Materials

Solar Nanowire Template Permits Flexible Energy Absorption

Researchers creating electricity through photovoltaics want to convert as many of the sun’s wavelengths as possible to achieve maximum efficiency. For this reason, they see indium gallium nitride as a valuable future material for photovoltaic systems. Changing the concentration of indium allows researchers to tune the material’s response so it collects solar energy from a variety of wavelengths.

Posted in: Materials, Solar Power, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Nanotechnology, News

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Nanoengineered Thermal Materials Based on Carbon Nanotube Array Composites

Thermal conductors for integrated circuits and devices can be made from carbon nanotube arrays. State-of-the-art integrated circuits (ICs) for microprocessors routinely dissipate power densities on the order of 50 W/cm2. This large power is due to the localized heating of ICs operating at high frequencies and must be managed for future highfrequency microelectronic applications. As the size of components and devices for ICs and other appliances becomes smaller, it becomes more difficult to provide heat dissipation and transport for such components and devices. A thermal conductor for a macro-sized thermal conductor is generally inadequate for use with a micro-sized component or device, in part due to scaling problems.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Polyimide Aerogel Thin Films

Polyimide aerogels have been cross-linked through multifunctional amines. This invention builds on “Polyimide Aerogels With Three-Dimensional Cross-Linked Structure,” (LEW-18486-1), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 34, No. 8 (August 2010), page 38, and may be considered as a continuation of that invention, which results in a polyimide aerogel with a flexible, formable form.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Composite Laminate With Coefficient of Thermal Expansion Matching D263 Glass

The laminate is a combination of carbon fiber with fiberglass. The International X-ray Observatory project seeks to make an X-ray telescope assembly with 14,000 flexible glass segments. The glass used is commercially available SCHOTT D263 glass. Thermal expansion causes the mirror to distort out of alignment. A housing material is needed that has a matching coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) so that when temperatures change in the X-ray mirror assembly, the glass and housing pieces expand equally, thus reducing or eliminating distortion. Desirable characteristics of this material include a high stiffness/ weight ratio, and low density.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Asymmetric Supercapacitor for Long-Duration Power Storage

A document discusses a project in which a series of novel hybrid positive electrode materials was developed and tested in asymmetric capacitors with carbon negative electrodes. The electrochemical performance of the hybrid capacitors was characterized by cyclic voltammetry and a DC charge/discharge test. The hybrid capacitor exhibited ideal capacitor behavior with an extended operating voltage of 1.6 V in aqueous electrolyte, and energy density higher than activated carbon-based supercapacitors.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Detecting Contaminants in Water

Many organic contaminants in the air and in drinking water need to be detected at very low-level concentrations. Research published by the laboratory of Prashant V. Kamat, the John A. Zahm Professor of Science at the University of Notre Dame, could be beneficial in detecting those contaminants.

Posted in: Environmental Monitoring, Metals, Sensors, Detectors, Semiconductors & ICs, News

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Ultra-Lightweight Nanocomposite Foams and Sandwich Structures for Space Structure Applications

Microcellular nanocomposite foams and sandwich structures have been created to have excellent electrical conductivity and radiation-resistant properties using a new method that does not involve or release any toxicity. The nanocomposite structures have been scaled up in size to 12×12 in. (30×30 cm) for components fabrication. These sandwich materials were fabricated mainly from PE, CNF, and carbon fibers. Test results indicate that they have very good compression and compression-afterimpact properties, excellent electrical conductivity, and superior space environment durability.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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