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Researchers in Singapore have engineered a new material called Black Silver, that has potential for applications such as solar energy conversion to biomolecule detectors, reported by Science Daily.

Black Silver is an inexpensive, nanomaterial that interacts with visible and infrared light and was developed by researchers at Singapore University of Design and Technology (SUTD).

The nanomaterial is created without using acids, which means it can easily be coated over other materials such as plastics, which can give those materials a new purpose.

Image courtesy of Singapore University of Design and Technology.

“The material can be deposited at room temperature on a range of substrates without patterning or acids,”¬†SUTD’s Assistant Professor Robert Simpson said.

“So far we have deposited the material over 100 mm diameter plastic, Si and Silica samples. This single step large area fabrication method makes the material industrially relevant. Indeed, the nanostructures were grown using a modified technique that is commonly used to manufacture tinted films on large area window glass,” Simpson said.

Solar cells can be improved by Black Silver as the nanomaterial absorbs light at a strong capacity. It can also be engineered to “optically detect minute traces of biomolecules.”

The material itself is partially made up of silver particles, which are 1000 times smaller than the width of a human strand of hair.

For more on science and discoveries, but in the fictional universe, read IGN’s list of the top 100 sci-fi movies, which include everything from 1953’s War of the Worlds to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Jessie Wade is a news writer for IGN and really wants to wear a nanomaterial-tech suit and do cool things in it. Follow her on Twitter @jessieannwade.



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