“Ten years ago, NREL scientist Arthur J Nozik predicted that MEG would be more efficient in semiconductor quantum dots – tiny crystals of semiconductor – than in bulk semiconductors.
Quantum dots, by confining charge carriers within their tiny volumes, can harvest excess energy that otherwise would be lost as heat – and therefore greatly increase the efficiency of converting photons into usable free energy.
The researchers hit the 114 percent external quantum efficiency with a layered cell consisting of antireflection-coated glass with a thin layer of a transparent conductor, a nanostructured zinc oxide layer, a quantum dot layer of lead selenide treated with ethanedithol and hydrazine, and a thin layer of gold for the top electrode.
They claim the fabrication of quantum dot solar cells lends itself to inexpensive, high-throughput roll-to-roll manufacturing.”
“Light is one of the most promising carriers of quantum information. It is robust against decoherence because it does not interact with stray electric and magnetic fields and passes unscathed through transparent matter.
But this prized robustness is also a serious limitation. Photons do not easily interact with each other so processing the information they carry is tricky.
In recent years, however, physicists have worked out how to make photons interact using interferometers and to carry out quantum computations using the output of one interferometer as the input for another.
The trouble is that interferometers are notoriously fickle. Sneeze and they need re-calibrating. So cascades of them tend to be hard to handle.
Today, Jonathan McDonald at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome New York, and a few pals reveal a way round this problem.
Their idea is to make holograms of interferometers so that their properties become ‘frozen’ in glass. This makes them much more stable. “
“OBESE male mice tend to sire unhealthy offspring. And it seems diet is to blame, causing tiny changes in sperm that may lead to metabolic disorders in mouse pups. The discovery brings us closer to understanding how lifestyle choices affect the health of future generations.
The effects of diet and smoking become imprinted onto DNA via chemical modifications that regulate gene activity and protein production within a cell.”
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