A unique butterfly breeding experiment gave UC Berkeley researchers an opportunity to study the physical and genetic changes underlying the evolution of structural color, responsible for butterflies' iridescent purples, blues and greens. Using helium ion microscopy, the scientists discovered that a 75% increase in thickness of the chitin lamina of wing scales turned iridescent gold to shiny blue. They showed that knocking out a gene called optix achieves the same result: a bluer Common Buckeye.
A literal "trick of the light" can detect imperfections in next-gen solar cells, boosting their efficiency to match that of existing silicon-based versions, researchers have found.
Infrared radiation, which is invisible yet highly utilizable, is used in various fields and for various purposes, such as for coronavirus detection (i.e. through thermal imaging cameras and biosensors). A Korean research team has developed a technology that visualizes infrared radiation and expands its application range.
Emitting light from silicon has been the 'Holy Grail' in the microelectronics industry for decades. Solving this puzzle would revolutionize computing, as chips will become faster than ever. Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology now succeeded: they have developed an alloy with silicon that can emit light. The results have been published in the journal Nature. The team will now start creating a silicon laser to be integrated into current chips.
As reel-to-reel tapes make a comeback among audio buffs, scientists are unraveling the secret of why some decades-old tapes are unplayable, while others retain their original superb audio fidelity. The researchers are presenting their results through the American Chemical Society SciMeetings online platform.
Magnetic monopoles are actually impossible. At low temperatures, however, certain crystals can contain so-called quasi-particles that behave like magnetic monopoles. Now an international cooperation has proven that such monopoles also occur in a Kagome spin ice system. Decisive factors were, among others, measurements with inelastic neutron scattering at the NEAT instrument of the Berlin neutron source BER II*. The results have been published in the journal Science.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University designed a polymer known as a liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) that can be 'programmed' to both twist and bend in the presence of light. Especially in the field of soft robotics, this is essential for building devices that exhibit controllable, dynamic behavior without the need for complex electronic components.
90 years ago, the physicist Hans Bethe postulated that unusual patterns, so-called Bethe strings, appear in certain magnetic solids. Now an international team has succeeded in experimentally detecting such Bethe strings for the first time. They used neutron scattering experiments at various neutron facilities including the unique high-field magnet of BER II at HZB. The experimental data are in excellent agreement with the theoretical prediction of Bethe and prove once again the power of quantum physics.
Lead-based perovskites efficiently turn light into electricity but they also present some major drawbacks: the most efficient materials are not very stable, while lead is a toxic element. University of Groningen scientists are studying alternatives to lead-based perovskites. It is very important to investigate in situ how lead-free perovskite crystals form and how the crystal structure affects the functioning of the solar cells.
Researchers have observed directly and for the first time magnetoacoustic waves (sound-driven spin waves), which are considered as potential information carriers for novel computation schemes. These waves have been generated and observed on hybrid magnetic/piezoelectric devices. The experiments were designed by a collaboration between the University of Barcelona (UB), the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) and the ALBA Synchrotron. The results show that magnetoacoustic waves can travel over long distances -up to centimeters- and have larger amplitudes than expected.