Scientists Develop Hyper-Sensitive Nanotube Sensors to Detect Toxins

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Researchers at Stanford have created a kind of inexpensive sensor based on carbon nanotubes (these things are so useful!) that can detect traces of TNT and the nerve agent Sarin in water. This can be useful to detect terrorist attacks on the water supply or leaching from munition making or storage facilities, but I bet this type of sensor could also be used to detect other kinds of toxins and help us track down polluters.

 

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Efficient Solar Cells Could Be Made With Carbon Nanotubes

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Carbon nanotube-based photodiode

Cornell researchers fabricated, tested and measured a simple solar cell called a photodiode, formed from an individual carbon nanotube.  Using a carbon nanotube instead of traditional silicon, Cornell researchers have created the basic elements of a solar cell that hopefully will lead to much more efficient ways of converting light to electricity than now used in calculators and on rooftops.

 

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Nano-Ink: Spray-on Solar Cells To Harvest The Sun

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Nano-ink could replace standard method of manufacturing solar cells

This is one powerful idea that would do away with massive solar panels. Solar cells could soon be spray painted onto the sides of buildings or rooftops with nanoparticles.

 

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Nanowire Advance Can Boost Life And Performance Of Lithium-Ion Batteries

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Carbon nanowires coated with silicon (bottom) produces a material that can store six times as much charge

Lithium ion has become the battery of choice for electric vehicles, driving researchers to improve the technology’s performance, longevity, and reliability. A new type of nanowire electrode developed by materials science and engineering professor Yi Cui at Stanford is a step toward that goal.

 

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Floating Liquid Solar Arrays

Floating Liquid Solar Arrays

LSAs (Liquid Solar Arrays)

There’s a lot of surface area on this planet for solar panels. The ocean’s are a vast area to utilize this solar technology.  But,  the weather can make the installation and use of floating solar arrays difficult.  That’s not the case with LSAs (Liquid Solar Arrays) by Sunengy Pty LTD .

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10 Amazing Miniature Works Of Art

10 Amazing Miniature Works Of Art 

Miniature Art

There’s something sort of magical about miniatures, especially when they’re strikingly lifelike. The artists who create these tiny wonders look at life from a different scale than the rest of us, and their work often requires intense patience, concentration and a steady hand. From sculptures too small to be seen by the naked eye to sweaters knitted with needles the diameter of a human hair, here are 10 incredible works of amazingly tiny art. (Pics) (Video)

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Organic Solar Cells Starting To Take Off In The Renewable Energy Field

Organic Solar Cells Starting To Take Off In The Renewable Energy Field

 The flexible solar module is as small as the page of a book.

In the race to renewable energy, organic solar cells are now really starting to take off. They can be manufactured easily and cheaply, they have low environmental impact, and since they are compatible with flexible substrates, they could be used in many applications such as packaging, clothing, flexible screens, or for recharging cell phones and laptops.

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Dye Solar Cells (DSC’s) Based On Photosynthesis

Dye Solar Cell (DSC) Solar Panels

The application of Dye Solar Cells (DSC’s) in many technologies and new products is at least a year away, according to Dyesol, the leading company in the fast-growing DSC sector. DSC technology still has a way to go to catch up with nature. You see, DSC technology is based on the process whereby plants convert light into energy and store it. Plants that use photosynthesis operate 24/7, even when the sun is not shining.

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Vision Could Be Improved By Injecting Semiconductor Specks Into Retinas

Vision Could Be Improved By Injecting Semiconductor Specks Into Retinas 

Retina

The idea of creating a bionic eye to assist people with seriously impaired vision is definitely exciting. But installing a silicon chip into a human eyeball to assist the retinas has some drawbacks, the least of which being that the chip itself can block light from falling on areas of the retina that are healthy and still working properly. So Jeffrey Olsen at the University of Colorado Hospital has come up with a different approach.

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Making Materials That Repel All Liquids

Making Materials That Repel All Liquids 

 Water (dyed blue) and hexadecane (dyed red), an oil, bead up on an omniphobic surface, which repels all liquids.

Materials under development at MIT could lead to coatings that repel both water and oil. A group of MIT researchers have created an improved set of design rules for making any surface impervious to any liquid, be it water or gasoline. Such materials could eventually have promise as fingerprint-repelling coatings, fuel filters, self-washing car paints, and stain-resistant clothing.

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Microsoft and the Electric Power Industry Have a Lot in Common

 Microsoft and the Electric Power Industry Have a Lot in Common

Robert X. Cringely

Robert X. Cringely: It isn’t very often I get to apply Moore’s Law to a non-Information Technology business and rarer still that I can then relate the whole thing back to Microsoft, so I’m going for it. Here’s what the solar power industry can teach us about Microsoft.

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