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Now, scientists design colourful solar collectors to decorate your roofs

Black coloured rooftops have become the norm of many of the cities’ landscape with increasing number of houses switching over to sustainable, efficient and clean energy source – solar energy. Solar-thermal power systems that convert solar energy to heat or electricity are becoming ubiquitous. These systems typically consist of a flat plate collector that utilizes solar absorber coatings to get maximum conversion efficiency from incident solar radiation to heat. These collectors are coated black to enhance the absorptance- the effectiveness of absorbing radiant energy. Now, a group of researchers, led by Prof. Bikramjit Basu from the Material Research Centre at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and Dr. Harish C Barshilia from CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, has developed a new, colourful coating for flat plate collectors, thereby increasing its absorptance without compromising the aesthetic appearance of the roofs where they are installed.


Computer Scientists Develop Methods to Make Video Search Less Tedious

The Internet is a bottomless mine of information in various forms – text, videos and images. Organizing this information for easy search and retrieval is very beneficial to internet users, and poses challenges to computer scientists. While lot of research progress has been made about categorizing textual data, the same cannot be said about images and videos. A group of researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has been attempting to make video search on the Internet user-friendly. In a recent paper, Prof. Chiranjib Bhattacharyya and a Ph.D. scholar Dr. Adway Mitra, at the Department of Computer Science and Automation (CSA), and Prof. Soma Biswas from the Department of Electrical Engineering, have presented techniques to this end.

A Statistical Solution for the Water Management Predicament

Global Climate Models (GCMs) are mathematical models to understand and predict the Earth’s climate by projecting the real-world processes over time. These simulation tools help to predict future climate variables that will be useful to develop sustainable long, medium and short-term water resource planning strategies. A new study by a team of scientists - Prof. D. Nagesh Kumar from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Prof. K. Srinivasa Raju from BITS-Pilani, Hyderabad campus, has analyzed numerous available GCMs to choose the best that would be applicable in the Indian context. Such analysis helps in developing the best resource planning strategies and the best climate models that can be used for localized needs.

IISc Scientists New Discovery Yields a Giant Leap in Graphene Transistor Performance Primary tabs

In a major breakthrough in the field of graphene based electronics, researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have shown a big jump in understanding the quantum nature of graphene’s interface with outside world. The research team lead by Prof. Mayank Shrivastava (Department of Electronic Systems Engineering), studied how the overlap of atomic orbitals between Carbon and metal atoms affects the graphene-metal interface. The study has enabled them to invent novel techniques to engineer graphene contact that has the lowest recorded resistance to the external world. Their discovery and subsequent invention, while breaking several records – including the one from IBM’s research centre in T. J. Watson, USA – has eventually allowed achieving the highest transistor performance. This work, which is co-authored by PhD student Adil Meersha and co-investigators Prof. Srinivasan Raghavan and Prof. Navakanta Bhat is showcased at International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM), the world’s most competitive platform in the field of electron devices, which mostly showcases technology and fundamental breakthroughs in the field.

Novel Methodology to automatically filter relevant parts from documents

Product designers have the responsibility of ensuring the product they design goes to production without any issues. There are various snippets of “knowledge” available in the form of historic production documents, shop floor records, case studies, etc., both offline and online, that can greatly help get an early insight into potential issues. However, a major drawback is the lack of identifying “knowledge” based on this due to their fragmented distribution. Now, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Mr. N. Madhusudanan, Prof. Amaresh Chakrabarti and Prof. B. Gurumoorthy, at the Centre for Product Design and Manufacturinghave developed a method for automatically recovering relevant information from document collections. They validated this methodology in the context of aircraft assembly.

Scientists use Nanotechnology to resist wear

In a recently published study, scientists at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, are addressing one of the biggest challenges faced by many appliances - wear and friction due to usage. Wear and friction affects the lifetime of industrial equipment, which directly correlates with the profitability of the business. The teams of researchers, led by Prof. M.S. Bobji at the Department of Mechanical Engineering are now experimenting with alumina based nanocomposite coating for wear resistance.

Smaller the size, better the functionality - Certain materials can change polarization and magnetization on shrinking, discover scientists

Ferroelectric materials carry a spontaneously polarized charge within their crystalline structure that can be reversed by the application of an electric field. As scientists try to shrink them to nanometre sizes, these materials often lose their polarization. Now, a collaborative research team from India and Germany has observed an unexpected effect in the ferroelectric alloy of bismuth ferrite and lead titanate (BiFeO3-PbTiO3). They have found that mechanically grinding this material to smaller sizes actually leads to a different atomic arrangement - a new structural phase that retains the polarization with slight alteration. This discovery opens up interesting possibilities for using this ferroelectric material in a variety of miniaturised devices - computer memory, RFIDs, sensors and actuators.

Scientists investigate zinc oxide nanostructures for biomedical applications

Nanotechonology, the field of science that manipulates objects at atomic or molecular level, is tout to be the science of the future. Researchers across the globe are working rigorously to tapthe potential this possesses. In a recent multinational collaborative study, researchers from the Indian Institute of Science(IISc), Bangalore, the Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, and the Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany, have tried exploring the biomedical applicability of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanostructures. The results of this study have opened up novel possibilities in nanoscience research, especially pertaining to the field of biomedicine.

Scientists Design Novel Inverters for Harnessing Solar Power

Solar power has the potential to reverse the environmental challenges faced by the world today. With solar panels becoming economically viable and efficient by the day, solar energy may soon become the prime source of electricity. However, there are a few challenges faced in the process of electricity production through solar energy. In a recent study, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have addressed one such challenge while converting the Direct Current (DC) output of solar panels into Alternating Current (AC) required to run our appliances. Dr. Abhijit Kulkarni and Prof. Vinod John from the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a new start-up method for a compact and efficient photovoltaic inverter that works with solar panels to convert DC to AC.