Aluminium adds value to fibre lasers

Applying aluminium instead of phosphorous dopant ions to optical fibre glass lasers may help manufacturers better tackle photodarkening, which reduces the lifetime of the device. This could aid materials processing where lasers are used for cutting, drilling and welding.

Probing conducting polymers

Polymers that exhibit metallic and semiconductor-like properties are the focus of research at the University of Leicester, UK. The team wants to enhance the fundamental understanding and properties of these materials for potential use in microactuators, bio-electrochemical sensors and batteries for energy storage. One significant finding is that incorporating single-walled carbon nanotubes improves the rheological properties of thin polyaniline films.
A 3D view of the zirconia/strontium titanate interface

Improving ionic conductivity in fuel cells

Spanish researchers hope to enhance the efficiency of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) by producing a super lattice that improves ionic conductivity near room temperature by a factor of almost 100 million.