Scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Solargiga Energy in China have discovered that caffeine can help make a promising alternative to traditional solar cells more efficient at converting light to electricity. Their research, published April 25 in the journal Joule, may enable this cost-effective renewable energy technology to compete on the market with silicon solar cells.
Ultraviolet light is used to kill bacteria and viruses, but UV lamps contain toxic mercury. A newly developed nanomaterial is changing that.
Negative pressure governs not only the Universe or the quantum vacuum. This phenomenon, although of a different nature, appears also in liquid crystals confined in nanopores. At the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow, a method has been presented that for the first time makes it possible to estimate the amount of negative pressure in spatially limited liquid crystal systems.
People are not the only ones to be occasionally frustrated. Some crystals also show frustrations. Cesium copper chloride is a prime example. Its magnetic copper atoms reside on a triangular lattice and seek to align themselves antiparallel to each other. In a triangle, this does not work, however. To better understand the underlying basics, physicists from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), supported by international colleagues, can now control the magnetic coupling using an elegant measuring method.
The human eye is particularly sensitive to green, but less sensitive to blue and red. Chemists led by Hubert Huppertz at the University of Innsbruck have now developed a new red phosphor whose light is well perceived by the eye. This increases the light yield of white LEDs by around one-sixth, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of lighting systems.
Polymers that change their appearance in response to mechanical forces can warn of damage developing in a material before the stress causes structural failure. Researchers now report in ACS Central Science that they've developed a first-of-its-kind elastic polymer blend that displays white fluorescence when deformed and then goes dark after relaxing back to its original shape.
Researchers at the University of Fribourg's Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI) and Hokkaido University in Japan have developed a method to tailor the properties of stress-indicating molecules that can be integrated into polymers and signal damages or excessive mechanical loads with an optical signal.
Ammonia -- a colorless gas essential for things like fertilizer -- can be made by a new process which is far cleaner, easier and cheaper than the current leading method. UTokyo researchers use readily available lab equipment, recyclable chemicals and a minimum of energy to produce ammonia. Their Samarium-Water Ammonia Production (SWAP) process promises to scale down ammonia production and improve access to ammonia fertilizer to farmers everywhere.
Utah State University's Splash Lab not only reveals the physics of how elastic spheres interact with water, but it also lays the foundation for the future design of water-walking drones.
The days immediately following a heart attack are critical for survivors' longevity and long-term healing of tissue. Now researchers at Northwestern University and University of California, San Diego have designed a method to deliver a regenerative material through a noninvasive catheter to the affected area of the heart. Once there, the body's inflammatory response signals the peptides to form nanofibers similar to the body's extracellular matrix, which degrades following a heart attack. This preclinical research was conducted in a rodent model.