If a new development from labs at MIT pans out as expected, someday the entire surface area of a building’s windows could be used to generate electricity — without interfering with the ability to see through them.
Richard Lunt, one of the researchers who developed the new transparent solar cell, demonstrates its transparency using a prototype cell. Photo: Geoffrey Supran
The key technology is a photovoltaic cell based on organic molecules, which harnesses the energy of infrared light while allowing visible light to pass through. Coated onto a pane of standard window glass, it could provide power for lights and other devices, and would lower installation costs by taking advantage of existing window structures. These days, anywhere from half to two-thirds of the cost of a traditional, thin-film solar-power system comes from those installation costs, and up to half of the cost of the panels themselves is for the glass and structural parts, said Vladimir Bulovi?, professor of electrical engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. But the transparent photovoltaic system he developed with Richard Lunt, a postdoctoral researcher in the Research Laboratory of Electronics, could eliminate many of those associated costs, they say. A paper by Bulovi? and Lunt describing their new system has been published online in the journal Applied Physics Letters, and will appear in a forthcoming issue of the print edition.
Previous attempts to create transparent solar cells have either had extremely low efficiency (less than 1 percent of incoming solar radiation is converted to electricity), or have blocked too much light to be practical for use in windows. But the MIT researchers were able to find a specific chemical formulation for their cells that, when combined with partially infrared-reflective coatings, gives both high visible-light transparency and much better efficiency than earlier versions — comparable to that of non-transparent organic photovoltaic cells.
A prototype of the MIT researchers' transparent solar cell is seen on top of a promotional item for MIT's 150th anniversary celebrations. Photo: Geoffrey Supran
In a new building, or one where windows are being replaced anyway, adding the transparent solar cell material to the glass would be a relatively small incremental cost, since the cost of the glass, frames and installation would all be the same with or without the solar component, the researchers say, although it is too early in the process to be able to estimate actual costs. And with modern double-pane windows, the photovoltaic material could be coated on one of the inner surfaces, where it would be completely protected from weather or window washing. Only wiring connections to the window and a voltage controller would be needed to complete the system in a home.
In addition, much of the cost of existing solar panels comes from the glass substrate that the cells are placed on, and from the handling of that glass in the factory. Again, much of that cost would not apply if the process were made part of an existing window-manufacturing operation. Overall, Bulovi? says, “a large fraction of the cost could be eliminated” compared to today’s solar installations. This will not be the ultimate solution to all the nation’s energy needs, Bulovi? says, but rather it is part of “a family of solutions” for producing power without greenhouse-gas emissions. “It’s attractive, because it can be added to things already being deployed,” rather than requiring land and infrastructure for a whole new system.
Fine-tuning the cells
The work is still at a very early stage, Bulovi? cautions. So far, they have achieved an efficiency of 1.7 percent in the prototype solar cells, but they expect that with further development they should be able to reach 12 percent, making it comparable to existing commercial solar panels. “It will be a challenge to get there,” Lunt says, “but it’s a question of excitonic engineering,” requiring optimization of the composition and configuration of the photovoltaic materials. The researchers expect that after further development in the lab followed by work on manufacturability, the technology could become a practical commercial product within a decade. In addition to being suitable for coating directly on glass in the manufacture of new windows, the material might also be coated onto flexible material that could then be rolled onto existing windows, Lunt says. Using the window surfaces of existing buildings could provide much more surface area for solar power than traditional solar panels, Bulovi? says. In mornings and evenings, with the sun low in the sky, the sides of big-city buildings are brightly illuminated, he says, and that vertical “footprint” of potential light-harvesting area could produce a significant amount of power.
Max Shtein, associate professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Michigan, says, “This work demonstrates a useful effect, and is based on very sound science and engineering.” But he adds that “it is but one of the many other methods by which a similar functionality could be achieved,” and says the biggest uncertainty at this point is that because they are so new, “the lifetime of organic PV cells is a bit of an unknown at this point, though there is some hope.”
In addition, Shtein says, “The potential of this technology is good if projected far into the future,” but only if the efficiency can be improved as the researchers expect it can.
As added benefits, the manufacturing process for the MIT researchers' solar cells could be more environmentally friendly, because it does not require the energy-intensive processes used to create silicon solar cells. The MIT process of fabricating solar cells keeps the glass panes at ordinary room temperature, Bulovi? noted. Installations of the new system would also block much of the heating effect of sunlight streaming through the windows, potentially cutting down on air conditioning needs within a building.
