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[Images above] Credit: NIST


New solar cell breaks records for efficiency and voltage

Researchers from Northwestern University, University of Toronto, and University of Toledo created a prototype all-perovskite tandem solar cell that produces an open-circuit voltage of 2.19 electron volts, a record for this type of cell. Its power-conversion efficiency reached 27.4%, which breaks the record for traditional silicon solar cells.

New discoveries made about a promising solar cell material, thanks to new microscope

Ames National Laboratory researchers developed a microscope that uses terahertz waves to collect data on material samples. They used their microscope to explore methylammonium lead iodide perovskite.


Scientists fashion tiny ‘lyre’ to ensure medical imaging systems are in tune

Researchers at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology created a solution for quick functional checks of optoacoustic microscopes and tomographs. The test sample, which somewhat resembles a lyre-style musical instrument, is a frame with multiple cords stretched across it. Each cord is a fiber made of single-walled carbon nanotubes.


Researchers develop technology to detect cobalt in coal byproducts

National Energy Technology Laboratory researchers created a compact, portable device that can detect cobalt at low concentrations in liquids, such as process streams from U.S. coal byproducts, and to prospect for cobalt in acid mine drainage.


Ceramic coatings can suddenly break, but they do not fatigue

Vienna University of Technology researchers found thin ceramic coatings do not show any material fatigue but only break if their load limit is exceeded. This finding means that the durability of the thin layers is determined exclusively by their fracture toughness.


Trial by wind: Heat resistance of carbon fiber-reinforced ultrahigh-temperature CMCs

Researchers from Japan evaluated the potential utility of zirconium-titanium alloy-infiltrated carbon fiber-reinforced ultrahigh-temperature ceramic matrix composites at temperatures above 2,000°C using a method called arc-wind tunnel testing.

Inflatable heat shield a ‘huge success’ that could land humans on Mars, NASA says

When a large experimental heat shield inflated in space and faced the brutal reentry of Earth’s atmosphere last week, the aeroshell survived—and NASA officials have deemed it a “huge success.” The inflatable structure includes a woven silicon carbide fabric.

Shock to the system: Using electricity to find materials that can learn

Researchers led by Purdue University exposed oxygen-deficient nickel oxide to brief electrical pulses and elicited two different electrical responses. The result is an all-electrically-driven system that shows learning behaviors.

Safeguarding Science toolkit launched to help researchers defend scientific integrity

The Safeguarding Science toolkit, designed by several federal and university partners, provides research stakeholders with a single location to access security best practices from across government and academia, plus select tools tailored for their needs.