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Thin Film

Materials

Conductive thin film clears the way for improved solar cells

Researchers at the University of Korea and the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a new thin film material that packs a unique combination of features: it's highly electrically conductive, bendable, stretchable, and almost entirely transparent. The film could help build more efficient solar panels, self-heating smart windows, flexible displays, and high-performance cooling surfaces.Read More

Telecommunications

Smart whiskey bottle talks to smartphones

Diageo, the alcohol giant behind popular poisons like Smirnoff and Baileys, has teamed up with electronics company Thinfilm Electronics to develop a Johnnie Walker Blue Label smart whiskey bottle. The prototype connected bottle promises to enable distributors to better track stock as well as connect with user's smartphones and detect when someone has cracked it open prematurely. Read More

Physics

Researchers discover a universal law of superconductivity

The immutable laws that govern our universe – such as those that reign over the observable world in classical mechanics and those that rule the atomic physics world – are at the core of all of our scientific principles. They not only provide consistent, repeatable, and accurate rules that allow calculations and experiments to be tested or verified, they also help us make sense of the workings of the cosmos. MIT researchers claim to have discovered a new universal law for superconductors that, if proved accurate, would bring the physics of superconductors in line with other universal laws and advance the likes of superconducting circuits for quantum and super low-power computing.Read More

Science

"Nanograss" boosts the efficiency of organic solar cells

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Stanford University and the Dresden University of Technology have developed a long sought-after nanostructure that can significantly increase the efficiency of organic solar cells. Their "nanograss," a dense array of vertical nanopillars, can capture photons at a very high efficiency and could also lead to cheaper and more advanced 3D transistors, photodetectors and charge storage devices.Read More

Electronics

First flexible graphene-based display created

Flexible displays are the new must-have element in the race for the next generation of high-tech electronic devices. A new prototype display created with graphene promises to provide a more efficient, printable alternative to current construction methods with the added benefit of perhaps one day creating a true, fully-folding display.Read More

Electronics

"Nano-pixels" hold huge potential for flexible, low-power, high-res screens

The Retina displays featured on Apple's iPhone 4 and 5 models pack a pixel density of 326 ppi, with individual pixels measuring 78 micrometers. That might seem plenty good enough given the average human eye is unable to differentiate between the individual pixels, but scientists in the UK have now developed technology that could lead to extremely high-resolution displays that put such pixel densities to shame.Read More

Environment

Tofu ingredient could clean up solar cell recipe

Tofu has long been touted as a good way to clean out your insides, but now a researcher at the University of Liverpool says an ingredient in tofu could also be used to clean up solar cells. The hope is that the naturally occurring substance could replace a key ingredient in thin film solar cells that is highly toxic and expensive to produce. Read More

Mobile Technology

Shape-shifting PaperFold smartphone joins the fold

Long before Korean electronics giants LG and Samsung rolled out smartphones with curved displays in the form of the G Flex and Galaxy Round, the team from the Human Media Lab at Canada's Queen's University created the Paperphone, a fully-functioning flexible smartphone prototype featuring a thin film E-Ink display. This was followed by the PaperTab tablet and MorePhone smartphone prototypes. Now the foldable PaperFold smartphone has joined the fold.Read More

Science

New thin film increases efficiency of stacked solar cells

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new system for strengthening the connections between stacked solar cells which could improve the overall efficiency of concentrated photovoltaic technology and reduce the cost of solar energy production. The hardened connections could theoretically enable these cells to operate at concentrations of up to 70,000 suns while minimizing wasted energy.Read More

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