Friday, March 30, 2012
Researchers have created a new compound crystal material that promises to help produce advances in a range of scientific and technological pursuits. The material, called erbium chloride silicate, can be used to develop the next generations of computers, improve the capabilities of the Internet, increase the efficiency of silicon-based photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electrical energy, and enhance the quality of solid-state lighting and sensor technology.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Computational materials researchers have used cutting-edge calculations to determine fundamental optical transparency limits in conducting oxide material tin oxide.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Researchers have demonstrated that several mobile electrons can be produced by the absorption of a single light particle in films of coupled quantum dots. These multiple electrons can be harvested in solar cells with increased efficiency.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Researchers have developed a technology that combines the conventional fuel used in today's power plants with the lower pressures and temperatures of steam produced by solar power. His new "hybrid" power plant is a potentially cost-effective and realistic way to integrate solar technology into existing power plants.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Researchers in Israel have developed superconducting wires made of single sapphire crystals that can be used in high-powered cables. They take up much less space and conduct energy far more efficiently than current superconductor technologies -- and have the potential to revolutionize energy transfer.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Scientists are turning the term "power plant" on its head. A team of researchers has developed a system that taps into photosynthetic processes to produce efficient and inexpensive energy.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
New technology has yielded flexible solar cells with an 18.7% record efficiency. Key to the breakthrough is the control of the energy band gap grading in the copper indium gallium (di)selenide semiconductor, also known as CIGS, the layer that absorbs light and converts it into electricity. Scientists achieved this by controlling the vapor flux of elements during different stages of the evaporation process for growing the CIGS layer.
Monday, March 19, 2012
A light wave of innovation to advance solar energy: Researchers adapt classic antennas to harness more power from the sun
Engineers are developing a solar panel composed of nano-antennas instead of silicon semiconductors. They say that through the use of these antennas, a much higher conversion rate from light into usable energy can be achieved -- and could lead to a more cost-effective way to harvest and utilize "green" energy.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Solar power could be harvested more efficiently and transported over long distances using tiny molecular circuits, according to research inspired by new insights into natural photosynthesis.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Materials science and engineering researchers have demonstrated for the first time the key mechanism behind how energy levels align in a critical group of advanced materials. This discovery is a significant breakthrough in the development of sustainable technologies such as dye-sensitized solar cells and organic light-emitting diodes.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
A researcher is developing several technologies that could improve the performance of electric motors and generators. And that could make a real difference in building sustainable energy systems.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Messy better than neat: Tangled coat of nanowires increases solar cell efficiency by absorbing more light
Sometimes neatness may not be necessary. Researchers have demonstrated that a tangled coating of randomly positioned nanowires can increase solar cell efficiency by absorbing more light.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Using state-of-the-art theoretical computations, a team of scientists has determined that an alloy formed by a 2 percent substitution of antimony in gallium nitride has the right electrical properties to enable solar light energy to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The alloy functions as a catalyst in the photoelectrochemical electrolysis of water.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Imagine if the next coat of paint you put on the outside of your home generates electricity from light -- electricity that can be used to power the appliances and equipment on the inside. Scientists have just created an inexpensive "solar paint" that uses semiconducting nanoparticles to produce energy.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Today there is a wide variety of energy storage technologies at very different stages of development. Among them, the Redox Flow Battery (RFB) is an innovative solution based on the use of liquid electrolytes stored in tanks and pumped through a reactor to produce energy. Researchers are currently working in the development of high performance RFBs.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Converting sunlight into electricity is not economically attractive because of the high cost of solar cells, but a recent, purely optical approach to improving luminescent solar concentrators may ease the problem, according to researchers.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Novel energy-storage membrane: Performance surpasses existing rechargeable batteries and supercapacitors
Researchers in Singapore have developed a novel membrane with a performance that surpasses existing rechargeable batteries and supercapacitors, promising a low-cost, environmentally-friendly energy source.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Window contacts tell us which of a house's windows are open or closed. Researchers have now developed a fail-safe system that is particularly easy to use and needs no wiring or batteries. The sensors harvest the energy they need to run from ambient radio signals.
Friday, March 2, 2012
A new discovery shows that the flexibility and durability of carbon nanotube films and coatings are intimately linked to their electronic properties and could impact flexible electronic devices such as solar cells and wearable sensors.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Towards artificial photosynthesis for solar hydrogen generation: Algal protein gives boost to electrochemical water splitting
Water splitting in photo-electrochemical cells to yield hydrogen is a promising way to sustainable fuels. Scientists have now made major progress in developing highly efficient electrodes – made of an algal protein, thus mimicking a central step in natural photosynthesis.