[Image above] Credit: NIST
University of Utah researchers have successfully turned food waste such as discarded pieces of tortilla into carbon dots, and subsequently, LEDs. The team employed solvothermal synthesis, placing soft drinks and pieces of bread and tortilla in a solvent and using pressure and high temperature to generate carbon dots. Finally, the dots were suspended in epoxy resins, heated, and hardened to solidify the dots for practical use in LEDs.
Researchers at Tohoku University’s Advanced Institute for Materials Research have carried out a collaborative study aimed at precisely controlling phase transformations with high spatial precision. The team applied a focused STEM electron beam to irradiate SrNbO3.4 crystals and demonstrated precise control of a phase transformation from layered SrNbO3.4 to perovskite SrNbO3 at the atomic scale.
Scientists at Stockholm University have created a stable and recyclable material, where the micropores within the crystal have different adsorption sites for carbon dioxide and water. The new material is a copper silicate crystal called SGU-29 and is the result of international cooperation. The material could be used for capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and especially to clean emissions.
Engineers at Oregon State University have developed a new “sustainable development methodology” to help address a social and regulatory demand for manufacturing processes that more effectively consider their economic, environmental, and social impacts. The work outlines a way to help designers and manufacturing engineers carefully consider all the ramifications of their design decisions, and to evaluate the possible different ways that a product could be built—before it ever hits the assembly line.
CIGSe solar cells are made of a thin chalcopyrite layer consisting of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium and can reach high efficiencies. Since indium is becoming scarce and expensive, it is interesting to reduce the active CIGSe layer, which however decreases the efficiency quite strongly. Now, scientists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have produced high quality ultrathin CIGSe layers and increased their efficiency by an array of tiny nanoparticles between the back contact and the active layer.
Cornell University scientists used direct ink writing to print ultra-lightweight microwave components directly from silicon carbide. The ability to print SiC structures with tunable density is enabled by the use of SiC colloid and polymeric borosiloxane ink blends that are tuned for extrusion based printing, yet also convert/sinter into SiC at temperatures near 1,800°C. The group modulated the polymer:colloid ratios within the ink to produce structures with relative densities ranging from 30%–50%.
A new Sandia LED Pulser provides high-brightness, rapidly pulsed, multicolor light for scientific, industrial, or commercial uses and, in some cases, can displace more expensive lasers. Using custom electronic circuitry, the LED Pulser drives high-power LEDs to generate light pulses with shorter duration, higher repetition frequency, and higher intensity than is possible with commercial off-the-shelf LED drivers.
Binghamton University researchers have demonstrated an eco-friendly process that enables unprecedented spatial control over the electrical properties of graphene oxide. By using the probe of an atomic force microscope to trigger a local chemical reaction, scientists showed that electrically conductive features as small as four nanometers can be patterned into individual graphene oxide sheets. The nanomaterial has potential to revolutionize flexible electronics, solar cells, and biomedical instruments.