“Researchers create transparent solar cells that could be used to replace windows and power homes in the future.”Luminescent solar concentrators are cost-effective complements to semiconductor photovoltaics that can boost the output of solar cells and allow for the integration of photovoltaic-active architectural elements into buildings (for example, photovoltaic windows).Colloidal quantum dots are attractive for use in luminescent solar concentrators, but their small Stokes shift results in reabsorption losses that hinder the realization of large-area devices. Here, we use ‘Stokes-shift-engineered’ CdSe/CdS quantum dots with giant shells (giant quantum dots) to realize luminescent solar concentrators without reabsorption losses for device dimensions up to tens of centimeters.Monte-Carlo simulations show a 100-fold increase in efficiency using giant quantum dots compared with core-only nanocrystals. We demonstrate the feasibility of this approach by using high-optical-quality quantum dot–polymethylmethacrylate nanocomposites fabricated using a modified industrial method that preserves the light-emitting properties of giant quantum dots upon incorporation into the polymer. Study of these luminescent solar concentrators yields optical efficiencies >10% and an effective concentration factor of 4.4. These results demonstrate the significant promise of Stokes-shift-engineered quantum dots for large-area luminescent solar concentrators.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
A Dragon cargo craft stuffed with science and supplies approached the International Space Station for an automated laser-guided final rendezvous Sunday, culminating with grapple by the outpost's robotic arm.Owned and operated by SpaceX, the Dragon spacecraft completed a 40-hour trip from launch to the international research complex at 7:14 a.m. EDT (1114 GMT), when space station commander Koichi Wakata guided the lab's robot arm to grapple the free-flying cargo capsule.The linkup occurred as the space station and Dragon spacecraft flew 30 feet apart about 260 miles over the Nile River basin of Egypt.
SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft is closing in on the International Space Station (ISS) for an Easter Sunday arrival. Following a slight hiccup with her quad thrusters, the spacecraft has enjoyed a smooth passage towards the orbital outpost, ahead of a complex set of requirements that should culminate in her capture by the Station’s Robotic Arm at around 7:14am Eastern.
“Back when the universe was half its present age, supermassive black holes were feeding from a steady and plentiful diet of neighboring galaxies, the first measurement of a distant supermassive black hole’s spin shows.”Taking advantage of a naturally occurring zoom lens in space, astronomers analyzed X-rays streaming from near the mouth of a supermassive black hole powering a quasar about 6 billion light years from Earth.“The ‘lens’ galaxy acts like a natural telescope, magnifying the light from the faraway quasar,” University of Michigan astronomer Rubens Reis explains in a paper published in this week’s Nature.Analyzing four magnified images created by the lens galaxy -- an elliptical galaxy about 3 billion light years away -- Reis and colleagues found that the quasar’s black hole is spinning at half the speed of light.The spin rate directly relates to how black holes feed and grow: The steadier the diet, the faster the spin, computer models show. “If the mass accretion was more messy it would suggest that the black hole would have a lower spin,” astronomer Mark Reynolds, also with University of Michigan, told Discovery News.“What we found in this system is that it’s spinning very rapidly,” Reynolds said, consuming mass equivalent to about one sun per year. Spin rates may evolve over time, reflecting changes in evolution of galaxies.At some distance, the black holes’ spins might be even higher, approaching light speed, and then slow down to RX J1131’s spin rate.“If we go back further, maybe they’ll all be maximally spinning because of more mergers and more things happening. Or maybe they’ll be less spinning. We can theoretically produce both scenarios at the moment,” Reynolds said.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
“ This Dog Dancing To 80s Music Is Actually Kind Of Amazing At It Huffington Post (satire) In Kazakhstan, there exists a dog who is in dire need of four legwarmers. Not because it's cold, but because there is 80s music that needs dancing to.”
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