Fine-tuned molecular orientation is key to more efficient solar cells

Polymer solar cells are a hot area of research due to both their strong future potential and the significant challenges they pose. It is believed that thanks to lower production costs, they could become a viable alternative to conventional solar cells with silicon substrates when they achieve a power conversion efficiency—a measure that indicates how much electricity they can generate from a given amount of sunlight—of between 10 and 15 percent. Now, using carefully designed materials and an “inverted” architecture, a team of scientists has achieved efficiency of 10 percent, bringing these cells close to the threshold of commercial viability.

Say Freeze: Photogs do 365-gigapixel sweep of Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and has taken on an added distinction as the subject of the world’s largest photograph. The Telegraph reported Monday that a photography team accomplished a world record-setting panoramic photograph of this majestic mountain—no small feat, born out of a desire among the photography specialists who did it to pay tribute to Mont Blanc.

Toward sold-state molecular circuitry: Molecular shuttle within a metal-organic framework

(—In 1959 Moore observed that from the time the integrated circuit was invented, the number of transistors per square inch doubled about every eighteen months. A contemporary of Moore, Feynman, suggested that denser circuitry could be achieved by making molecular-scale circuitry. Since that time, mechanically interlocked molecules (MIMs) have proven a viable contender for eventually making molecular-based circuitry, including molecular switches. However, most molecular switches are made and studied in solution.