The research was funded by the Center for Excitonics, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
For many years the only way to fight fire was water. Come the 20'th century and special foams and powders which are somewhat more effective but are used in a fundamentally similar fashion - hose, bucket or pressurized container and drench. But now a team of Harvard scientists were able to demonstrate a new way of fighting fires - using a powerful blast of electric current.
During a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society the scientists described a way of extinguishing fire using 600-watt amplifier which directs the electrical current into a beam. The scientists went on to demonstrate how they extinguish a foot high flame using the device time and time again from a distance.
How this magic is done is apparently not well understood at this point and several factors might go into play here. However it seems that carbon particles which are created during the combustion process can be easily charged and from this point on they respond to electrical fields in ways which are not fully understood but can cause the flame to lose its stability.
Researchers believe that with further research they can reduce the amount of power needed to perform this kind of trick to several dozen watts and reduce the size of the device to a backpack unit or even a hand held device.
This kind of technology can open a completely new area in firefighting and although it is still many years before we can even dream of extinguishing forest fires with electrical power (if this task is even possible) smaller fires in closed buildings might benefit from such a technology.
Researchers have achieved a breakthrough in quantum communications and computing using a teleporter and a paradoxical cat.
The breakthrough is the first-ever transfer, or teleportation, of a particular complex set of quantum information from one point to another, opening the way for high-speed, high-fidelity transmission of large volumes of information, such as quantum encryption keys, via quantum communications networks.
Beam me up ... the teleporter in the lab of Professor Akira Furusawa at the University of Tokyo
The research was published in the April edition of the journal Science. Teleportation – the transfer of quantum information from one location to another using normal, "classical" communications - is one of the fundamental quantum communication techniques.
The cat in the equation was not a living, breathing feline but rather "wave packets" of light representing the famous "thought experiment" known as Schrodinger’s Cat. Schrodinger’s Cat was a paradox proposed by early 20th century physicist Erwin Schrodinger to describe the situation in which normal, "classical" objects can exist in a quantum "superposition" - having two states at once.
Professor Elanor Huntington, in the School of Engineering and Information Technology at UNSW's Canberra campus at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), was part of a team led by University of Tokyo researchers. She said the team’s achievement was another step towards building a super-powerful quantum computer and transmitting quantum information.
"One of the limitations of high-speed quantum communication at present is that some detail is lost during the teleportation process. It’s the Star Trek equivalent of beaming the crew down to a planet and having their organs disappear or materialise in the wrong place. We’re talking about information but the principle is the same – it allows us to guarantee the integrity of transmission.
"Just about any quantum technology relies on quantum teleportation. The value of this discovery is that it allows us, for the first time, to quickly and reliably move quantum information around. This information can be carried by light, and it’s a powerful way to represent and process information. Previous attempts to transmit were either very slow or the information might be changed. This process means we will be able to move blocks of quantum information around within a computer or across a network, just as we do now with existing computer technologies.
"If we can do this, we can do just about any form of communication needed for any quantum technology."
The experiments were conducted on a machine known as "the teleporter" in the laboratory of Professor Akira Furusawa in the Department of Applied Physics in the University of Tokyo.
Professor Huntington, who leads a research program for the Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication, developed the high-speed communication part of the teleporter at UNSW’s Canberra campus with PhD student James Webb.
Scientists have moved a step closer to being able to develop a computer model of the brain after developing a technique to map both the connections and functions of nerve cells in the brain together for the first time.
A new area of research is emerging in the neuroscience known as 'connectomics'. With parallels to genomics, which maps the our genetic make-up, connectomics aims to map the brain's connections (known as 'synapses'). By mapping these connections -- and hence how information flows through the circuits of the brain -- scientists hope to understand how perceptions, sensations and thoughts are generated in the brain and how these functions go wrong in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and stroke.
Mapping the brain's connections is no trivial task, however: there are estimated to be one hundred billion nerve cells ('neurons') in the brain, each connected to thousands of other nerve cells -- making an estimated 150 trillion synapses. Dr Tom Mrsic-Flogel, a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellow at UCL (University College London), has been leading a team of researchers trying to make sense of this complexity.
"How do we figure out how the brain's neural circuitry works?" he asks. "We first need to understand the function of each neuron and find out to which other brain cells it connects. If we can find a way of mapping the connections between nerve cells of certain functions, we will then be in a position to begin developing a computer model to explain how the complex dynamics of neural networks generate thoughts, sensations and movements."
Nerve cells in different areas of the brain perform different functions. Dr Mrsic-Flogel and colleagues focus on the visual cortex, which processes information from the eye. For example, some neurons in this part of the brain specialise in detecting the edges in images; some will activate upon detection of a horizontal edge, others by a vertical edge. Higher up in visual hierarchy, some neurons respond to more complex visual features such as faces: lesions to this area of the brain can prevent people from being able to recognise faces, even though they can recognise individual features such as eyes and the nose, as was famously described in the book The Man Who Mistook Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sachs.
