Morning Brief: Mysterious Rashba effect detected in bulk perovskites, Zanzibar’s ‘solar mammas’


New discovery settles long-standing debate about photovoltaic materials: Scientists have theorized that organometallic halide perovskites — a class of light harvesting “wonder” materials for applications in solar cells and quantum electronics— are so promising due to an unseen yet highly controversial mechanism called the Rashba effect. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have now experimentally proven the existence of the effect in bulk perovskites, using short microwave bursts of light to both produce and then record a rhythm, much like music, of the quantum coupled motion of atoms and electrons in these materials. Source: Ames Laboratory, U.S. DOE

Zanzibar’s ‘solar mammas’ light up remote villages and transform lives: Zanzibar has been touted as one of the world’s best tourist destinations…Yet in this semi-autonomous region of Tanzania made up of several islands, half the population lives below the poverty line with no access to electricity. Thanks to Barefoot College, a social enterprise that began in India and is now working in East Africa, women in Zanzibar, including grandmothers and single mothers, are now able to earn a living as solar engineers. Source: Face2Face Africa

The U.S. Trade Representative called for removing Section 201 tariff exclusions for bifacial solar modules last week. SEIA commented: “The U.S. solar industry is disappointed by USTR’s decision. The industry initially sought this exclusion because there is, and will be for the foreseeable future, an acute shortage of domestic panels used in utility-scale solar projects. “It is unfortunate that USTR chose to pursue a course of action that will needlessly increase the financial burden on America’s energy consumers.” Source: SEIA

Electrification of heavy machinery can displace diesel-powered hydraulics: RISE Robotics raised $3 million for its electric linear actuators. The funding round was led by The Engine, a venture firm spun  out of MIT.

Rare seed investment in an electric grid startup and : Amperon builds predictive tools for energy retailers and grid operators and raised a $2 million seed round led by Blackhorn Ventures, along with Garuda Ventures, Intelis Capital, Powerhouse Ventures, SK Ventures, V1.VC.

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