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    IS DARK MATTER MADE OF AXIONS?; CHEAPER SOLAR POWER; Polarized LED
    Posted on Monday, March 03, 2008 @ 22:56:14 GMT by vlad

    Science One of the mysteries of our universe is that of dark energy and matter. Scientists all over the world are attempting to discover what particles make up dark energy and matter. “Axions are one of the particles considered for dark matter,” William Wester tells PhysOrg.com. “We were hoping to get a signal proving that they exist with this experiment.”



    Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news123770210.html

    STEEL FORGES FOUNDATION FOR CHEAPER SOLAR POWER, March 03
    Steel forged railroads, skyscrapers and the automobile industry. Now it may help solar energy become cheaper and more widely available. In a study scheduled for the March 20 issue of ACS' weekly Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Finnish scientists report an advance in replacing the single most expensive component of a cutting-edge family of solar cells with less costly material.

    Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news123773741.html

    Student Develops First Polarized LED

    In recent years, light emitting diodes (LEDs) have begun to change the way we see the world. Now, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student has developed a new type of LED that could allow for their widespread use as light sources for liquid crystal displays (LCDs) on everything from televisions and computers to cell phones and cameras.

    Martin Schubert, a doctoral student in electrical, computer, and systems engineering, has developed the first polarized LED, an innovation that could vastly improve LCD screens, conserve energy, and usher in the next generation of ultra-efficient LEDs. Schubert’s innovation has earned him the $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize.

    Schubert’s polarized LED advances current LED technology in its ability to better control the direction and polarization of the light being emitted. With better control over the light, less energy is wasted producing scattered light, allowing more light to reach its desired location. This makes the polarized LED perfectly suited as a backlighting unit for any kind of LCD, according to Schubert. Its focused light will produce images on the display that are more colorful, vibrant, and lifelike, with no motion artifacts.

    Schubert first discovered that traditional LEDs actually produce polarized light, but existing LEDs did not capitalize on the light’s polarization. Armed with this information, he devised an optics setup around the LED chip to enhance the polarization, creating the first polarized LED.

    The invention could advance the effort to combine the power and environmental soundness of LEDs with the beauty and clarity of LCDs. Schubert expects that his polarized LED could quickly become commonplace in televisions and monitors around the world, replacing widely used fluorescent lights that are less efficient and laden with mercury. His innovation also could be used for street lighting, high-contrast imaging, sensing, and free-space optics, he said.

    Source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

    Via: http://www.physorg.com/news123782366.html

     
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    "IS DARK MATTER MADE OF AXIONS?; CHEAPER SOLAR POWER; Polarized LED" | Login/Create an Account | 1 comment | Search Discussion
    The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

    No Comments Allowed for Anonymous, please register

    Solar-power paint lets you generate as you decorate (Score: 1)
    by vlad on Monday, March 10, 2008 @ 22:05:46 GMT
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://www.zpenergy.com
    13:59 07 March 2008
    NewScientist.com news service
    Michael Marshall

    A lick of solar-power paint could see the roofs and walls of warehouses and other buildings generate electricity from the sun, if research by UK researchers pays off. The scientists are developing a way to paint solar cells onto the steel sheets commonly used to clad large buildings.

    Steel sheets are painted rapidly in steel mills by passing them through rollers. A consortium led by Swansea University, UK, hopes to use that process to cover steel sheets with a photovoltaic paint at up to 40 square metres per minute.

    The paint will be based on dye-sensitised solar cells. Instead of absorbing sunlight using silicon like conventional solar panels, they use dye molecules attached to particles of the titanium dioxide pigment used in paints.

    That gives an energy boost to electrons, which hop from the dye into a layer of electrolyte. This then transfers the extra energy into a collecting circuit, before the electrons cycle back to the dye.

    While less efficient than conventional cells, dye-based cells do not require expensive silicon, and can be applied as a liquid paste.

    Collision of technologies

    The Swansea team's leader, David Worsley says the idea to paint the cells onto architectural steel grew out of previous research by his group into the ways steel on buildings is degraded by the elements.

    They knew that paint fades in sunlight because the titanium dioxide pigment used is sensitive to sunlight. Worsely and doctoral student, Maarten Wijdekop realised they could exploit this by creating a paint that functions as a dye sensitised cell.

    Wijdekop now works for steel manufacturer Corus, which is helping develop the technology.

    Worsley describes the current research as "a collision between two existing technologies – one for generating electricity and one for applying paint to steel." "We should see a commercial cell in two-and-a-half years," he says.

    The solar cells are built up in several layers. Firstly, a barrier of normal paint is laid directly on the steel, then the electrolyte and dye layers, and finally a clear protective film to guard against the elements.

    'Fantastic idea'

    The team have successfully painted small demonstration cells onto steel, and they and colleagues at various UK universities are working to improve the performance of the different layers.

    Michael Grätzel [isic2.epfl.ch], at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, was one of the original developers of dye-sensitised solar cells, and says the project is "a fantastic idea."

    He is confident that the cells will be able to survive on buildings for long periods, pointing out that cells tested outside in Japan were still at full efficiency after 4 years. "These are very rugged systems," he told New Scientist.

    Mark Ratner [www.chem.northwestern.edu] of Northwestern University in Chicago is impressed but cautious. He points out that tackling some of the basic inefficiencies of dye-sensitised cells is still a priority – for example, by overcoming the problem of getting sunlight-boosted electrons back into the dye.

    Energy and Fuels - Learn more about the looming energy crisis in our comprehensive special report [www.newscientist.com].

    Source [technology.newscientist.com]



     

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