Hot electron research could open up greater efficiencies for solar energy

December 26, 2017 by  
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Hot electron research is heating up solar and renewable energy research, according to the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory . Nanoscientists there uncovered quicker ways to convert power from light to energetic or hot electrons – and their methods could allow for higher efficiencies for solar power. Argonne researchers and collaborators created hybrid nanomaterials – smaller than the width of human hair – “to harness the full energy of photons,” according to the laboratory . The result was what are called hot electrons that “carry the same amount of energy as a photon that strikes nanomaterial components” and could lead to large advances in photovoltaics and photocatalytic water splitting — where materials turn solar energy into hydrogen fuel . Related: SunPower’s new solar shingles are 15% more efficient than conventional photovoltaics Senior scientist and study co-author Gary Wiederrecht said in their statement, “In larger particles, you see very few of these energetic electrons with energies near the photon energy. So you need a smaller particle.” The team zeroed in on metals because they absorb a lot of light, key to increasing the amount of energetic electrons in a material that’s been lit up. They simulated the material to determine what conditions would create the biggest number of hot electrons, and settled on silver nanocubes and gold films divided by aluminum oxide spacers. The nanostructure can crank out hot electrons better than others, according to Argonne. Wiederrecht said, “One of the key advances is our ability to produce energetic electrons over a very broad spectral range – from the ultraviolet through the visible and into the near infrared.” The journal Nature Communications published the research online in October. Scientists from Duke University, the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, and Ohio University contributed. Via Argonne National Laboratory Images courtesy of Matthew Sykes, Argonne National Laboratory, Shutterstock/Triff and Shutterstock/siro46 and via Depositphotos

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Hot electron research could open up greater efficiencies for solar energy

Delightful climbing ‘trees’ let budding adventurers safely play to their heart’s content

December 26, 2017 by  
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Keeping children occupied and active is no easy feat, but a new company called  Luckey Climbers  is creating some seriously cool structures  for budding adventurers. The innovative three-dimensional vertical mazes come in all shapes and sizes and have large colorful platforms that are easy to climb on. The structures are surrounded by nets to let kids scramble as high as they want – without giving parents a heart attack. The New York-based company has installed bespoke climbing structures all over the world, from Florida to Hong Kong. The climbers are made out of bent plywood with plastic platforms, stainless steel pipes, and thousands of feet of colorful coated cable. Each structure is a unique design, created for children, but also meant to be a public landmark for communities. Related: Historic Amsterdam park gets new life with a funky climbing “blob” Designed to encourage physical activity and imaginative play for kids of all ages, the climbers are also created to foster physical and intellectual development in children. According to the company, the fun structures “have dramatically positive effects on child development such as problem-solving, spatial thinking, balance, social interaction, and cooperation.” + Luckey Climbers Images via Luckey Climbers

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Delightful climbing ‘trees’ let budding adventurers safely play to their heart’s content

New nanomaterial pulls hydrogen from seawater to power fuel cells

October 4, 2017 by  
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Hydrogen can be obtained from seawater to power fuel cells , but the process is typically costly because of the electricity required. Researchers created a nanomaterial that can do the job more efficiently. According to the University of Central Florida (UCF), the advance “could someday lead to a new source of the clean-burning fuel .” UCF assistant professor Yang Yang has been working on solar hydrogen splitting for almost a decade. In the process, a photocatalyst sets off a chemical reaction with energy from light . But the photocatalysts don’t work as well in seawater – they don’t stand up well to salt and seawater’s biomass. Yang’s research team came up with a new catalyst that’s not only good for splitting purified water in a laboratory, but can better endure seawater and even harvest light from a broader spectrum. Related: Scientists develop new way to generate electricity via seawater Yang said, “We can absorb much more solar energy from the light than the conventional material. Eventually, if it is commercialized, it would be good for Florida’s economy. We have a lot of seawater around Florida and a lot of really good sunshine.” He said in many cases it’s better to use the sun’s energy to create a chemical fuel than to generate electricity with solar panels . Hydrogen gas can be transported and stored easily. UCF said it’s relatively cheap and easy to make the catalyst, which is comprised of a hybrid material. The journal Energy & Environmental Science published the research the end of September. Scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington and Tsinghua University in China collaborated on the study. Yang and his team plan to continue researching how to scale up the catalyst fabrication, and to work on splitting hydrogen from wastewater with the catalyst. Via the University of Central Florida Images via the University of Central Florida

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New nanomaterial pulls hydrogen from seawater to power fuel cells

Never do laundry again: researchers create self-cleaning textiles!

March 27, 2016 by  
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Could laundry soon be a chore of the past? Scientists at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia think so. They’ve created a cheap and efficient method for growing tiny metal nanostructures directly on fabric, which expel dust and stains after just a few minutes of exposure to sunlight. Best of all, these nanomaterials are invisible to the naked eye, so they won’t change the look of your favorite fashions. Click the link below to learn more about how this remarkable new technology works. READ MORE > Photo by Caspar Rubin/Unsplash  

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Never do laundry again: researchers create self-cleaning textiles!