In a study published online April 10 in the journal Nature, the team at UCL describe a technique developed in mice which enables them to combine information about the function of neurons together with details of their synaptic connections.
The researchers looked into the visual cortex of the mouse brain, which contains thousands of neurons and millions of different connections. Using high resolution imaging, they were able to detect which of these neurons responded to a particular stimulus, for example a horizontal edge.
Taking a slice of the same tissue, the researchers then applied small currents to a subset of neurons in turn to see which other neurons responded -- and hence which of these were synaptically connected. By repeating this technique many times, the researchers were able to trace the function and connectivity of hundreds of nerve cells in visual cortex.
The study has resolved the debate about whether local connections between neurons are random -- in other words, whether nerve cells connect sporadically, independent of function -- or whether they are ordered, for example constrained by the properties of the neuron in terms of how it responds to particular stimuli. The researchers showed that neurons which responded very similarly to visual stimuli, such as those which respond to edges of the same orientation, tend to connect to each other much more than those that prefer different orientations.
Using this technique, the researchers hope to begin generating a wiring diagram of a brain area with a particular behavioural function, such as the visual cortex. This knowledge is important for understanding the repertoire of computations carried out by neurons embedded in these highly complex circuits. The technique should also help reveal the functional circuit wiring of regions that underpin touch, hearing and movement.
"We are beginning to untangle the complexity of the brain," says Dr Mrsic-Flogel. "Once we understand the function and connectivity of nerve cells spanning different layers of the brain, we can begin to develop a computer simulation of how this remarkable organ works. But it will take many years of concerted efforts amongst scientists and massive computer processing power before it can be realised."
The research was supported by the Wellcome Trust, the European Research Council, the European Molecular Biology Organisation, the Medical Research Council, the Overseas Research Students Award Scheme and UCL.
"The brain is an immensely complex organ and understanding its inner workings is one of science's ultimate goals," says Dr John Williams, Head of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the Wellcome Trust. "This important study presents neuroscientists with one of the key tools that will help them begin to navigate and survey the landscape of the brain."
A dramatic and surprising magnetic effect of light discovered by University of Michigan researchers could lead to solar power without traditional semiconductor-based solar cells.
The researchers found a way to make an “optical battery,” said Stephen Rand, a professor in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Physics and Applied Physics.
In the process, they overturned a century-old tenet of physics.
“You could stare at the equations of motion all day and you will not see this possibility. We’ve all been taught that this doesn’t happen,” said Rand, an author of a paper on the work published in the Journal of Applied Physics. “It’s a very odd interaction. That’s why it’s been overlooked for more than 100 years.”
Light has electric and magnetic components. Until now, scientists thought the effects of the magnetic field were so weak that they could be ignored. What Rand and his colleagues found is that at the right intensity, when light is traveling through a material that does not conduct electricity, the light field can generate magnetic effects that are 100 million times stronger than previously expected. Under these circumstances, the magnetic effects develop strength equivalent to a strong electric effect.
“This could lead to a new kind of solar cell without semiconductors and without absorption to produce charge separation,” Rand said. “In solar cells, the light goes into a material, gets absorbed and creates heat. Here, we expect to have a very low heat load. Instead of the light being absorbed, energy is stored in the magnetic moment. Intense magnetization can be induced by intense light and then it is ultimately capable of providing a capacitive power source.”
What makes this possible is a previously undetected brand of “optical rectification,” says William Fisher, a doctoral student in applied physics. In traditional optical rectification, light’s electric field causes a charge separation, or a pulling apart of the positive and negative charges in a material. This sets up a voltage, similar to that in a battery. This electric effect had previously been detected only in crystalline materials that possessed a certain symmetry.
Rand and Fisher found that under the right circumstances and in other types of materials, the light’s magnetic field can also create optical rectification.
“It turns out that the magnetic field starts curving the electrons into a C-shape and they move forward a little each time,” Fisher said. “That C-shape of charge motion generates both an electric dipole and a magnetic dipole. If we can set up many of these in a row in a long fiber, we can make a huge voltage and by extracting that voltage, we can use it as a power source.”
The light must be shone through a material that does not conduct electricity, such as glass. And it must be focused to an intensity of 10 million watts per square centimeter. Sunlight isn’t this intense on its own, but new materials are being sought that would work at lower intensities, Fisher said.
“In our most recent paper, we show that incoherent light like sunlight is theoretically almost as effective in producing charge separation as laser light is,” Fisher said.
