When a solar cell absorbs a photon of light, it starts an electronic race against time. Two particles — a negatively charged electron and positively charged “hole” — generate electricity if they fully separate.
Making chemicals for industrial processes often requires scientists to use a catalyst — a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction, reducing the amount of energy it takes to make different products.
In a new study, researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne and Brookhaven National Laboratories observed the formation of two kinds of defects in individual nanowires, which are smaller in diameter than a human hair.
Replanting trees after events like last year’s catastrophic Western wildfires not only is critical to forest recovery, but could actually help soils take up more carbon from the atmosphere than if the burned areas were just left idle or cultivated.