Silicon-based life on Earth? Only artificially, so far — but maybe natural on other planets

A team of researchers forced bacteria to create carbon-silicon bonds, and their experiment showcases why life on our planet chose carbon.

Scientists coax bacteria towards silicon-based life

Silly bacteria, carbon-based life is best life!

The two-in-one solar cell might harness energy cheaply and efficiently

A team at Stanford and MIT has devised a novel configuration that combines silicon – the leading solar cell semiconductor – and perovskite – a cheap mineral, only recently exploited for converting solar energy – to form two different layers of sunlight-absorbing material in order to harness energy across a wider spectrum. While performance at this stage is not impressive (it’s equally as good or bad as conventional single-layer silicon cells), researchers believe they have methods at their disposal that could double efficiency. If that were to happen, than these could be the cheap, but efficient solar cells we’ve all been waiting for.

Curiosity Reveals Mars isn’t Red – it’s Greyish Blue

Mars – our neighbor, the Red Planet… is not actually red. The first look at what’s under Mars’s dusty red surface has revealed a clearly greyish blue rocky layer.

Stacked “high-rise” computer chips add a new dimension to manufacturing

Moore’s law says that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles every two years, hence doubling also the computing power. Since it was first predicted in 1965, this trend has hold true allowing computers to evolve at an exponential rate. To support the law, scientists tweak one or all of these three main manufacturing parameters: chip size, speed

For the first time, physicists measure electron as it jumps from semiconductor. Yes, it’s a big deal!

All our modern electronics are based on a class of wonder materials called semiconductors. What makes these so valuable is their ability to free electrons when subjected to an electrical current or when hit by light, becoming mobile and eventually routed and switch through a transistor. It’s the very basis of our digital age, be it solar cells or computers.

Sand-based batteries last three times longer than conventional ones

Expect the price of sand to skyrocket! Researchers at  University of California, Riverside have devised a coin-sized battery that uses silicone at its anode (negative side), instead of the over-used graphite, that lasts up to three times longer than conventional lithium-ion batteries. The key of the research is the silicon extraction method which uses quartz-rich sand as the feedstock and

Breakthrough could usher away silicon and make way for graphene transistors

Time and time again we’ve hailed on ZME Science the cultural and scientific advances graphene is about to bring to humanity. It’s the strongest material known so far, while also being the lightest, it can be magnetic and – something of uttermost important to science – it’s the best electrical conductor that we know of.  The latter also comes with

Silicon robot hops 30 times its own height using combustion

Researchers at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have developed a three-legged silicon robot that uses chemical reactions to help it leap up to 30 times its own height. Combustion is typically used in hard systems like internal combustion engines where the heat generated by the chemical reaction can be withstood, but this latest demo proves that the material can withstand high