This new technique could make solar power cheaper, the researchers say. They predict that with improved materials they could achieve 10 percent efficiency in converting solar power to useable energy. That’s equivalent to today’s commercial-grade solar cells.
“To manufacture modern solar cells, you have to do extensive semiconductor processing,” Fisher said. “All we would need are lenses to focus the light and a fiber to guide it. Glass works for both. It’s already made in bulk, and it doesn’t require as much processing. Transparent ceramics might be even better.”
In experiments this summer, the researchers will work on harnessing this power with laser light, and then with sunlight. The paper is titled “Optically-induced charge separation and terahertz emission in unbiased dielectrics.” The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property.
Researchers here have created the first electronic circuit to merge traditional inorganic semiconductors with organic "spintronics" – devices that utilize the spin of electrons to read, write and manipulate data.
Ezekiel Johnston-Halperin, assistant professor of physics, and his team combined an inorganic semiconductor with a unique plastic material that is under development in colleague Arthur J. Epstein's lab at Ohio State University.
Last year, Epstein, Distinguished University Professor of physics and chemistry and director of the Institute for Magnetic and Electronic Polymers at Ohio State, demonstrated the first successful data storage and retrieval on a plastic spintronic device.
Now Johnston-Halperin, Epstein, and their colleagues have incorporated the plastic device into a traditional circuit based on gallium arsenide. Two of their now-former doctoral students, Lei Fang and Deniz Bozdag, had to devise a new fabrication technique to make the device.
In a paper published online today in the journal Physical Review Letters, they describe how they transmitted a spin-polarized electrical current from the plastic material, through the gallium arsenide, and into a light-emitting diode (LED) as proof that the organic and inorganic parts were working together.
"Hybrid structures promise functionality that no other materials, neither organic nor inorganic, can currently achieve alone," Johnston-Halperin said. "We've opened the door to linking this exciting new material to traditional electronic devices with transistor and logic functionality. In the longer term this work promises new, chemically based functionality for spintronic devices."
Normal electronics encode computer data based on a binary code of ones and zeros, depending on whether an electron is present or not within the material. But researchers have long known that electrons can be polarized to orient in particular directions, like a bar magnet. They refer to this orientation as spin -- either "spin up" or "spin down" -- and this approach, dubbed spintronics, has been applied to memory-based technologies for modern computing. For example, the terabyte drives now commercially available would not be possible without spintronic technology.
If scientists could expand spintronic technology beyond memory applications into logic and computing applications, major advances in information processing could follow, Johnston-Halperin explained. Spintronic logic would theoretically require much less power, and produce much less heat, than current electronics, while enabling computers to turn on instantly without "booting up."
Hybrid and organic devices further promise computers that are lighter and more flexible, much as organic LEDs are now replacing inorganic LEDs in the production of flexible displays.
A spintronic semiconductor must be magnetic, so that the spin of electrons can be flipped for data storage and manipulation. Few typical semiconductors – that is, inorganic semiconductors – are magnetic. Of those that are, all require extreme cold, with operating temperatures below ?150 degrees Fahrenheit or ?100 degrees Celsius. That's colder than the coldest outdoor temperature ever recorded in Antarctica.
"In order to build a practical spintronic device, you need a material that is both semiconducting and magnetic at room temperature. To my knowledge, Art's organic materials are the only ones that do that," Johnston-Halperin said. The organic magnetic semiconductors were developed by Epstein and his long-standing collaborator Joel S. Miller of the University of Utah.
The biggest barrier that the researchers faced was device fabrication. Traditional inorganic devices are made at high temperatures with harsh solvents and acids that organics can't tolerate. Fang and Bozdag solved this problem by building the inorganic part in a traditional cleanroom, and then adding an organic layer in Epstein's customized organics lab – a complex process that required a redesign of the circuitry in both parts.
"You could ask, why didn't we go with all organics, then?" Johnston-Halperin said. "Well, the reality is that industry already knows how to make devices out of inorganic materials. That expertise and equipment is already in place. If we can just get organic and inorganic materials to work together, then we can take advantage of that existing infrastructure to move spintronics forward right away."
He added that much work will need to be done before manufacturers can mass-produce hybrid spintronics. But as a demonstration of fundamental science, this first hybrid circuit lays the foundation for technologies to come.
For the demonstration, the researchers used the organic magnet, which they made from a polymer called vanadium tetracyanoethylene, to polarize the spins in an electrical current. This electrical current then passed through the gallium arsenide layer, and into an LED.
