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Matter & Energy

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perovskite diagram

LAYER UP  Researchers are betting on a class of sunlight-absorbing materials called perovskites to improve today’s solar cells. A perovskite’s cagelike crystal structure (right) surrounds a chunky ion such as methyl­ammonium. The red, purple and orange balls are ions that can be varied so the material absorbs different wavelengths of light in its 3-D form (left).

electrons illustration

TIME OUT  Electrons can escape their atoms, even if the particles don’t have enough energy to do so, through quantum tunneling. But such tunneling takes time, a new study suggests.

radiation sign

WRITING ON THE WALL A new type of radiation detection could make it much harder to keep radioactive material under wraps.  

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