Posts tagged: Materials science

Newly-invented plastic from biomass degrades after use

  Researchers from North Dakota State University (NDSU) have discovered a way to make a new type of plastic that breaks down and degrades when exposed to a specific kind of light, which reduces it back to molecules. The scientists, whose work has been published in Angewandte Chemie, used fructose to create a molecular solution, […]

Storing the Sun

By Kevin Bullis | Photographs by Ken Richardson on February 18, 2014 Aquion manufactures cheap, long-lasting batteries for storing renewable energy. A new kind of battery invented by Jay Whitacre, a professor of materials science at Carnegie Mellon University and founder of the startup Aquion Energy, could make renewable electricity more practical and economical around […]

The Perovskite Lightbulb Moment for Solar Power

Cheap, abundant solar power from Britain’s grey skies? Don’t mock, this is one dream that could soon be a reality By Mark Miodownik     The worst part of my job as a materials scientist is going to conferences. They are often turgid affairs conducted in the ballrooms of hotels so identical to one another […]

Scientists Seek a Newer, Cheaper Solar Panel

Solar panels generate electricity by absorbing sunlight, but that is only half the battle. Once electrons in the panel are energized, they must be channeled in the same direction – a process that typically requires a panel made with layers of two kinds of material. Not in the future, if a team of researchers from […]

Solar power heads in a new direction: thinner

Atom-thick photovoltaic sheets could pack hundreds of times more power per weight than conventional solar cells. CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Most efforts at improving solar cells have focused on increasing the efficiency of their energy conversion, or on lowering the cost of manufacturing. But now MIT researchers are opening another avenue for improvement, aiming to produce […]