Severo Ochoa Programme 2018-2022 Energy NEWS

Tuesday, 06 March 2018

New transistor concept, solar cell included

ICN2 researchers have developed a novel concept in transistor technology: a two-in-one power source plus transistor device that runs on solar energy. Published in Advanced Functional Materials and currently trending in the Wiley-VCH “Hot Topics” list, lead author Amador Pérez-Tomás is calling it the “solaristor”.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

There’s no way that turning a material upside down makes it any softer, right? Wrong! Through the combined effect of two properties inherent to certain types of crystal, flexoelectricity and piezoelectricity, researchers at the ICN2 led by ICREA Prof. Gustau Catalán have found that polar materials can be made more or less resistant to dents when they are turned upside down… or when a voltage is applied to switch their polarisation. Published this week in Advanced Materials, this research points to the future development of “smart mechanical materials” for use in smart coatings and ferroelectric memories.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Hematite-based nanowire structures to enhance solar-to-fuel conversion in photoelectrochemical water splitting

ICN2 researchers led by ICREA Prof. Jordi Arbiol, in collaboration with the IREC and ICIQ, have produced a material for use in photoelectrochemical water splitting that is not only cheaper than existing alternatives, but increases both the efficiency and output of the process. Based on the integration of several materials into a multilayer nanowire structure, the research was featured on the cover of this month’s Energy & Environmental Science.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Surface hydrogen enables semiconductor nanowire subeutectic growth

Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and ICN2 Advanced Electron Nanoscopy Group have recently published an article in Nano Letters. They show an improvement made on the growth procedure of a semiconductor nanowire at subeutectic conditions using hydrogen. These results may have a positive effect on the CMOS technology.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Tip-assisted chemistry enables chemical reactions at femtoliter scale

The Chemical Communications journal reviews the advances made towards the confinement of chemical reactions within small droplets. The focus of the article falls to the tip-assisted chemistry, a technique recently amended by the ICN2 Nanostructured Functional Materials Group.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

2D-nanocellulose: piezoelectric driven by a hydrogen bonds pattern

Researchers from ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group publish in Scientific Reports findings providing the basis for new electromechanical designs using 2D-nanocellulose. In a longer-term perspective, the reinterpretation of electrical features for hydrogen bonds here introduced could pave the way in the understanding of life-essential molecules and events.

Monday, 03 October 2016

A record photovoltaic effect observed in antiferroelectrics

An article in Advanced Materials, authored by ICN2 researchers Dr Amador Pérez-Tomás, Prof Mónica Lira-Cantú and ICREA Prof Gustau Catalan, reports the largest photovoltaic field ever observed in a photovoltaic device. 

Monday, 26 September 2016

Bending semiconductors generates electricity

The discovery, published today in Nature, is a significant breakthrough in solid state physics and is also potentially relevant for technology. The phenomenon, called flexoelectricity, arises from the redistribution of atoms and electrons in a material when it is bent. This redistribution of charges can be used to generate an electrical current. It was already known that insulating materials can be flexoelectric. The surprise discovery is that semiconductors can also be flexoelectric, and moreover they can generate far more electricity than insulators.

Wednesday, 07 October 2015

How does the Titanium Oxide promote water oxidation in Hematite-based photoanodes?

Obtaining Hydrogen through water splitting may have broad energetic implications. Researchers from the Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC), with ICREA Prof Jordi Arbiol’s Group at ICN2, recently published in Energy & Environmental Science a systematic mechanistic study of the origin of the Titanium-induced enhanced photoactivity in Hematite-based photoanodes.