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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Some superconductors can also carry currents of ‘spin’

16 Apr 2018

Researchers have shown that certain superconductors – materials that carry electrical current with zero resistance at very low temperatures – can also carry currents of ‘spin’. The successful combination of superconductivity and spin could lead to a revolution in high-performance computing, by dramatically reducing energy consumption. 

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Ultra-white coating modelled on beetle scales

13 Mar 2018

Researchers have developed a super-thin, non-toxic, lightweight, edible ultra-white coating that could be used to make brighter paints and coatings, for use in the cosmetic, food or pharmaceutical industries.

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Silent witnesses: how an ice age was written in the trees

27 Feb 2018

What connects a series of volcanic eruptions and severe summer cooling with a century of pandemics, human migration and the rise and fall of civilisations? Tree rings, says Ulf Büntgen, who leads Cambridge’s first dedicated tree-ring laboratory in the Department of Geography.

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Illuminating the hidden kingdom of the truffle

12 Feb 2018

Truffles are one of the world’s most expensive ingredients, and also one of the most mysterious. Now, with the help of a 170-year-old ‘living laboratory’, and a dog called Lucy, researchers hope to unearth new understanding of the secret life of these underground delicacies.

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