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A look at how nanotechnology benefits solar cells, water treatment, wind turbines and other clean energy applications

Lab talk

Nanotechnology research highlights: find out what the authors have to say

Imprinted nanovoids trap light in solar cells

Scalable and inexpensive technique suits organic thin-film devices.

1D magnetite nanostructures obtained without templates for energy applications

Fe3O4 nanobelts synthesized by a one-pot and template-free hydrothermal method using Na2CO3 and FeCl2 as reactants.

Flexible organic solar cells equipped with graphene electrodes

Reduced sheet resistance of chemically doped graphene film improves device performance.

Mild post-deposition treatments benefit colloidal nanocrystal solar cells

Use of dilute carboxylic acid solutions improves the photovoltaic response of tetrapod-shaped colloidal nanocrystal solids.

Sandia team demonstrates III-nitride nanowire array solar cells

Nanowire architecture could lead to higher efficiencies by overcoming strain limitations and guiding light via air voids.

Air-assisted fabrication paves the way for low-cost graphene solar cells

Easy-to-make graphene devices are ideal candidates for assorted infrared imaging applications.

Bent substrate enhances water splitting

ZnO nanorod arrays supported by a flexible polyethylene terephthalate substrate exhibit improved photoelectrochemical properties.

Nanowire coating benefits solar energy conversion

Metal oxide enabled silicon electrodes support efficient water solar splitting and hydrogen generation.

Feeling the heat of pyroelectricity

AFM operating in electrostatic force microscope mode reveals evolution of force gradients in gemstone placed on thermally cycled heating stage.

Study compares light trapping in hexagonal and square nano arrays

Array symmetry has little impact compared with other parameters such as periodicity, nanowire diameter and length

Highly flexible Ti-mesh upgrades DSSC electrodes

Dye-sensitized solar cells equipped with TiO2 nanotubes on Ti-mesh outperform foil-based designs in latest study

Quantum dot photonic nanocrystals increase conversion efficiency of solar cells

Self-organized growth and wet etching combined to create unique nanostructures for advanced management of photons and carriers

Aligned carbon nanotubes and non-aqueous electroytes ramp up performance of supercapacitors

Straight nanoconduits enable fast movement of ions to and from the electrode surface

Stamped polymer top layer provides opportunity for more-efficient hybrid solar cells

Upper network of thin channels further enhances the performance of hybrid polymer-silicon nanowire devices

Core-shell nanoparticles further improve cycling stability of lithium-ion batteries

Combination of a high-capacity active core and an electroconductive shell shown to enhance battery performance

Synergistic effect of nanocrystal integration and process optimization ramps up polymer solar-cell efficiency

Texas Tech team investigates the photophysical properties of SWNT/P3HT composite as a function of semiconducting-SWNT fractions

Anomalous thickness-dependence of photocurrent explained for planar nano-heterojunction organic solar cells

Combined model shows that ideal thickness determined by more than just the exciton diffusion length

Antibody-assisted self-assembly applied to solar cells

Bio-directed manipulation of nanowires could help to make photocell and display fabrication more environmentally friendly

Nano-engineered carbons promise better gas storage materials for advanced transportation

Tunable pore space will allow developers to selectively optimize carbons for high volumetric or high gravimetric storage capacity to meet different vehicle requirements