In case you missed it (ICYMI), here are some of the stories that made headlines in the world of cleanrooms and nanotechnology in the past week:
A 3D printing technique developed by an otolaryngology resident and a bioengineering student from the University of Washington helps create new ears for pediatric patients. Surgeons typically practice carving the ears out of materials like soap or apples. The new 3D printing procedure creates an inexpensive pediatric rib cartilage model that more closely resembles the feel of real cartilage and allows for realistic surgical practice.
Perovskite — a hybrid materials that serves as an effective complement to conventional silicon — has proven to be difficult to provide with a transparent front contact. A team in Berlin has developed a process to cover the perovskite layer evenly with graphene. Thanks to graphene’s high transparency, none of the sunlight’s energy is lost in this layer, and there are no open-circuit voltage losses. The perovskite solar cell procedure enables scientists to build a high-efficiency tandem device.
Cell phones, tablets, and computers can thank the rapidly increasing efficiency of semiconductors for their success. Materials scientists from the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA have now discovered a way to make organic semiconductors more powerful and more efficient. The researchers made a breakthrough by creating an improved structure for the organic semiconductor type called tetraaniline, a building block of a conductive polymer. The scientists proved, for the first time, that tetraaniline crystals could be grown vertically. This could improve methods for capturing solar energy.