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[Image above] Credit: NIST

Breakthrough for iron-based dyes may boost solar energy applications

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have found a new way to capture energy from sunlight—by using molecules that contain iron. The technique is solar cells consisting of a thin film of nanostructured titanium dioxide and a dye that captures solar energy. Researchers at Lund, in collaboration with Uppsala University, have successfully produced an iron-based dye that is capable of converting light into electrons with nearly 100% efficiency.

Researchers grow nanocircuitry with semiconducting graphene nanoribbons

In a development that could revolutionize electronic circuitry, a research team from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Argonne National Lab has confirmed a new way to control growth paths of graphene nanoribbons on the surface of a germanium crystal. Previous research shows that graphene sheets can grow on germanium crystal faces (1,1,1) and (1,1,0). However, this is the first time any study has recorded the growth of graphene nanoribbons on the (1,0,0) face.

With this new universal wireless charger, compatibility is no issue

A wireless charger that is compatible with different consumer electronics from different brands is one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to research by electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego. Researchers have developed a dual frequency wireless charging platform that could be used to charge multiple devices, such as smartphones, smartwatches, laptops and tablets, at the same time—regardless of which wireless standard, or frequency, each device supports.

The road to longer-lasting batteries

NTNU have found a method to extend the lifetime and capacity of lithium batteries, especially at low temperatures. The researchers’ work has focused on modifying the electrolyte to achieve higher battery capacity and life span, especially at low temperatures. They also have promising results with developing a preparatory treatment that prevents too much lithium loss in the formation of the solid electrolyte interphase film, allowing more of the to participate in charging the electrodes.

New graphene-coated ‘e-fabrics’ detect noxious gases

Scientists in Korea have developed wearable, graphene-coated fabrics that can detect dangerous gases present in the air, alerting the wearer by turning on an LED light. The researchers, from the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute and Konkuk University in the Republic of Korea, coated cotton and polyester yarn with BSA nanoglue, then wrapped the yarn in graphene oxide sheets. Reduced-graphene-oxide-coated materials were found to be particularly sensitive to detecting nitrogen dioxide.

New deposition technique enhances optoelectronic properties of gallium-nitride lasers

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have developed a simple new electron-beam multilayer deposition technique for creating intracavity contacts—an important component of gallium nitride-based (III-nitride) vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers—not only yields intriguing optoelectronic properties but also paves the way for others entering this realm of research.

First steps to create biodegradable displays for electronics

University of Missouri researchers are on the path to creating biodegradable electronics by using organic components in screen displays. The team developed organic structures that could be used to light handheld device screens. Using proteins, researchers demonstrated that these tiny structures, when combined with a blue light-emitting polymer, could successfully be used in displays.