To confirm that the electrons were still polarized when they reached the LED, the researchers measured the spectrum and polarization of light shining from the LED. The light was indeed polarized, indicating the initial polarization of the incoming electrons.
The fact that they were able to measure the electrons' polarization with the LED also suggests that other researchers can use this same technique to test spin in other organic systems.
Solar cells made from organic materials are inexpensive, lightweight and flexible, but their performance lags behind cells that contain silicon or other inorganic materials. Cornell chemist William Dichtel and colleagues have found a way to synthesize ordered organic films that could be a major step toward solving this problem.
Molecular building blocks assemble on graphene to provide oriented and ordered covalent organic frameworks. (Fernando Uribe-Romo)
It's the first time researchers have been able to coax materials known as covalent organic frameworks (COFs) out of their common powdered form into flat sheets of precisely ordered molecules on a conductive surface. That clears a major hurdle toward using COFs to replace the more expensive, less versatile materials used in solar cells and other electronics today.
The research appears in the April 8 issue of Science.
COFs have a variety of properties that are not found in traditional organic polymers, including excellent thermal stability, high surface area and permanent porosity. But while researchers have identified them as intriguing candidates for such devices, they have been hamstrung by the fact that the materials normally exist only as insoluble powders.
Dichtel, assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology, and colleagues developed a simple process for growing thin (25-400 nanometers thick) films of COFs on a surface of graphene, a single-atom-thick sheet of carbon. They used X-ray diffraction at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) to determine the materials' structure and orientation. The COFs grow as continuous films of well ordered, stacked layers on the graphene surfaces.
Unlike the powder form, the films grown on transparent surfaces can be probed using modern optical measurements. Researchers can also vary the properties of the frameworks by altering the structure of their components.
"These materials are so versatile -- we can tune the properties rationally, rather than relying on molecules to pack into films unpredictably," Dichtel said.
To demonstrate, the researchers created three variations of the frameworks. Of the three, one shows particular promise for solar cells -- it uses molecules called phthalocyanines, which are commonly found in industrial dyes used in products from blue jeans to ink pens.
Phthalocyanines, which are related to chlorophyll, absorb light over most of the solar spectrum -- a rare property for a single organic material.
"Obtaining these materials as films on electrode materials is a major step toward studying and using them in devices," Dichtel said. "This method represents a general way to assemble molecules on surfaces predictably. This work opens the door to take these materials in many other directions."
It's often said the eye is the window to the soul. But in this case, the eye is the window to Windows. At least, that was the goal when EyeTech Digital Systems enlisted the help of some BYU engineering students in creating an all-in-one eye-tracking system.
The idea behind the project was to create an inexpensive computer system that could be controlled completely with a person’s eyes. The hope was that this system could be used by people with disabilities in parts of the world where they can’t afford expensive eye-tracking systems.
The students created the tablet for their yearlong engineering capstone project that has students solving real engineering problems with real clients. Their client was EyeTech Digital Systems, an Arizona-based company that designs and develops eye-tracking hardware and software.
A separate BYU engineering team also worked with EyeTech last year to develop and improve the initial eye-tracking technology, but the focus of this year’s project was to integrate the eye tracking into a housing that resembles a thick tablet PC.
“They had a lot to learn about how to put together a PC, but the final result speaks for itself,” said Robert Chappell, the CEO of EyeTech. “We’ve worked with the engineering capstones two years in a row now, and I noticed the same thing both years: the teams always come up with a lot of creative, sometimes crazy ideas at the beginning, but after three or four months they know what they need to do, and they implement it very well.”
The finished product has a touch screen, runs Windows 7 and has the eye-tracking system built in — not bad for a device that’s only 2 inches thick, 10 inches long and 14 inches wide.
After performing a quick calibration, the system can move the mouse to wherever the user is currently looking. The system can run everything from Solitaire to Skype, and all it takes is a blink to click.
BYU student Nathan Christensen was on the team that developed the eye-tracking system.
Jedediah Nieveen, the captain for this year’s team, said the project was a challenge, but one that was rewarding on many levels.
“A lot of times in school you just work problems out of books,” he said. “But this allowed us to take what we learned and apply it to something in real life, something that can help a lot of people, and that’s really helped me.”
Although the primary purpose of the product is to help people with disabilities, the technology could also have broader applications in the fields of research, advertising and possibly even gaming.
Greg Bishop, an adjunct professor of mechanical engineering, is the team's faculty coach. Nieveen, Nathan Christensen, Clint Collins, Bryan Johnson, Vicky Lee and Scott Rice were the students involved in the project.
Source: physorg - Provided by Brigham Young University
A novel approach to design and construction could save materials and energy, and create unusually beautiful structures.
