Researchers have found that the band gap of semiconductor indium nitride is not 2 eV as previously thought, but a much lower 0.7 eV. Scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Cornell University, and Japan's Ritsumeikan University have discovered that a single system of alloys incorporating indium, gallium, and nitrogen can convert virtually the full spectrum of sunlight to electrical current. Such a discovery could eventually lead to the delivery of the most efficient and relatively inexpensive solar cells. For more information, go to www.lbl.gov/science-articles/archive.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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