Dec 22, 2011
Nanotechweb.org: best of 2011
In 2011, nanomaterials continue to amaze - making objects disappear thanks to the mirage effect, improving the performance of next-generation solar cells, offering more options for energy storage, providing versatile light-absorbing surfaces and expanding the field of bioelectronics.
This year's top five stories -
Using computational chemistry, researchers show that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) modified with azobenzene could provide the same energy storage per volume as lithium-ion batteries. Dubbed a solar thermal fuel, the material can be recharged by simply exposing it to sunlight. [Read the full story]
Adding a third electrode to the system turns a film of bacterial nanowires into a biological transistor that can be switched on and off by applying a voltage. [Read the full story]
Uses for the light-absorbing material include more than just solar cells. Black silicon could improve the reliability of electrodes in battery systems and offer a platform for highly sensitive and fast-acting chemical sensors. [Read the full story]
Modulating the temperature of highly oriented multi-walled carbon nanotube sheets (MWCNT), drawn from the sidewall of a 300–350 µm tall MWCNT forest, gives a mirage-based cloaking effect. [Read the full story]
Scientists at the University of Kentucky, US, have developed two novel device configurations for thin-film CdS-CdTe solar cells, where the traditional CdS window layer is replaced by nanowires of CdS embedded in an aluminum oxide matrix or free standing. [Read the full story]
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