Child looking at an LCD screen

Efficient LCD displays

Materials World magazine
Laptop screens that run on a fraction of the power used by conventional screens are being developed by US company Pixel Qi, based in San Bruno. The firm claims it has redesigned traditional liquid crystal display materials and production techniques to improve performance.

Armed with portable solar generators

Materials World magazine
American soldiers could soon be taking a new piece of kit onto the battlefield – a portable solar-powered generator smaller than a laptop. The Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC) programme is made up of a group of US universities, Government research laboratories and companies, and aims to reduce the weight of batteries a soldier has to carry and simplify logistical supply chains.
Surface Enhanced Micro Optical Fluidic Systems

Plastic diagnostic lab-on-a-chip

Materials World magazine
A low-cost portable polymer tool that allows for quick diagnoses in remote environments is being developed by a group of European researchers. A key element to the system is microfluidic transport of the sample and reagents through various channels. Hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces help control the fluid flow and reduce unwanted protein adsorption.

Smart nanostructures to make chemical reactors more energy efficient

Materials World magazine
Nanostructured materials, tailored to respond to various stimuli, may form the basis of more energy efficient chemical reactors by regulating reactions, momentum, and heat and mass transfer inside the plants. A consortium of three UK universities, Leeds, Bath and Glasgow, is in the early stages of developing this nanotechnology from molecular metal oxides and polymers.
Aerial view of the Andrew production platform in the North Sea, UK

Microwave processing heats up oil drill cuttings

Materials World magazine
UK researchers aim to scale-up a microwave system to treat oil-contaminated waste from fossil fuel exploration on and offshore. The technology is said to be more energy efficient and cost effective than existing thermal desorption methods, as well as providing a small, portable and modular system suitable for in situ activity on offshore rigs.