In conventional construction, workers piece together buildings from mass-produced, prefabricated bricks, I-beams, concrete columns, plates of glass and so on. Neri Oxman, an architect and a professor at MIT's Media Lab, intends to print them instead—essentially using concrete, polymers, and other materials in the place of ink. Oxman is developing a new way of designing buildings to take advantage of the flexibility that printing can provide. If she's successful, her approach could lead to designs that are impossible with today's construction methods.
Existing 3-D printers, also called rapid prototyping machines, build structures layer by layer. So far these machines have been used mainly to make detailed plastic models based on computer designs. But as such printers improve and become capable of using more durable materials, including metals, they've become a potentially interesting way to make working products.
Oxman is working to extend the capabilities of these machines—making it possible to change the elasticity of a polymer or the porosity of concrete as it's printed, for example—and mounting print heads on flexible robot arms that have greater freedom of movement than current printers.
She's also drawing inspiration from nature to develop new design strategies that take advantage of these capabilities. For example, the density of wood in a palm tree trunk varies, depending on the load it must support. The densest wood is on the outside, where bending stress is the greatest, while the center is porous and weighs less. Oxman estimates that making concrete columns this way—with low-density porous concrete in the center—could reduce the amount of concrete needed by more than 10 percent, a significant savings on the scale of a construction project.
Oxman is developing software to realize her design strategy. She inputs data about physical stresses on a structure, as well as design constraints such as size, overall shape, and the need to let in light into certain areas of a building. Based on this information, the software applies algorithms to specify how the material properties need to change throughout a structure. Then she prints out small models based on these specifications.
The early results of her work are so beautiful and intriguing that they've been featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Science in Boston. One example, which she calls Beast, is a chair whose design is based on the shape of a human body (her own) and the predicted distribution of pressure on the chair. The resulting 3-D model features a complex network of cells and branching structures that are soft where needed to relieve pressure and stiff where needed for support.
The work is at an early stage, but the new approach to construction and design suggests many new possibilities. A load-bearing wall could be printed in elaborate patterns that correspond to the stresses it will experience from the load it supports from wind or earthquakes, for instance.
The pattern could also account for the need to allow light into a building. Some areas would have strong, dense concrete, but in areas of low stress, the concrete could be extremely porous and light, serving only as a barrier to the elements while saving material and reducing the weight of the structure. In these non-load bearing areas, it could also be possible to print concrete that's so porous that light can penetrate, or to mix the concrete gradually with transparent materials. Such designs could save energy by increasing the amount of daylight inside a building and reducing the need for artificial lighting. Eventually, it may be possible to print efficient insulation and ventilation at the same time. The structure can be complex, since it costs no more to print elaborate patterns than simple ones.
Other researchers are developing technology to print walls and other large structures. Behrokh Khoshnevis, a professor of industrial and systems engineering and civil and environmental engineering at the University of Southern California, has built a system that can deposit concrete walls without the need for forms to contain the concrete. Oxman's work would take this another step, adding the ability to vary the properties of the concrete, and eventually work with multiple materials.
The first applications of Oxman's approach will likely to be on a relatively small scale, in consumer products and medical devices. She's used her principles to design and print wrist braces for carpal tunnel syndrome. They're customized based on the pain that a particular patient experiences. The approach could also improve the performance of prosthetics.
Oxman, 35, is developing her techniques in partnership with a range of specialists, such as Craig Carter, a professor of materials science at MIT. While he says her approach faces challenges in controlling the properties of materials, he's impressed with her ideas: "There's no doubt that the results are strikingly beautiful."
(interview†with†a Swiss†banker††done in Moscow 30.05.2011)††
Q: Can you tell us something about your involvement in the Swiss banking business?
A: I have worked for Swiss banks for many years. I was designated as one of the top directors of one of the biggest Swiss banks. During my work I was involved in the payment, in the direct payment in cash to a person who killed the president of a foreign country. I was in the meeting where it was decided to give this cash money to the killer. This gave me dramatic headaches and troubled my conscience. It was not the only case that was really bad but it was the worst.
†It was a payment instruction on order of a foreign secret service written by hand giving the order to pay a certain amount to a person who killed the top leader of a foreign country. And it was not the only case. We received several such hand written letters coming from foreign secret services giving the order to payout cash from secret accounts to fund revolutions or for the killing of people. I can confirm what John Perkins has written in his book ďConfessions of an Economic Hit ManĒ. There really exists just a system and Swiss banks are involved in such cases.
†Q: Perkins book is also translated and available in Russian. Can you tell us which bank it is and who was responsible?
