In the Lab: Salmon Sperm, Zinc Oxide, Pollutant Testing

Salmon Sperm Key to Green Electronics?: Professor Andrew Steckl at the University of Cincinnati is looking into the ways salmon DNA (taken from salmon sperm) intensifies the properties of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The release notes that “Skeckl evaluated the source of materials with an eye to supply, especially materials that do not harm the environment.” Think salmon sperm electronics sounds a bit far-fetched? We do too, but Steckl’s not alone in his endeavor. He is pursuing this research in collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory. (release)

Zinc Oxide Thin Films: University at Buffalo chemists have developed a new way to grow “chemically pure, zinc oxide thin films” with a new method that makes it possible to deposit these usually hot materials on temperature-sensitive substrates. This could lead to the development of applications like more efficient solar cells, liquid-crystal displays, chemical sensors and optoelectronic devices. (release)

Testing Air Pollutants: Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a tiny sensor that can measure pollutants in water and air. It can be used in the field and produce faster results compared with traditional techniques that require samples to be brought back to the lab for analysis. (release)

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