Physics

How iron carbenes store energy from sunlight -- and why they aren't better at it

Photosensitizers absorb sunlight and pass that energy along to generate electricity or drive chemical reactions. Scientists watched what happened when light hit an inexpensive photosensitizer, iron carbene, and discovered it can respond in two competing ways, only one only one of which allows electrons to flow into the devices or reactions where they're needed. It took this desired path about 60% of the time. The ultimate goal is to design cheap photosensitizers for specific tasks that are close to 100% efficient.

Here's What Happens to the Solar System When the Sun Dies

The end of planet Earth could also mean new life in distant parts of the solar system.

Dueling Stars Leave a Multicolored Cosmic Light Show

ALMA captured the aftermath of a scrap between two stars.

A gold butterfly can make its own semiconductor skin

A nanoscale gold butterfly provides a more precise route for growing/synthesizing nanosized semiconductors that can be used in nano-lasers and other applications.

World's most powerful particle accelerator one big step closer

Scientists have demonstrated a key technology in making next-generation high-energy particle accelerators possible.

Scientists Chronicle the Shifting Colors of a Comet's 'Seasons'

The Rosetta mission found a regular pattern of varying red and blue hues on the comet as it passes near to and then away from the sun.

Crystal-stacking process can produce new materials for high-tech devices

Stacking ultrathin complex oxide single-crystal layers allows researchers to create new structures with hybrid properties and multiple functions. Now, using a new platform, researchers will be able to make these stacked-crystal materials in virtually unlimited combinations.

Bending diamond at the nanoscale

A team of scientists has discovered diamond can be bent and deformed, at the nanoscale at least. The discovery opens up a range of possibilities for the design and engineering of new nanoscale devices in sensing, defense and energy storage but also shows the challenges that lie ahead for nanotechnologies.

Induced flaws in metamaterials can produce useful textures and behavior

A new study shows how induced defects in metamaterials -- artificial materials the properties of which are different from those in nature -- also produce radically different consistencies and behaviors. The research has far-reaching applications for several engineering disciplines.

Breaking up amino acids with radiation

Small organic molecules, including the amino acids that form the 'building blocks' of proteins in living cells, fragment to form ions under the impact of high-energy radiation such as electron beams. A new study published in EPJ D has now shown what happens when electrons collide with one amino acid, glutamine. The extent of the damage and the nature of the ions formed are both affected by the energy of the colliding electrons.

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