†A: It was one of the top three Swiss banks at that time and it was the president of a country in the third world. But I donít want to give out to many details because they will find me very easily if I say the name of the president and the name of the bank. I will risk my life.
†Q: You canít name any person in the bank either?
†A: No I canít, but I can assure you this happened. We were several persons in the meeting room. The person in charge of the physical payment of the cash came to us and asked us if he is allowed to payout such a big amount in cash to that person and one of the directors explained the case and all others said ok you can do it.
†Q: Did this happened often? Was this kind of a slush fund?
†A: Yes. This was a special fund managed in a special place in the bank were all the coded letters came in from abroad. The most important letters were hand written. We had to decipher them and in them was the order to pay a certain amount of cash from accounts for the assassination of people, funding revolutions, funding strikes, funding all sorts of parties. I know that certain people who are Bilderbergers were involved in such orders. I mean they gave the orders to kill.
†Q: Can you tell us in what year or decade this happened?
A: I prefer not to give you the precise year but it was in the 80ís.
Q: Did you have a problem with this work?
A: Yes, a very big problem. I could not sleep for many days and after a while I left the bank. If I give you too many details they will trace me. Several secret services from abroad, mostly English speaking, gave orders to fund illegal acts, even the killing of people thru Swiss banks. We had to pay on the instructions of foreign powers for the killing of persons who did not follow the orders of Bilderberg or the IMF or the World Bank for example.
Q: This is a very startling revelation that you are making. Why do you feel the urge to say this now?
A: Because Bilderberg is meeting in Switzerland. Because the world situation is getting worse and worse. And because the biggest banks in Switzerland are involved††in unethical activities. Most of these operations are outside the balance sheet. It is a multiple of what is officially declared. Its not audited and happening without any taxes. The figures involved have a lot of zeros. Its huge amounts.
Q: So its billions?
A: Its much more, its trillions, completely unaudited, illegal and besides the tax system. Basically itís a robbery of everybody. I mean most normal people are paying taxes and abiding by the laws. What is happening here is complete against our Swiss values, like neutrality, honesty and good faith. In the meetings I was involved in, the discussions where completely against our democratic principles. You see, most of the directors of Swiss banks are not locals anymore, they are foreigners, mostly Anglo-Saxon, either American or British, they donít respect our neutrality, they donít respect our values, they are against our direct democracy, they just use the Swiss banks for their illegal means.
They use huge amounts of money created out of nothing and they destroy our society and destroy the people world wide just for greed. They seek power and destroy whole countries, like Greece, Spain, Portugal or Ireland and Switzerland will be one of the last in line. And they use China as working slaves. And a person like Josef Ackermann, who is a Swiss citizen, is the top man at a German bank and he uses his power for greed and does not respect the common people. He has quite a few legal cases in Germany and also now in the States. He is a Bilderberger and does not care about Switzerland or any other country.
Q: Are you saying, some of these people that you mention will be at the up-coming Bilderberg meeting in June in St. Moritz?
Q: So they are currently in a position of power?
A: Yes. They have huge amounts of money available and use it to destroy whole countries. They destroy our industry and build it up in China. On the other hand they opened up the gates in Europe for all Chinese products. The working population of Europe is earning less and less. The real aim is to destroy Europe.
Q: Do you think that the Bilderberg meeting in St. Moritz has symbolic value? Because in 2009 they where in Greece, 2010 in Spain and look what happened to them. Does this mean Switzerland can expect something bad?
A: Yes. Switzerland is one of the most important countries for them, because there is so much capital here. They are meeting there because apart from other things they want to destroy all values that Switzerland stands for. You see itís an obstacle for them, not being in the EU or Euro, not totally controlled by Brussels and so on. Regarding values I am not talking about the big Swiss banks, because they are not Swiss anymore, most of them are lead by Americans. I am talking about the real Swiss spirit that the common people cherish and hold up.
Sure it has symbolic value, as you said, regarding Greece and Spain. Their aim is to be a kind of exclusive elite club that has all the power and everybody else is impoverished and down.
Q: Do you think that the aim of Bilderberg is to create a kind of global dictatorship, controlled by the big global corporations, were there are no sovereign states anymore?
A: Yes and Switzerland is the only place left with direct democracy and its in their way.†They use the blackmail of ďtoo big to failĒ as in the case of UBS to put our country in big debt, just like they did with many other countries. In the end maybe they want to do with Switzerland what they did with Iceland, with all the banks and the country bankrupt.
Q: And also bring it in to the EU?
A: Of course. The EU is under the iron grip of Bilderberg.
Q: What do you think could stop this plan?
