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September 12, 2019
Alba, a tool to tackle challenges in the fields of renewable energy production and fight against air pollution
Perovskites materials are promising candidates for next generation solar cells. However, their use is still limited by their instability within ambient conditions. An international team of scientists, led by a group from KU Leuven in Belgium, have shone a light on this problem developing a new method to stabilize the black form introducing strain into the perovskite thin film using the glass substrate on which it sits. Synchrotron-based techniques at the ALBA Synchrotron (NCD-SWEET beam line) and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble (France) were crucial for obtaining these results, published in July in the prestigious magazine Science.

Another recently published article tackles the problem of pollution sensors. The increasing emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and their resulting impact on air and water quality has become one of the major environmental concerns of our age. Researchers at IMDEA Nanociencia (Madrid) have developed an easily-made coordination polymer as an acetonitrile chemical sensor with a simple electro-optical readout (acetonitrile is primary used as an organic solvent). The studies have been carried out with synchrotron light techniques at the XALOC beam line in ALBA and also at the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley (USA).

These research works are two recent examples, among others, of Alba’s contribution to tackle key society challenges. Another way to improve society consists in giving companies answers to their technology challenges. In that sense, Alba regularly invites delegations to discover how a synchrotron can help solve industrial issues. The last meeting was in July with a delegation of the Spanish Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SEQC) that could discover the different applications Alba offers in cosmetics such as skin structural investigations, analysis of skin penetration of compounds or structural characterizations of end cosmetic products.
 

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