RESEARCH WATCH

Perfect optical absorber invented at Harvard University

Perfect optical absorber invented at Harvard University

Harvard Professor of Applied Physics Federico Capasso and his collaborators have invented a nearly perfect optical absorber. By coating a piece of sapphire with an exceedingly thin 180-nm layer of vanadium dioxide, a surface is created that absorbs 99.75 percent of infrared light with a wavelength of 11.6 micron wavelength….

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Cell-powered “bio-bots” get a wriggle on

Cell-powered “bio-bots” get a wriggle on

Using a 3D printer, researchers at the University of Illinois have developed synthetic “bio-bots” about seven millimeters long that are powered by embedded cardiac cells that give them the ability to “walk” on their own. The researchers say they are just scratching the surface of what is possible, with their…

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Solar cells made from black silicon

Solar cells made from black silicon

Solar cells convert three-quarters of the energy contained in the Sun‘s spectrum into electricity – yet the infrared spectrum is entirely lost in standard solar cells. In contrast, black silicon solar cells are specifi cally designed to absorb this part of the Sun‘s spectrum – and researchers have recently succeeded…

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