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[Images above] Credit: NIST


Solar harvesting system has potential to generate solar power 24/7

University of Houston researchers proposed a new type of solar energy harvesting system that may break efficiency record of existing technologies. It relies on nonreciprocal solar thermophotovoltaics systems that use an intermediate layer with nonreciprocal radiative properties to suppress back emission and funnel more photon flux toward the cell.

Solvent study solves solar cell durability puzzle

Rice University engineers claim they solved a long-standing conundrum in making stable, efficient solar panels out of halide perovskites. It took finding the right solvent design to apply a 2D top layer of desired composition and thickness without destroying the 3D bottom one (or vice versa).

Researchers uncover the mysteries of lithium–air batteries

Researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China learned new things about how and why lithium–air batteries react and die suddenly. They created a unique carbon-coated anodic aluminum oxide air electrode that breaks effortlessly but maintains its product distribution, allowing measurements across the entire electrode.


Recycling isn’t enough to slow plastic pollution

As promising as chemical recycling and next-generation plastics may sound, experts say some of the most realistic solutions to plastic pollution involve eliminating it from packaging as much as possible.

Efficient method for separating rare earth elements and transition metals in magnet scrap

Idaho National Laboratory researchers developed a dimethyl ether-driven fractional crystallization process for separating rare earth elements and transition metals. The process was successfully applied in the treatment of rare earth element-bearing permanent magnet leachates.


World’s whitest paint now thinner than ever, ideal for vehicles

Purdue University researchers developed a new formulation for the world’s whitest paint that is now thinner and lighter. The original paint used nanoparticles of barium sulfate, but the new formulation incorporates hexagonal boron nitride.

Researchers fabricate tiny multicomponent beam shaper directly onto optical fiber

Researchers showed that 3D laser printing can be used to fabricate a high-quality, complex polymer optical device directly on the end of an optical fiber. This type of micro-optical device could provide an extremely compact and inexpensive way to tailor light beams for a variety of applications.

Roll-to-roll fabrication of flexible printed perovskite solar cells under ambient conditions

A team of researchers from Australia’s national science agency CSIRO and Monash University successfully replaced the expensive metal layer in the top electrode of a perovskite solar cell with a less-expensive carbon-based electrode that can be applied using roll-to-roll techniques.


Lunar glass samples reveal moon meteorite impacts that mirrored those on Earth

Researchers found the timing and frequency of meteorite impacts on the moon millions of years ago coincides with some of the largest meteorite impacts on Earth—like the one that was responsible for hastening the extinction of the dinosaurs. Their findings suggest that major impact events on Earth were accompanied by a series of smaller impacts.

Researchers engineer novel material capable of ‘thinking’

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University and U.S. Air Force developed a material that can simultaneously sense, think, and act upon mechanical stress without requiring additional circuits to process such signals.

Detecting anomalies in 3D concrete printing with computer vision

Researchers used a computer vision-based methodology for anomaly identification in 3D-printed concrete. Three different modules made up the methodology: picture acquisition, interlayer layer, and line segmentation; characterization of the local texture and geometry of the layers; and anomaly detection.

New study on how Viking beadmakers recycled glass from Roman mosaics

A recent study reveals new manufacturing techniques on how craftsmen in Denmark recycled glass from Roman glass mosaics during the 8th century.