In a recent study published in the Journal of Medical Imaging, scientists from Texas Tech University employed machine-learning algorithms to classify fMRI data.
Light-controlled molecular motors can be used to create functional materials, to provide autonomous motion or in systems that can respond on command, for example, to open drug-containing vesicles. For biological applications, this requires the motors to be driven by low-energy, low-intensity light that penetrates tissue. Chemists at the University of Groningen designed a rotary motor that is efficiently powered by near-infrared light, through adding an antenna to the motor molecule.
A collaboration of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Germany and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia have recently scrutinized organic solar cells and derived design rules for light-absorbing dyes that can help to make these cells more efficient, while tailoring the absorption spectrum of the cells to the needs of the chosen application.
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba processed sulfur, and algae and plant compounds, into an elastic lens that maintains substantial variable focus in infrared imaging. This development will be useful in policing, firefighting, ecology, and many other applications where it's critical to see detail at variable distances in dark environments, such as at night or through smoke.
A deeper understanding of efficiency-limiting processes provides design rules for organic solar cell materials.
Based on a quantum cascade laser (QCL) emitting mid-infrared light, the researchers developed a basic optical neuron system operating 10,000× faster than biological neurons. Their report is published in Advanced Photonics.
Using two mode-locked femtosecond lasers and a single photon counting detector, scientists have recorded broad spectra with close to one hundred thousand colors in almost complete darkness.
Material scientists from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) joined an international team of researchers to develop new nanocomposite ceramics (Ho3+:Y2O3-MgO) that can be employed in high-capacity laser systems operating in the medium infrared range (IR) of 2-6 micrometers. These lasers are safe for the human vision and have multiple applications in various fields of economy, including industry, atmosphere probing, medicine, and light radars. An article about the work was published in the Ceramics International.
Researchers at Empa and ETH Zurich succeeded in developing a material that works like a luminescent solar concentrator and can even be applied to textiles. This opens up numerous possibilities for producing energy directly where it is needed, i.e. in the use of everyday electronics.
Researchers at the University of Rochester and the Fresnel Institute in France have found a way to visualize those molecules in even greater detail, showing their position and orientation in 3D, and even how they wobble and oscillate. This could shed invaluable insights into the biological processes involved, for example, when a cell and the proteins that regulate its functions react to a COVID-19 virus.