ENERGY

FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un salutes as an honour guard march past as he and his aunt Kim Kyong Hui, Premier Pak Pong Ju attend the opening ceremony of the Cemetery of Fallen Fighters of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in Pyongyang

Kim Jong Un Not Dead: North Korea's Dictator Attends Fertilizer Plant Ceremony that Could Fuel the Country's Nuclear Power

The dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, has suddenly shown up at a fertilizer plant ceremony putting rumors of his death to rest.

by Urian

ITER Tokamak

Nuclear Hibernation: Fusion Reactor Collects Heat As It Sleeps And Becomes Ready To Wake Up After 30 Years

Could Nuclear Fusion provide the much-coveted unlimited artificial energy source the world sorely needs? The ITER might be the answer to the age-old question

by Renz

Temperatur Changing Smart Fabric Can Adapt to Both Hot and Cold: Scientists Points They can be Mass Produced

[Future of Fashion] Cold or Hot? New Fabric Adapts to Whatever Weather

A recent project has resulted in the invention of a certain smart fabric that can actually change from hot to cold and even vice-versa!

by Urian

The National Grid Puts Pandemic Plan Into Effect: Here's How They Plan To Deal With Power Outages

How the National Grid Plans to Solve the Power Outages Amidst Coronavirus

The National Grid has already devised a pandemic plan amidst the coronavirus. Here's how they plan to solve the power outages.

by Urian

NASA dreams big with space studies

NASA Program To Utilize $7M In Funding Research, From Stronger Spacecraft To Landing Humans On Mars - What They Have Planned Will Blow You Away

NASA looks to increase our capabilities with studies to find out more about space and its cosmic inhabitants

by Renz

electronics

New Flame Retardants, Old Problems

Replacement flame retardants present serious risks, caution scientists

by Staff Reporter

person wearing red hoodie

Electric Cloth

Flexible, wearable supercapacitors based on porous nanocarbon nanocomposites

by Staff Reporter

CAD schematic

Experiment Measures Velocity in 3D

Many of today's scientific processes are simulated using computer-driven mathematical models. But for a model to accurately predict how airflow behaves at high speeds, for example, scientists need supplemental real-life data. Providing validation data, using up-to-date methods, was a key motivating factor for a recent experimental study conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

by Staff Reporter

Superpositioned Qubit

Johns Hopkins Researchers Discover Material That Could Someday Power Quantum Computer

Quantum computers with the ability to perform complex calculations, encrypt data more securely and more quickly predict the spread of viruses, may be within closer reach thanks to a new discovery by Johns Hopkins researchers.

by Staff Reporter

SNS Nanobolometer

Radiation Detector with the Lowest Noise in the World Boosts Quantum Work

The nanoscale radiation detector is a hundred times faster than its predecessors and can function without interruption.

by Staff Reporter

Energy Level Alignment in CsPbI3 (IMAGE)

New Perovskite Material Shows Early Promise as an Alternative to Silicon

Silicon dominates solar energy products -- it is stable, cheap, and efficient at turning sunlight into electricity. Any new material taking on silicon must compete, and win, on those grounds. As a result of international research collaboration, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have found a stable material that efficiently creates electricity -- which could challenge silicon hegemony. Writing in Science, the collaborating teams show how the material CsPbI3 has been stabilized in a new configuration capable of reaching high conversion efficiencies. CsPbI3 is an inorganic perovskite, a group of materials gaining popularity in the solar world due to their high efficiency and low cost. This configuration is noteworthy as stabilizing these materials has historically been a challenge. "We are pleased with results suggesting that CsPbI3 can compete with industry-leading materials," says Professor Yabing Qi, head of OIST's Energy Materials and Surface Sciences Unit, who led on the surface science aspect of the study. "From this preliminary result, we will now work on boosting the material's stability -- and commercial prospects." Energy level alignment CsPbI3 is often studied in its alpha phase, a well-known configuration of the crystal structure appropriately known as the dark phase because of its black color. This phase is particularly good at absorbing sunlight. Unfortunately, it is also unstable -- and the structure rapidly degrades into a yellowish form, less able to absorb sunlight. This study instead explored the crystal in its beta phase, a less well-known arrangement of the structure that is more stable than its alpha phase. While this structure is more stable, it shows relatively low power conversion efficiency. This low efficiency partly results from the cracks that often emerge in thin-film solar cells. These cracks induce the loss of electrons into adjacent layers in the solar cell -- electrons that can no longer flow as electricity. The team treated the material with a choline iodide solution to heal these cracks, and this solution also optimized the interface between layers in the solar cell, known as energy level alignment. "Electrons naturally flow to materials with lower potential energy for electrons, so it is important that the adjacent layers' energy levels are similar to CsPbI3," says Dr. Luis K. Ono, a co-author from Professor Qi's lab. "This synergy between layers results in fewer electrons being lost -- and more electricity being generated." The OIST team, supported by the OIST Technology Development and Innovation Center, used ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy to investigate the energy level alignment between CsPbI3 and the adjacent layers. These data showed how electrons can then move freely through the different layers, generating electricity. The results showed a low loss of electrons to adjacent layers following treatment with choline iodide --due to better energy level alignments between the layers. By repairing the cracks that naturally emerge, this treatment led to an increase in conversion efficiency from 15% to 18%. While that leap may seem small, it brings CsPbI3 into the realm of certified efficiency, the competitive values offered by rival solar materials. Although this early result is promising, inorganic perovskite is still lagging. For CsPbI3 to truly compete with silicon, the team will next work on the trinity of factors allowing silicon's reign to continue -- stability, cost, and efficiency.

by Staff Reporter

Prashant Shenoy, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (IMAGE)

Researchers Develop Method to Automatically Estimate Rooftop Solar Potential

AMHERST, Mass. - Industry figures show the global rate of solar energy installations grew by 30 percent in one recent year, and the average cost of installing solar has fallen from $7 per watt to $2.8 per watt, making rooftop solar attractive to many more homeowners.

by Staff Reporter

Battery Production at Record Speed (IMAGE)

Battery Production at Record Speed

With a new coating process, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have produced electrodes for lithium-ion batteries at record speed. At the same time, the new process improves the quality of electrodes and reduces production costs.

by Staff Reporter

Developing a New Type of Refrigeration via Force-Driven Liquid Gas Transition (IMAGE)

Developing a New Type of Tefrigeration Via Force-Driven Liquid Gas Transition

A research team of Tohoku University, Nissan Motor Co., Shinshu University, and Okayama University made a groundbreaking discovery in the quest to replace hydrofluorocarbons in refrigeration systems with natural refrigerants such as water and alcohol. Their study involved carrying-out a liquid-to-gas phase transition via a nanosponge, a soft, elastic material equipped with small nanopores less than 10 nanometers. Their findings could lead to more efficient refrigerants with a smaller carbon footprint.

by Itech Staff

Researchers Designed Two-Step Process To Break Down Rice Straws Into Sugars For Fuel (IMAGE)

Researchers Take Two Steps Toward Green Fuel

An international collaboration led by scientists at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT), Japan, has developed a two-step method to more efficiently break down carbohydrates into their single sugar components, a critical process in producing green fuel.

by Staff Reporter

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