Electron microscopic image of the hybrid material. Image: Pawan Kumar / University of Alberta

Chemists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed an efficient water splitting catalyst as part of a collaborative international research effort. The catalyst comprises a double-helix semiconductor structure encased in carbon nitride. It is perfect for producing hydrogen economically and sustainably. An international team led by TUM chemist Tom Nilges and engineer Karthik Shankar from the University of Alberta have now found a stable yet flexible semiconductor structure that splits water much more efficiently than was previously possible. 

Using ultrashort pulses of light enables extremely economical switching of spins within a few picoseconds from one stable orientation (red arrow) to another (white arrow). Illustration: Brad Baxley (parttowhole.com) – For exclusive use in reporting this press release.

 

Using extremely short bursts of light, precisely shaped in a custom-cut gold antenna, an international research team from Germany, The Netherlands, Russia, and the US has switched the magnetization state of a solid faster and more efficiently than ever before. Their key achievement could pave the way towards a novel kind of nearly dissipation-free information technology. The results are published in the current issue of the top-tier journal Nature.

With multi-beam optics, the high laser powers can be used efficiently. © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Experts from 13 different Fraunhofer institutes are working on the development of multi-kW ultrafast lasers and various applications in the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Advanced Photon Sources CAPS. A user facility with application laboratories in Aachen and Jena is being created for this purpose, laboratories in which partners from industry and research can work with the new technology.

Sensor patterns and conducting paths printed on polyester textile. © K. Selsam for Fraunhofer ISC

Integrating sensoric functions into textiles or elastomers is way more difficult than equipping machines because it requires movable or extensible sensors. The Center Smart Materials CeSMa of the Fraunhofer ISC with its experience in the field of adaptive elastomers has developed highly elastic sensors and actuators based on silicone. They provide a wide range of sensoric and actoric functions for smart electronic textiles (e-textiles) with a broad application potential in medical technology, in sports, in furniture, vehicles or in transport safety. CeSMa will be presenting its developments from May 14-17 at TechTextil 2019 in Frankfurt.