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Transparency

Microscope photo of tungsten diselenide samples connected to electrodes

Graphene, the two-dimensional lattice of carbon atoms, may be the wonder material du jour, but ultrathin layers of other elements are also proving to be an exciting area of research. One-atom-thick sheets of germanium and tin have shown potential as semiconductors and a topological insulators respectively, and now ultrathin layers of tungsten and selenium have been used to create a diode that could be used in ultrathin, flexible, semi-transparent solar cells.  Read More

This colorful American flag is in reality a functional  and transparent solar cell (Photo:...

A beautiful stained glass installation, a colorful billboard, or rows of windows on an office building ... all as electricity-generating solar cells? New research at the University of Michigan gives a method for creating such transparent and colorful solar cells using a hybrid silicon/organic composition, and furthermore avoids some of the problems of previous colored and transparent solar cells.  Read More

A close view of the nanomesh (inset)

We're coming just that much closer to electronic devices such as TV screens that can be rolled up in a tube, or phones that can be folded up and stuffed in a pocket. Scientists at the University of Houston have created a gold nanomesh material that is conductive, transparent and flexible – a combination that they claim has never before been achieved.  Read More

The new transparent display developed at MIT offers a wide viewing angle

There are a number of approaches currently used to create transparent displays, such as transparent OLED and LCD displays or simple reflection, however, most are limited in terms of viewing angle. Researchers at MIT have come up with a new system that is low-cost and offers a wide angle of view with the projected image appearing on the transparent material itself.  Read More

Clarity Bike features a frame made from Trivex, a polymer with positive properties

Bicycle design hasn't deviated much from its origins back in the 1800s. A cross frame connecting two wheels to each other works to the point that any attempt to offer something new and innovative – such as the Fliz Bike – is usually derided as being pointless. However, the materials used to build the humble bike have changed over the years, and will continue to do so all the while there's a demand for lighter, stronger frames. Could a transparent polymer provide the next logical step in the process?  Read More

Despite the illusion of democracy which the world's Governments present, the 2011 report s...

“Corruption” is defined by Transparency International (TI) as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.” Each year TI publishes a “Corruption Perceptions Index” which scores the world's nations out of ten for their public sector honesty and the just-released 2011 report paints a bleak picture. Only six countries scored 9.0 or better, and just 49 of the 186 countries assessed in the report scored better than 5.0. Analysis shows more than 80% of human beings on Planet Earth exist under regimes which score 4.0 or less. December 9 is World Anti-Corruption Day. Corruption hurts everyone - the following article shows what's wrong and where, and what you can do to help make the world a fairer place.  Read More

The clear mouse embryo on the right was incubated in the Scale reagent for two weeks

Scientists are constantly looking for new and better ways of seeing through biological tissue, in order to see cells within it that have been marked with dyes, proteins or other substances. While recent research has involved using marking materials such as carbon nanotubes and firefly protein, scientists from Japan’s RIKEN Brain Science Institute have taken a different approach – they’ve developed a chemical reagent that causes the tissue surrounding the marked cells to become transparent.  Read More

Researchers at the Stanford University have developed a flexible see-through li-ion batter...

There have been numerous attempts at designing partially transparent gadgets over the years, with the LG GD900 cell phone being a notable example. Fully translucent mobile devices are difficult to produce, however, as they would require a fully see-through battery, which hasn't been available yet. Stanford University researchers now claim to have developed such a device - a see-through, flexible, lithium-ion battery, suitable for powering mobile gadgets like cell phones, tablets or e-readers.  Read More

Researchers have developed a method of laser-welding transparent pieces of plastic to one ...

Laser welding of plastic is quick, precise, and generates little waste, but it does have its limitations. The process involves shining a laser beam through the edge of an upper sheet of plastic and onto the joining edge of a lower sheet, which has had soot particles mixed into it to absorb the radiation – this means that manufacturers are almost always limited to joining transparent plastic to black plastic. Researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology, however, have recently developed a method for welding transparent plastics to one another.  Read More

A high school physics teacher has invented a method of producing microfluidic devices, usi...

Microfluidic technology, in which liquid is made to pass through “microchannels” that are often less than a millimeter in width, has had a profound effect on fields such as physics, chemistry, engineering and biotechnology. In particular, it has made “lab-on-a-chip” systems possible, in which the chemical contents of tiny amounts of fluid can be analyzed on a small platform. Such devices are typically made in clean rooms, through a process of photolithography and etching. This rather involved production method is reflected in their retail price, which sits around US$500 per device. Now, however, a high school teacher has come up with a way of making microfluidics that involves little else than a photocopier and transparency film.  Read More

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