Materials & Innovations

Video: Cadmium telluride solar technology gains momentum

By Lisa McDonald / July 5, 2023

Cadmium telluride solar cells are the second most common photovoltaic technology globally after crystalline silicon. Today’s CTT looks at recent funding initiatives and commercial expansions to accelerate the impact of this maturing technology.

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Let there be light—aerogel-filled glass bricks provide translucency as well as insulation and loadbearing capabilities

By Guest Contributor / June 9, 2023

Glass block walls can be a desirable way to maximize natural light exposure in a building, but their thermal properties do not allow for the best energy efficiency. Researchers at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology designed aerogel-filled glass bricks that are translucent as well as thermally insulating and strong.

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Dislocations and student perspectives on community, plus more inside June/July 2023 ACerS Bulletin

By Lisa McDonald / June 8, 2023

The June/July 2023 issue of the ACerS Bulletin—featuring unusual properties of ceramics—is now available online. Plus—new C&GM.

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Video: Solid acid fuel cells—a 20-year journey to advancing the hydrogen economy

By Lisa McDonald / May 17, 2023

There are many challenges to realizing a hydrogen economy that occur all along the supply chain. One challenge—converting the carrier molecule ammonia back into hydrogen—could be solved using solid acid fuel cells. ACerS Fellow Sossina Haile first developed this type of fuel cell in the late 1990s. Today’s CTT looks at Haile’s 20-year journey with her first Ph.D. student, Calum R. I. Chisholm, to realize the potential of this technology.

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Introduction to “Ultrahigh-temperature ceramics” for ACT @ 20

By Jonathon Foreman / May 16, 2023

To celebrate the milestone of the 20th volume of the International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology, the editorial team assembled a selection of journal papers representing the excellent work from the advanced ceramics community. The focus this month is ultrahigh-temperature ceramics.

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Multifunctional materials for next-gen devices: Flame-resistant composite achieves low thermal and high electrical conductivities

By Lisa McDonald / May 12, 2023

As new energy conversion and miniaturized electronic systems are developed, it is desirable to have a material that exhibits both extremely low thermal and high electrical conductivities. University of Bayreuth researchers fabricated a flexible carbon/silicon nonwoven composite with such properties, as well as being flame resistant and thermally stable.

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A solid contender—new oxygen-ion battery may be ‘excellent’ solution for large energy storage systems

By Lisa McDonald / May 2, 2023

Solid-state batteries are an emerging energy storage technology that are safer than conventional lithium-ion batteries. In an open-access paper, researchers at TU Wien demonstrated a novel solid-state battery composition that may offer certain advantages over other battery technologies—oxygen-ion batteries.

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Discovery of ferroelectricity in elementary substance expands understanding of this property

By Lisa McDonald / April 14, 2023

Ferroelectricity traditionally is believed to only occur in compounds. However, in the past decade, some theoretical works suggested that ferroelectricity is possible in certain elementary substances. Now researchers in China and Singapore experimentally confirmed ferroelectricity in monolayer α-phase bismuth.

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Video: Swiss startup cracks the 1-kW ceiling for production of solar hydrogen

By Lisa McDonald / April 12, 2023

Producing hydrogen through water electrolysis is not yet financially viable due to challenges with scaling up the process. A concentrated solar power system developed by Swiss startup SoHHytec succeeded in cracking the 1-kW ceiling for the production of solar hydrogen.

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Entering uncharted waters: Researchers observe piezoelectric effect in liquids for the first time

By Lisa McDonald / April 11, 2023

All known piezoelectric materials to date are solids. But a shocking discovery at Michigan State University turns this conventional wisdom on its head. They observed the piezoelectric effect in two room-temperature ionic liquids, and this discovery could necessitate a modification of current piezoelectric theory.

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