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Enhanced Energy: ONR Global Seeks More Powerful Electronic Devices


Logo of the U.S. Office of Naval Research Global.

The U.S. Office of Naval Research Global is sponsoring research on a new nanomaterial for solar cells and photodetectors.

Credit: Office of Naval Research

Researchers from the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in the United Arab Emirates have demonstrated new ways to increase efficiency in solar cells and photodetectors. The U.S. Office of Naval Research Global is sponsoring the team's research on a new nanomaterial called zinc oxide.

The researchers say changing the size and structure of the oxide enabled them to "tune" its electrical properties, optimizing its performance in the memory in electronics. They say this discovery could improve the efficiency of fabricated solar cells, which play a role in a number of naval applications and settings.

The finding could enable the Navy to reduce its dependency on fuel and battery resupply for its warfighters, says Masdar's Ammar Nayfeh.

Low-dimensional semiconductor nanostructures are of particular interest for high-performance electronic and photonic devices, according to the researchers. They say their work could increase the capability and speed of military equipment as well as other electronics, including cellphones, digital cameras, laptops, and medical devices.

From Office of Naval Research
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