Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Nanotechnology microscope boosts solar research

The microscope is equipped with a tiny metallic tip to see individual atoms, allowing precision better than a hundredth of a nanometer.
The microscope is equipped with a tiny metallic tip to see individual atoms, allowing precision better than a hundredth of a nanometer.

Abstract:
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is home to a powerful, new microscope being used to develop efficient and cheap plastic solar cells to charge laptops and mobile phones.

Nanotechnology microscope boosts solar research

Brisbane, Australia | Posted on November 16th, 2011

The $1.5 million German-engineered scanning probe microscope is the only one of its kind in Queensland, with four others in Australia located in New South Wales.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Nunzio Motta said the microscope was equipped with a tiny metallic tip to see individual atoms, allowing precision better than a hundredth of a nanometer.

"We will be the only university in Queensland with a microscope like this in operation," he said.

"It will open up many exciting new research opportunities."

Professor Motta, a principal research fellow with the Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering, said the microscope would accelerate QUT's efforts to study new materials with atomic resolution.

QUT researchers have started using the microscope to improve plastic solar cells by mixing them with tiny tubes of highly-conductive carbon, called nanotubes, which are 100 times smaller than a strand of human hair.

"At the moment the plastic solar cells are quite inefficient, but they are already used in niche markets for very low power portable applications," Professor Motta said.

"We are aiming to improve the efficiency of these plastic solar cells by studying the microscopic structure of the material. If we can do that, the advantages would be enormous.

"Plastic solar cells could generate enough energy not only to recharge the batteries of laptops and mobiles, but even to obtain power from canopies on parking areas and on stadiums."

Professor Motta said the microscope was equipped with sensitive surface probes, including two kinds of atomic force microscopes, an X-ray electron spectrometer and an electron microscope.

Samples used in the microscope can be heated up to 1300C and gases introduced through a special valve system to test how surface atoms react in different environments.

To keep surfaces clean and to observe their atomic composition, the microscope is enclosed in a stainless steel evacuated vessel, where the pressure is similar to that found in outer space.

QUT researchers also will be using the microscope to create a new class of solar-powered nano-sensors capable of detecting pollution and monitoring the environment in remote areas.

The new microscope will be officially unveiled on November 24 at Gardens Point campus.

The microscope, which received $800,000 in funding from the Australian Research Council, will be managed within the QUT-based Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility Linked Laboratory.

Professor Motta said scientists from a consortium of universities that helped fund the microscope would use it for research, including Flinders University, the University of Queensland, Griffith University and Roma Tor Vergata University in Italy.

The microscope will be moved to QUT's $230 million Science and Engineering Centre when it opens in 2012.

hat: Official unveiling of Ultra-High Vacuum and Scanning Probe Microscope
When: Thursday, November 24, 10.30am to 2pm
Where: QUT Gardens Point Campus, Old Government House and R-Block
Info: If interested in attending, please RSVP at 3138 1150

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media contact:
Stephanie Harrington
QUT
media officer
61 3138 1150

Copyright © Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Imaging

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

News and information

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Finding a new formula for concrete: Researchers look to bones and shells as blueprints for stronger, more durable concrete May 26th, 2016

Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission: The privately-funded space-based global wireless signal monitoring system will be developed by Deep Space Industries and UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory May 26th, 2016

Openings/New facilities/Groundbreaking/Expansion

Albertan Science Lab Opens in India May 7th, 2016

SUNY Poly Partnership with Japan's New Energy and Industrial Development Organization Drives Investment in and Installation of Emerging ‘Green’ Technologies at World-Class 'Zero Energy Nano' Building March 22nd, 2016

Composite Pipe Long Term Testing Facility February 10th, 2016

SUNY Poly and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announce New $500M R&D Program in Albany To Accelerate Next Generation Chip Technology: Arrival of Second Cutting Edge EUV Lithography Tool Launches New Patterning Center That Will Generate Over 100 New High Tech Jobs at SUNY Poly February 9th, 2016

Academic/Education

Graphene: Progress, not quantum leaps May 23rd, 2016

Smithsonian Science Education Center and National Space Society Team Up for Next-Generation Space Education Program "Enterprise In Space" May 11th, 2016

The University of Colorado Boulder, USA, combines Raman spectroscopy and nanoindentation for improved materials characterisation May 9th, 2016

Albertan Science Lab Opens in India May 7th, 2016

Discoveries

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

PETA science group publishes a review on pulmonary effects of nanomaterials: Archives of Toxicology publishes a review of scientific studies on fibrotic potential of nanomaterials May 26th, 2016

Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the 'Internet of Things' May 26th, 2016

Announcements

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Finding a new formula for concrete: Researchers look to bones and shells as blueprints for stronger, more durable concrete May 26th, 2016

Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission: The privately-funded space-based global wireless signal monitoring system will be developed by Deep Space Industries and UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory May 26th, 2016

Tools

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

More light on cancer: Scientists created nanoparticles to highlight cancer cells May 21st, 2016

Nanotubes are beacons in cancer-imaging technique: Rice University researchers use spectral triangulation to pinpoint location of tumors May 21st, 2016

Energy

Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the 'Internet of Things' May 26th, 2016

Gigantic ultrafast spin currents: Scientists from TU Wien (Vienna) are proposing a new method for creating extremely strong spin currents. They are essential for spintronics, a technology that could replace today's electronics May 25th, 2016

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

Technique improves the efficacy of fuel cells: Research demonstrates a new phase transition from metal to ionic conductor May 18th, 2016

Solar/Photovoltaic

Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the 'Internet of Things' May 26th, 2016

Light can 'heal' defects in new solar cell materials: Defects in some new electronic materials can be removed by making ions move under illumination May 24th, 2016

This 'nanocavity' may improve ultrathin solar panels, video cameras and more May 16th, 2016

New research shows how silver could be the key to gold-standard flexible gadgets: Silver nanowires are an ideal material for current and future flexible touch-screen technologies May 13th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic