How perovskite in solar cells recrystallizes a…

How perovskite in solar cells recrystallizes and why modified carbon nanotubes can help overcome the reproducibility problem by making use of this

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) conducted an in-depth study on how carbon nanotubes with oxygen-containing groups can be used to greatly enhance the performance of perovskite solar cells. The newly discovered self-recrystallization ability of perovskite could lead to improvement of low-cost and efficient perovskite solar cells.

[…]

Our search for sustainable energy generation technology has led researchers to investigate various materials and their combinations in many types of devices. One such synthetic material is called “perovskite”, which is low-cost and easy to produce, and can be used in solar cells. Perovskite solar cells have attracted much attention because their power conversion efficiency (that is, their efficiency at turning sunlight into electricity) has seen dramatic improvements in recent years. However, it has proven difficult to implement them for large-scale energy generation because of a handful of issues.

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Nanocomposite ‘Electroadhesive’ Stamp Picks …

Nanocomposite ‘Electroadhesive’ Stamp Picks Up and Puts Down Microscopic Structures

New technique could enable assembly of circuit boards and displays with more minute components.

If you were to pry open your smartphone, you would see an array of electronic chips and components laid out across a circuit board, like a miniature city. Each component might contain even smaller “chiplets,” some no wider than a human hair. These elements are often assembled with robotic grippers designed to pick up the components and place them down in precise configurations.

As circuit boards are packed with ever smaller components, however, robotic grippers’ ability to manipulate these objects is approaching a limit.  

“Electronics manufacturing requires handling and assembling small components in a size similar to or smaller than grains of flour,” says Sanha Kim, a former MIT postdoc and research scientist who worked in the lab of mechanical engineering associate professor John Hart. “So a special pick-and-place solution is needed, rather than simply miniaturizing [existing] robotic grippers and vacuum systems.”

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Damaged hearts rewired with nanotube fibers: T…

Damaged hearts rewired with nanotube fibers: Texas Heart doctors confirm Rice-made, conductive carbon threads are electrical bridges

Thin, flexible fibers made of carbon nanotubes have now proven able to bridge damaged heart tissues and deliver the electrical signals needed to keep those hearts beating.

[…]

Scientists at Texas Heart Institute (THI) report they have used biocompatible fibers invented at Rice University in studies that showed sewing them directly into damaged tissue can restore electrical function to hearts.

“Instead of shocking and defibrillating, we are actually correcting diseased conduction of the largest major pumping chamber of the heart by creating a bridge to bypass and conduct over a scarred area of a damaged heart,” said Dr. Mehdi Razavi, a cardiologist and director of Electrophysiology Clinical Research and Innovations at THI, who co-led the study with Rice chemical and biomolecular engineer Matteo Pasquali.

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New way to make 3-D carbon components

New way to make 3-D carbon components

UD’s Kun Fu discovers new way to make 3-D carbon components

Kun (Kelvin) Fu, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Delaware, has used a 3-D printer to make pure carbon nanotube (CNT) architectures. Fu is believed to be the first person to make these lightweight, strong, highly porous CNT structures using a 3-D printer.

Fu’s creations could be useful in the manufacture of composites, which are made from two or more materials that have different properties when combined than they do as individual materials. Carbon nanotubes can add strength to polymer composites. They are also electrically conductive and chemically stable, opening up a world of creative opportunity for use of this material in batteries and electronics, water purification and desalination technologies, tissue-engineered medical implants, and more.

“We can print a series of 3-D complex structures using carbon nanotubes. This is a pure CNT structure and no binder or polymer is needed.” said Fu, “According to literature, no one can do this.”

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Oddball edge wins nanotube faceoff: Rice U. th…

Oddball edge wins nanotube faceoff: Rice U. theory shows peculiar ‘Janus’ interface a common mechanism in carbon nanotube growth

When is a circle less stable than a jagged loop? Apparently when you’re talking about carbon nanotubes.

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Rice University theoretical researchers have discovered that nanotubes with segregated sections of “zigzag” and “armchair” facets growing from a solid catalyst are far more energetically stable than a circular arrangement would be.

Under the right circumstances, they reported, the interface between a growing nanotube and its catalyst can reach its lowest-known energy state via the two-faced “Janus” configuration, with a half-circle of zigzags opposite six armchairs.

