Materials R&D

Berlin lab leads research into high efficiency solar cells

Berlin-based semiconductor research centre Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is collaborating with Soitec subsidiary Altatech to develop materials for high-efficiency solar cells.

Altatech is installing a single-substrate multi-chamber or materials deposition at HZB’s energy materials laboratory (EMIL) at the synchrotron light source BESSY II facility in Berlin…

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UK scientists work on 'super-fridge'

Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Imperial College are working on a project which they say “could completely change the refrigeration industry”.

Traditional refrigeration methods could be replaced by a more efficient and environmentally friendly cooling alternative which uses the electrocaloric effect to develop new methods of cooling…

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US researchers discover superconductor "better than graphene"

Researchers in the US believe they may have discovered a new ‘super-conductive’ material which could out-perform graphene.

Like graphene it is a material with a single layer of atoms, but unlike graphene it is constructed from a single layer of tin atoms.

The material has been called “stanene…

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European launches €1bn graphene research project

The Europe Union has launched a €1bn research initiative for the graphene semiconductor material technology.

Launched in Gothenburg last week, the Graphene Flagship was selected as one of Europe’s first technology flagships by the European Commission in January 2013.

The initiative is divided into two separate phases: a 30…

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EU graphene researchers meet in Sweden

Graphene researchers from all over Europe meet this week in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Graphene research is very active in Europe and the EU-funded Graphene Flagship conference will host 74 research partners from 17 European countries.

Researchers, which includes teams at Manchester and Cambridge in the UK, are working to  take…

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Science: Nanotube-coated spider silk promises flexible medical sensors

Spider silk darkened with a coating of carbon nanotubes can tell if your heart just skipped a beat.

Following a few simple steps, researchers have made a silk-nanotube hybrid that is tough, flexible and electrically conductive. The material might find uses in a range of bendy medical sensors.


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Novel dielectric leads to 200°C automotive capacitors

A UK consortium has developed a 200°C Pb-free ceramic capacitor for automotive power converters.

Key to the capacitor is a completely new dielectric material that does not suffer from the capacitance-reducing phase change around 125°C experienced by the modified barium titanates (BaTiO3) used to produce ‘X7R…

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NPL moots silver for wearable electronics

UK researchers have found a way to chemically bond silver to cotton fibres to form conductive cloth which is being evaluated for wearable electronics.

“All the fibre is fully coated with nano metal particles attached to one another. The layer is 20nm in thickness, and it works on cotton cloth…

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