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Science


— Materials

High-efficiency, semi-transparent perovskite/graphene solar cells created at low cost

With the continued rise in the uptake of solar cells, consumers are now looking at less obtrusive ways to incorporate these in buildings and vehicles. Transparent or semi-transparent cells provide greater flexibility and visual appeal than standard, opaque silicon solar cells, however their relatively high-cost and poor efficiencies have meant that their adoption has been slow. To help remedy this, researchers working at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have created semi-transparent, efficient, low-cost perovskite solar cells with graphene electrodes. Read More
— Environment

Kirigami-inspired solar cells twist to track the sun

One of the challenges facing designers of traditional flat solar panels is the fact that the sun doesn't conveniently stay in one place. This means that in order for a panel to receive as much sunlight as possible, it has to pan with the sun as it moves across the sky. While there are motorized assemblies designed to do just that, they add complexity, weight and expense to photovoltaic systems. Now, however, University of Michigan scientists have developed a simpler alternative – and it's based on the ancient Japanese cut-paper art of kirigami.

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— Electronics

Signs of the times: The big three at IFA 2015

As the doors close on another packed IFA at Berlin's Messe fairgrounds and exhibitors begin dismantling booths and packing away all the consumer tech treasures, Gizmag takes a look back at three technology trends that battled it out for showstopper supremacy at IFA 2015. Connected appliances came into the spotlight to take center stage, slightly overshadowing a strong showing from smartwatches, with HDR TV technology elbowing in to herald the next big thing in living room entertainment.

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