaction can be achieved only by using artificially tailored materials, the researchers wrote in the study. The cubic...

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Plasmon Laser Demonstrates Fastest Switching Speed
LONDON and JENA, Germany, Oct. 9, 2014 — A new plasmon semiconductor laser has demonstrated ultrafast switching speeds and is being touted as the world’s fastest. The laser was created at Imperial College London and Friedrich Schiller University Jena using semiconductor...
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Solar Cell Stores Energy, Too
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 7, 2014 — Solar cells could soon double as rechargeable batteries, greatly enhancing their power and efficiency. Developed by a team at The Ohio State University, a new hybrid device combines a battery with a solar cell. The researchers said the new...

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Thermophotovoltaic System Exhibits Better Absorption
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 1, 2014 — A 2-D photonic crystal could prove key in advancing the absorption and use of solar energy. The new material, developed by researchers at MIT, is a metallic-dielectric crystal that absorbs sunlight from a wide range of angles and can...
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Ultrathin Films Color Rough, Flexible Surfaces
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 2, 2014 — Researchers can now “paint” rough, flexible surfaces through the phenomenon of thin-film interference. A team at Harvard University demonstrated that ultrathin optical coatings can display strong optical interference effects on...

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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...
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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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