Study Finds that Nanoparticles Loaded with Bee Venom Can Kill HIV

March 11, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock A cure for HIV has eluded scientists since the virus was first discovered in the early 1980s, but researchers at Washington University believe that bee venom could provide a successful treatment. The venom that bees carry contains a toxin called melittin that can penetrate the protective envelope surrounding HIV. The team used nanoparticles carrying melittin to successfully destroy HIV without harming nearby cells, which represents a potentially huge breakthrough in the ongoing effort to find a cure. Read the rest of Study Finds that Nanoparticles Loaded with Bee Venom Can Kill HIV Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aids , aids cure , bee sting , bee venom , bees , Hepatitis , hiv , HIV cure , HIV virus , honeybees , Medicine , melittin , nanomaterials , nanoparticles

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Study Finds that Nanoparticles Loaded with Bee Venom Can Kill HIV

Vapur Unveils Water Filtering Anti-Bottles That Remove 99.99% of Bacteria

March 11, 2013 by  
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Vapur  introduced several new products at the 2013 International Home + Housewares Show that expand their line of BPA-free “Anti-Bottles” – including a new filtering technology that safely removes 99.99% of bacteria and organic matter (it can make even river water potable). With a collection of fun new colors and super cute DIY customizing kits for kids , Vapur is encouraging the whole family to keep hydrated. Read the rest of Vapur Unveils Water Filtering Anti-Bottles That Remove 99.99% of Bacteria Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “flat pack” , anti-bottle , Eco , filter , graphics , green , housewares , kids , vapur , water bottle , water issues

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Vapur Unveils Water Filtering Anti-Bottles That Remove 99.99% of Bacteria

Brigham Young University Scientists Create a Tiny Nano-Cupid For Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2013 by  
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Scientists at Brigham Young University (BYU) have used nanotechnology to make the world’s smallest Cupid for Valentine’s Day ! The teeny cupid is made from carbon nanotubes coated with metals and other materials. Just a few hundred nanometers from foot to bow, the tiny cupid is an example of big technology. Read the rest of Brigham Young University Scientists Create a Tiny Nano-Cupid For Valentine’s Day Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Brigham Young University (BYU) , carbon nanotubes , Nano-Cupid , nanofilters , nanomaterials , nanotechnology , nanotubes , scientific research , Utah Innovation Awards , valentine’s day , Valentine’s Day Nano-Cupid

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Brigham Young University Scientists Create a Tiny Nano-Cupid For Valentine’s Day

New Report Shows Startling Connection Between Slowing Gulf Stream and Rising Sea Levels on the East Coast

February 14, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock Scientists project that on average, the world’s oceans will rise about 3 feet by 2100, putting low-lying areas in danger, contaminating water supplies and undermining roads, airports, port facilities and power plants. But even this dire prediction isn’t severe enough to describe what is happening on the east coast of the United States, where sea levels are rising at an even faster rate. The reason for this, according to a new  study in the February Journal of Geophysical Research, is that the Gulf Stream that moves north and then east toward northern Europe—and usually regulates sea levels in the region—is itself slowing down due to the effects of global warming. Read the rest of New Report Shows Startling Connection Between Slowing Gulf Stream and Rising Sea Levels on the East Coast Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: global warming slowing down gulf stream , gulf stream , gulf stream flow , gulf stream regulates sea levels , journal of geophysical research , rising sea levels , rising sea levels on the US east coast , slowing of the gulf stream

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New Report Shows Startling Connection Between Slowing Gulf Stream and Rising Sea Levels on the East Coast

South Korean Scientists Develop World’s First Bendable Lithium-Ion Battery

January 18, 2013 by  
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The world’s first imprintable and bendable battery, developed by scientists from South Korea, could pave the way for flexible mobile devices in the near future. According to their research, the new lithium-ion batteries are not only bendable, but more stable and less likely to overheat or catch fire than conventional batteries. This technology could lead to the creation of flexible smartphones or other electronic devices, as well as the development of new apps that could change the way consumers interact with their phones. The new flexible battery was developed by a team of researchers at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea. Led by Professor Lee Sang-young, the team has created a fluid-like polymer electrolyte that, through use of nanomaterials , could be applied to any given surface. The electrolytes are exposed to ultraviolet rays for 30 seconds, resulting in flexible batteries that can be imprinted with various patterns. Apart from creating more diverse possibilities for practical applications, due to the flexibility of the design, the new batteries show a much higher level of stability than conventional batteries that use liquefied electrolytes. “Conventional lithium-ion batteries that use liquefied electrolytes had problems with safety as the film that separates electrolytes may melt under heat, in which case the positive and negative [charge] may come in contact,” said the country’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, which co-funded the research. “Because the new battery uses flexible but solid materials, and not liquids, it can be expected to show a much higher level of stability than conventional rechargeable batteries.” + Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology Via IBNLive

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South Korean Scientists Develop World’s First Bendable Lithium-Ion Battery

Nanomaterials That Split Sunlight into Separate Colors Could Double Solar Cell Efficiency

December 31, 2012 by  
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Solar technologies are constantly evolving towards higher efficiencies thanks to the development of materials capable of absorbing more of the sun’s visible energy. A new DARPA -funded project explores nanostructured materials that break sunlight into its constituents, allowing for solar cells to absorb specific colors of the spectrum. According to the researchers, this approach could improve efficiency of solar panels by over 50 percent. Read the rest of Nanomaterials That Split Sunlight into Separate Colors Could Double Solar Cell Efficiency Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , darpa , Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency , green technology , nanomaterials , photovoltaics , scientific research , solar industry , solar panels , Solar Power , solar to electricity

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