Theoretically, two layers are better than one for solar-cell efficiency

Solar cells have come a long way, but inexpensive, thin film solar cells are still far behind more expensive, crystalline solar cells in efficiency. Now, a team of researchers suggests that using two thin films of different materials may be the way to go to create affordable, thin film cells with about 34% efficiency. “Ten […]

Engineers imitate human hands to make better sensors

An international research team has developed “electronic skin” sensors capable of mimicking the dynamic process of human motion. This work could help severely injured people, such as soldiers, regain the ability to control their movements, as well as contribute to the development of smart robotics, according to Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Early Career Professor […]

Water borrowing: An invisible, global coping strategy for household water issues

Nearly two billion people worldwide lack access to a safe, managed water supply. Despite decades of research on how people cope with this problem, the practice of borrowing water from a neighbor has been studied only recently. A team of researchers led by Asher Rosinger, assistant professor of biobehavioral health and anthropology at Penn State, […]

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions using microwave plasma technology

A multi-disciplinary collaborative relationship, developed between Penn State EMS Energy Institute researchers and a Pittsburgh-based start-up company, may hold the answer to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions while also paving the way to disrupt the chemical and material industries. Since 2015, Randy Vander Wal, professor of energy and mineral engineering and materials science and engineering, […]