RESEARCH PAPERS OF NOTE
August 23, 2010
The littlest things boost solar
cells, fuel cells, biofuels and capacitors
* Mimic or harness a newly discovered
red-light-loving biomolecule and you can get more energy out of sunlight.
Red-Shifted Chlorophyll, Science, published online August
* Form thin layers of nanoscale carbon onions and you can
make ultra-powerful ultracapacitors for powering microdevices. See
micrometre-sized supercapacitors based on onion-like carbon, Nature
Nanotechnology, published online August 15, 2010.
* Shape a polymer membrane with lung-like bronchial channels and you
can dramatically reduce the amount of platinum catalyst needed to
turn fuels into electricity. See Nature-Inspired
Energy- and Material-Efficient Design of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane
Fuel Cell, Energy Fuels, published online August 10, 2010.
* Heat up the right kind of solar cell and you can boost the
amount of electricity it produces from sunlight. See Photon-enhanced
thermionic emission for solar concentrator systems, Nature
Materials, published online August 1, 2010.
* Pick out the right pieces of metabolic machinery from blue-green
algae and you can get more biofuel out of microbes. See Microbial
Biosynthesis of Alkanes, Science, July 30, 2010.
* Stick a single layer of molecules between a polymer and a zinc oxide
film and you can as much as triple the amount of electricity you get
out of organic-inorganic hybrid solar cells. See Improved
Photoinduced Charge Carriers Separation in Organic-Inorganic Hybrid
Photovoltaic Devices, Applied Physics Letters, published
online July 22, 2010.
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