University of Cambridge

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University of Cambridge articles

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Defects in solar cells can be healed with light

Defects in solar cells can be healed with light
  Researchers have shown that defects in the molecular structure of perovskites – a material which could revolutionise the solar cell industry – can be “healed” by exposing it to light and just the right amount of humidity.
11th September 2017

Non-toxic alternative leads to next-gen solar cells

Non-toxic alternative leads to next-gen solar cells
The team of researchers, from the University of Cambridge and the United States, have used theoretical and experimental methods to show how bismuth – the so-called “green element” which sits next to lead on the periodic table, could be used in low-cost solar cells. Their results, reported in the journal Advanced Materials, suggest that solar cells incorporating bismuth can replicate the properties that enable the exceptional properties of lead-based solar cells, but without the same toxicity concerns.
19th July 2017

Understanding of cellulose could lead to tailored biofuels

Understanding of cellulose could lead to tailored biofuels
In the search for low emission plant-based fuels, new research may help avoid having to choose between growing crops for food or fuel. Scientists have identified new steps in the way plants produce cellulose, the component of plant cell walls that provides strength, and forms insoluble fibre in the human diet. The findings could lead to improved production of cellulose and guide plant breeding for specific uses such as wood products and ethanol fuel, which are sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel-based products.
9th June 2016


Can we save the algae biofuel infustry?

Can we save the algae biofuel infustry?
Christian Ridley (Department of Plant Sciences) discusses why algae biofuel has failed to deliver, and what could be done to save this promising technology. Algal biofuels are in trouble. This alternative fuel source could help reduce overall carbon emissions without taking land from food production, like many crop-based biofuels do. But several major companies including Shell and ExxonMobil are seemingly abandoning their investments in this environmentally friendly fuel. 
11th May 2016

'World's tiniest engine' uses light to power itself

'World's tiniest engine' uses light to power itself
Researchers have developed the world’s tiniest engine – just a few billionths of a metre in size – which uses light to power itself. The nanoscale engine, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, could form the basis of future nano-machines that can navigate in water, sense the environment around them, or even enter living cells to fight disease.
5th May 2016

Fuel cell electrolyte for more efficient energy

Fuel cell electrolyte for more efficient energy
A new thin-film electrolyte material that helps solid oxide fuel cells operate more efficiently and cheaply than those composed of conventional materials, and has potential applications for portable power sources, has been developed at the University of Cambridge. These new materials offer the possibility of either significantly improving the efficiency of current high-temperature fuel cell systems, or achieving the same performance levels at much lower temperatures.
21st January 2016

Technique enables supercapacitor ion activity visualisation

Technique enables supercapacitor ion activity visualisation
A novel technique, which enables researchers to visualise the activity of individual ions inside battery-like supercapacitors, could enable greater control over their properties and improve their performance in high-power applications. Researchers from the University of Cambridge, together with French collaborators based in Toulouse, have developed the method to see inside supercapacitors at the atomic level.
1st July 2015


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