The terms refer to the shape of the nanotube’s edge: A zigzag nanotube’s end looks like a saw tooth, while an armchair is like a row of seats with armrests. They are the basic edge configurations of the two-dimensional honeycomb of carbon atoms known as graphene (as well as other 2D materials) and determine many of the materials’ properties, especially electrical conductivity.

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Research shows black plastics could create r…

Research shows black plastics could create renewable energy

Research from Swansea University has found how plastics commonly found in food packaging can be recycled to create new materials like wires for electricity—and could help to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the future.

While a small proportion of the hundreds of types of plastics can be recycled by conventional technology, researchers found that there are other things that can be done to reuse plastics after they’ve served their original purpose.

The research, published in The Journal for Carbon Research, focuses on chemical recycling which uses the constituent elements of the plastic to make new materials.

While all plastics are made of carbon, hydrogen and sometimes oxygen, the amounts and arrangements of these three elements make each plastic unique. As plastics are very pure and highly refined chemicals, they can be broken down into these elements and then bonded in different arrangements to make high value materials such as carbon nanotubes.

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A Comparative Study of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Based Polystyrene and Toughened Polycarbonate Nanocomposites

image

Authored by Nisha Bagotia

The main
objective of this article is to describe the effect of different length (aspect
ratio) of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on the electrical conductivity and
electromagnetic shielding effectiveness of polystyrene/l-MWCNT and toughened
polycarbonate/s-MWCNT composites. Long and short MWCNTs having aspect ratio of
~666 – 1333 and ~157 respectively were used for melt-mixed with polystyrene and
toughened polycarbonate in a micro compounder. The uniform dispersion of MWCNT
in matrix was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. The realization
shielding effectiveness value of -21dB respectively for PS/l-MWCNT composites:
and -27dB for TPC/s-MWCNT composites at 10phr loading of MWCNTs, which show
their potential use in making of mechanically strong and light weight EMI
shield used for commercial application.

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Atomic engineering with electric irradiation

Atomic engineering with electric irradiation

Atomic engineering can selectively induce specific dynamics on single atoms followed by combined steps to form large-scale assemblies thereafter. In a new study now published in Science Advances, Cong Su and an international, interdisciplinary team of scientists in the departments of Materials Science, Electronics, Physics, Nanoscience and Optoelectronic technology; first surveyed the single-step dynamics of graphene dopants. They then developed a theory to describe the probabilities of configurational outcomes based on the momentum of a primary knock-on atom post-collision in an experimental setup. Su et al. showed that the predicted branching ratio of configurational transformation agreed well with the single-atom experiments. The results suggest a way to bias single-atom dynamics to an outcome of interest and will pave the road to design and scale-up atomic engineering using electron irradiation.

Controlling the exact atomic structure of materials is an ultimate form of atomic engineering. Atomic manipulation and atom-by-atom assembly can create functional structures that are synthetically difficult to realize by exactly positioning the atomic dopants to modify the properties of carbon nanotubes and graphene. For example, in quantum informatics, nitrogen (N) or phosphorous (P) dopants can be incorporated due to their nonzero nuclear spin. To successfully conduct experimental atomic engineering, scientists must (1) understand how desirable local configurational change can be induced to increase the speed and the success rate of control, and (2) scale up the basic unit processes into feasible structural assemblies containing 1 to 1000 atoms to produce the desired functionality.

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Pantry ingredients can help grow carbon nano…

Pantry ingredients can help grow carbon nanotubes

Baking soda, table salt, and detergent are surprisingly effective ingredients for cooking up carbon nanotubes, researchers at MIT have found.

In a study published this week in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the team reports that sodium-containing compounds found in common household ingredients are able to catalyze the growth of carbon nanotubes, or CNTs, at much lower temperatures than traditional catalysts require.

The researchers say that sodium may make it possible for carbon nanotubes to be grown on a host of lower-temperature materials, such as polymers, which normally melt under the high temperaturesneeded for traditional CNT growth.

“In aerospace composites, there are a lot of polymers that hold carbon fibers together, and now we may be able to directly grow CNTs on polymer materials, to make stronger, tougher, stiffer composites,” says Richard Li, the study’s lead author and a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “Using sodium as a catalyst really unlocks the kinds of surfaces you can grow nanotubes on.”

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