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Key achievements and challenges in STM and AFM

Mervyn Miles describes achievements in high-resolution high-speed AFM and challenges in applying it to living cells.

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

Technology update

Breaking research and industry highlights

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Novel recombination layers improve multijunction photovoltaics

Low-doped graded oxides reduce optical losses inside solar cells

Graphene solar cells break new efficiency record

Chemical doping boosts power

Graphite foam makes good battery electrode

Ultralight structure has higher energy and power densities than many conventional cathode materials

Heterostructures make better solar cells

Combing different nanocrystals and capping ligands could increase photovoltaic efficiency

Sol-gel makes nanostructured metallics

Materials could be used in fuel cells and batteries, as well as catalysts

Laser writer makes graphene supercapacitors

Devices might be ideal energy-storage systems for next-generation flexible and portable electronics

InGaN nanowires make good photoanodes

Solar water splitting applications could benefit

Graphene in new battery breakthrough?

If confirmed, device would be first of its kind best of 2011

Top five most viewed stories of the year

Growing new types of silicon nanowire

Electronic properties of novel polytypes could benefit applications like solar cells

Graphene could make 'perfect' solar cells

Metallic nanostructures boost light absorption

Solution processing makes good solar cells

Technique is cost-effective and could help make more sophisticated devices

Graphene makes 'supercapacitor'

First high-frequency AC capacitor containing graphene electrodes

Nanofibres power portable electronics

Tiny generator could be used in medical implants

Dual-diameter nanopillars absorb more light

Nanostructures with a small tip and large base could be useful for photovoltaic and photodetector applications

Nanotubes boost battery performance

Making electrodes more effective

Quantum dots for highly efficient solar cells

Current efficiency limits of 30% could be vastly improved by capturing "hot electrons"

Graphene oxide improves solar cells

Carbon-based material could make ideal hole transporting layer and allow for large-area flexible devices

Photonic crystals could enhance solar cells

Results of new study should help in the design of more sophisticated photovoltaics

Black nanoneedles for anti-reflective coatings

Ge nanostructures could be used in high-performance photodetectors and photovoltaic devices