Combining experimental investigations and theoretical simulations, researchers have explained why platinum nanoclusters of a specific size range facilitate the hydrogenation reaction used to produce ethane from ethylene. The research offers new insights into the role of cluster shapes in catalyzing reactions at the nanoscale, and could help materials scientists optimize nanocatalysts for a broad class of other reactions. Read more here.
Currently, silver-based pastes dominate the PV cell market because they do not oxidize and can be processed at high temperatures. These pastes contain a large fraction of silver which is a costly precious metal. Attempts to synthesize and fabricate low-cost thin films of composite metal particles made from abundant elements that can be used as a replacement for Ag-pastes are ongoing. In order to achieve success, the films must be sufficiently conductive and strongly adhere to the silicon solar cell while not reducing the overall power conversion efficiency.
The broader impact and commercial potential will be a significant reduction in the overall cost of PV cell processing. The global silver paste market in the PV industry is estimated to be over $1.7 billion per year. Switching to non-silver alternatives may provide significant cost reductions. Module cost reductions have primarily driven the significant growth in solar cell installation in the past five years. While PV is now cost competitive in several regions, further solar module reductions with commensurate reductions in installation costs, would make solar power cost competitive without subsidies. Finally, metallization pastes development may have applications in a wide range of products including displays and integrated circuits.
A “green” replacement for costly, hazardous fluorocarbons which are used in coatings for super-hydrophobic applications. Read more here. A material made by scientists at Rice University, the University of Swansea, the University of Bristol and the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis is inexpensive, nontoxic and can be applied to a variety of surfaces via spray- or spin-coating.
Tungsten Carbide, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide and Aluminum Oxide nano materials are greatly improving construction materials.
Energy conservation is at the forefront of global concerns. As nanomaterials such as Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Aluminum Oxide and Tungsten Carbide along with Carbon Nano tubes and Nano fibers are incorporated into basic construction materials, our planet (the only one we’ve got at this time) is realizing vibrant cities with commercial buildings which have reduced environmental footprint and CO2 emissions. The right nano material matched with the right application is key.
Read more here from our friends at Nanowerk.