Photokina 2014 highlights

Transparency

A microscope cross-sectional view of the material, in which the microhairs are standing st...

What if your house's windows could automatically reduce the amount of hot sunlight passing through them, or your car's windshield could cause rain droplets to bead off to its edges? These things and more could soon be possible, thanks to a new animal hair-inspired material developed at MIT.  Read More

A lab mouse body, one week after after the start of the PARS process – the arrow in the mi...

Ordinarily, when scientists want to see specific cells within a piece of biological tissue, they first have to remove that tissue from the body, slice it very thin, then examine those two-dimensional slices using a microscope. Imagine, though, if the tissue could be made transparent – seeing tagged cells within it would be sort of like looking at three-dimensional bubbles inside an ice cube. Well, that's just what a team at Caltech have done using a technique known as PARS, or perfusion-assisted agent release in situ.  Read More

TransWall displays interactive content on both of its faces

You've probably seen TV shows in which groups of characters – usually forensic investigators – view data on large transparent touchscreen displays. Well, researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have taken that concept a step further. Their TransWall is not only transparent, but it can also receive input and display content on either side of its screen, plus it's capable of haptic feedback.  Read More

A photonic waveguide getting written by laser into a smartphone's Gorilla Glass (Photo: Op...

Gorilla Glass could be getting a lot more useful. Corning International, which makes the material commonly used in mobile device screens, has teamed up with researchers at Polytechnique Montreal to create a new type of glass that incorporates transparent sensors. Soon, the glass in your smartphone screen could be used to take your temperature, among many other possibilities.  Read More

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

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