Plastic crystals hold key to record-breaking energy transport

24 May 2018

Scientists from the Universities of Cambridge and Bristol have found a way to create plastic semiconductor nanostructures that absorb light and transport its energy 20 times further than has been previously observed, paving the way for more flexible and more efficient solar cells and photodetectors. 

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Mirage maker

30 Oct 2015

Aditya Sadhanala wanders over to the wall, turns a pulley, and a wooden box about a metre squared swings up and away. Below it gleams an array of carefully positioned lasers, deflectors and sensors surrounding a piece of glass no bigger than a contact lens. He flips a switch and creates a ‘mirage’.

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Nanomaterials Up Close: Synthetic opal

13 Jun 2014

In this video we see a synthetic opal, which is made using polystyrene spheres surrounded by even tinier polystyrene spheres around 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Harry Beeson explains how it’s important to look at nanoscale structures like this to improve the efficiency of solar cells.

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