Lasing from atomically-thin 2D material heterostructures

The advent of semiconductor lasers revolutionized the way we send, receive, and store information. For instance, the high-speed internet that you are using to peruse this article was made possible by the optical telecommunication network that uses semiconductor lasers and optical fibers to transmit large amounts of data over long distances. Due to their simple … Read more Lasing from atomically-thin 2D material heterostructures

Hot electrons harvested without tricks

Semiconductors convert energy from photons (light) into an electron current. However, some photons carry too much energy for the material to absorb. These photons produce ‘hot electrons’, and the excess energy of these electrons is converted into heat. Materials scientists have been looking for ways to harvest this excess energy. Scientists from the University of … Read more Hot electrons harvested without tricks

Stretchable, degradable semiconductors

To seamlessly integrate electronics with the natural world, materials are needed that are both stretchable and degradable — for example, flexible medical devices that conform to the surfaces of internal organs, but that dissolve and disappear when no longer needed. However, introducing these properties to electronics has been challenging. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Central Science have … Read more Stretchable, degradable semiconductors

Electrode-fitted microscope points to better designed devices that make fuel from sunlight

Using an atomic-force microscope fitted with an electrode tip 1,000 times smaller than a human hair, University of Oregon researchers have identified in real time how nanoscale catalysts collect charges that are excited by light in semiconductors. As reported in the journal Nature Materials, they discovered that as the size of the catalytic particles shrinks … Read more Electrode-fitted microscope points to better designed devices that make fuel from sunlight

Paramagnetic spins take electrons for a ride, produce electricity from heat

An international team of researchers has observed that local thermal perturbations of spins in a solid can convert heat to energy even in a paramagnetic material – where spins weren’t thought to correlate long enough to do so. This effect, which the researchers call “paramagnon drag thermopower,” converts a temperature difference into an electrical voltage. … Read more Paramagnetic spins take electrons for a ride, produce electricity from heat

Silicon as a semiconductor: silicon carbide would be much more efficient

In power electronics, semiconductors are based on the element silicon – but the energy efficiency of silicon carbide would be much higher. Physicists of the University of Basel, the Paul Scherrer Institute and ABB explain what exactly is preventing the use of this combination of silicon and carbon in the scientific journal Applied Physics Letters. Energy … Read more Silicon as a semiconductor: silicon carbide would be much more efficient

A perfect single-photon source for quantum computing, finally

An international multi-institute collaboration, led by Professor Chao-Yang Lu and Jian-Wei Pan from the University of Science and Technology of China, has demonstrated a semiconductor-based source of single photons that for the first simultaneously fulfills all the demanding requirements of quantum computing. This is a fundamental key step for optical quantum computing, which promises a … Read more A perfect single-photon source for quantum computing, finally

Treating solar cell materials reveals formation of unexpected microstructures

Recent advances in solar cell technology use polycrystalline perovskite films as the active layer, with an increase to efficiency of as much as 24.2%. Hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites are especially successful, and they have been used in optoelectronic devices including solar cells, photodetectors, light-emitting diodes and lasers. But the surface of hybrid perovskites is prone to … Read more Treating solar cell materials reveals formation of unexpected microstructures

KIST develops technology for creating flexible sensors on topographic surfaces

The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST, president: Byung-gwon Lee) announced that Dr. Hyunjung Yi of the Post-Silicon Semiconductor Institute and her research team developed a transfer-printing** technology that uses hydrogel* and nano ink to easily create high-performance sensors on flexible substrates of diverse shapes and structures. *Hydrogel: a three-dimensional hydrophilic polymer network that … Read more KIST develops technology for creating flexible sensors on topographic surfaces

Organic laser diodes move from dream to reality

Researchers from Japan have demonstrated that a long-elusive kind of laser diode based on organic semiconductors is indeed possible, paving the way for the further expansion of lasers in applications such as biosensing, displays, healthcare, and optical communications. Long considered a holy grail in the area of light-emitting devices, organic laser diodes use carbon-based organic … Read more Organic laser diodes move from dream to reality