A: Well thatís the reason I speak to you. Its truth. Truth is the only way. Put a light on this situation, expose them. They donít like to be in the spotlight. We have to create transparency in the banking industry and in all levels of society.
Q: What you are saying is, there is a correct side to the Swiss banking business and there are a few big banks that are misusing the financial system for their illegal activities.
A: Yes. The big banks are training their staff with Anglo-Saxon values. They are training them to be greedy and ruthless. And greed is destroying Switzerland and everybody else. As a country we have a majority of the most correct operating banks in the world, if you look at the small and midsize banks. Its just the big ones who operate globally that are a problem. They are††not Swiss anymore and donít consider themselves as such.
Q: Do you think it is a good thing that people are exposing Bilderberg and showing who they really are?
†A: I think the Strauss-Kahn case is a good chance for us, because it shows these people are corrupt, sick in their minds, so sick they are full of vices and those vices are kept under wraps on their orders. Some of them like Strauss-Kahn rape women, others are sado maso, or paedophile and many are into Satanism. When you go in some banks you see these satanistic symbols, like in the Rothschild Bank in Zurich. These people are controlled by black-mail because of the weaknesses they have. They have to follow orders or they will be exposed, they will be destroyed or even killed. The reputation of Strauss-Kahn is not only killed in the mass media, he could be killed also literally.
†Q: Since Ackermann is in the steering committee of Bilderberg, do you think he is a big decision maker there?
†A: Yes. But there are many others, like Lagarde, wo will probably be the next IMF head, also a member of Bilderberg, then Sarkozy and Obama.††They have a new plan to censor the internet, because the internet is still free. They want to control it and use terrorism or what ever as a reason. They could even plan something horrible so that they have an excuse.
†Q: So that is your fear?
†A: Its not only a fear, I am certain of it. As I said, they gave orders to kill, so they are capable of terrible things. If they have the feeling they are losing control, like the uprising now in Greece and Spain and maybe Italy will be next, then they can do another Gladio. I was close to the Gladio network. As you know they instigated terrorism paid by American money to control the political system in Italy and other European countries. Regarding the murder of Aldo Moro, the payment was done thru the same system as I told you about.
†Q: Was Ackermann part of this payment system at a Swiss bank?
†A: †(S m i l e)†Ö you are the journalist. Look at his career and how fast he made it to the top.
†Q: What do you think can be done to hinder them?
†A: Well there are many good books out there that explain the background and connect the dots, like the one I mentioned by Perkins. These people really have hit men that get paid to kill. Some of them get their money thru Swiss banks. But not only, they have a system set up all over the world. And to expose to the public these people that are prepared to do anything to keep control. And I mean anything.
†Q: Thru exposure we could stop them?
†A: Yes, telling the truth. We are confronted with really ruthless criminals, also big war criminals. Its worse then genocide. They are ready and able to kill millions of people just to stay in power and in control.
†Q: Can you explain from your view, why the mass media in the west is more or less completely silent regarding Bilderberg?
†A: Because there is an agreement between them and the owners of the media. You donít talk about it. They buy them. Also some of the top media figures are invited to the meetings but are told not to report anything they see and hear.
†Q: In the structure of Bilderberg, is there an inner circle that knows the plans and then there is the majority who just follow orders?
†A: Yes. You have the inner circle who are into Satanism and then there are the naive or less informed people. Some people even think they are doing something good, the outer circle.
†Q: According to exposed documents and own statements, Bilderberg decided back in 1955 to create the EU and the Euro, so they made important and far reaching decisions.
†A: Yes and you know that Bilderberg was founded by Prince Bernard, a former member of the SS and Nazi party and he also worked for IG Farben, whoís subsidiary produced Cyclone B. The other guy was the head of Occidental Petroleum who had close relations to the communists in the Sowjetunion. They worked both sides but really these people are fascists who want to control everything and everybody and who gets in their way is removed.
†Q: Is the payment system you explained outside of normal operations, compartmentalized and in secret?
†A: In those Swiss banks the normal employees donít know this is happening. Its like an own secret department in the bank. As I said these operations are outside of the balance sheet, with no supervision. Some are situated in the same building, others are outside. They have their own security and special area where only authorized people can enter.
†Q: How do they keep these transactions out of the international Swift system?
†A: Well some of the Clearstream listings where true in the beginning. They just included fake names to make people believe the whole list is fake. You see they also make mistakes. The first list was true and you can trace a lot of things. You see, there are people around that discover irregularities and the truth and they tell it. Afterwards of course there are law suits and these people are forced to shut up.
†The best way to stop them is to tell the truth, put the spot light on them. If we donít stop them we will end up as their slaves.