Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Direct current


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a promising tool for cognitive enhancement and neurorehabilitation in clinical disorders in both cognitive and clinical domains (e.g., chronic pain, tinnitus). Here we suggest the potential role of tDCS in modulating cortical excitation/inhibition (E/I) balance and thereby inducing improvements. We suggest that part of the mechanism of action of tDCS can be explained by non-invasive modulations of the E/I balance.

Concepts: Electricity, Electrochemistry, Pain, Direct current, Alternating current, Transcranial magnetic stimulation, Chronic pain, Transcranial direct current stimulation


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a simple means of brain stimulation, possesses a trifecta of appealing features: it is relatively safe, relatively inexpensive and relatively effective. It is also relatively easy to obtain a device and the do-it-yourself (DIY) community has become galvanised by reports that tDCS can be used as an all-purpose cognitive enhancer. We provide practical recommendations designed to guide balanced discourse, propagate norms of safe use and stimulate dialogue between the DIY community and regulatory authorities. We call on all stakeholders-regulators, scientists and the DIY community-to share in crafting policy proposals that ensure public safety while supporting DIY innovation.

Concepts: Perception, Direct current, Transcranial magnetic stimulation, Transcranial direct current stimulation, Public, Stimulation, Do it yourself, DIY


Cracks in solid-state materials are typically irreversible. Here we report electrically reversible opening and closing of nanoscale cracks in an intermetallic thin film grown on a ferroelectric substrate driven by a small electric field (~0.83 kV/cm). Accordingly, a nonvolatile colossal electroresistance on-off ratio of more than 108 is measured across the cracks in the intermetallic film at room temperature. Cracks are easily formed with low-frequency voltage cycling and remain stable when the device is operated at high frequency, which offers intriguing potential for next-generation high-frequency memory applications. Moreover, endurance testing demonstrates that the opening and closing of such cracks can reach over 107 cycles under 10-μs pulses, without catastrophic failure of the film.

Concepts: Electron, Electromagnetism, Electric charge, Michael Faraday, Electric potential, Direct current, Alternating current, Faraday's law of induction


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been used to enhance endurance performance but its precise mechanisms and effects remain unknown.

Concepts: Electricity, Electrochemistry, Direct current, Alternating current, Transcranial magnetic stimulation, Transcranial direct current stimulation


Cardioversion remains an important therapy in the management of atrial fibrillation. Here, we report a case where direct current cardioversion resulted in a sudden dramatic change of heart rate that was associated with multiple ventricular fibrillation arrests in a manner akin to that previously observed post-atrioventricular node ablation. (PACE 2012;35:e361-e364).

Concepts: Scientific method, Cardiology, Heart, Atrial fibrillation, Direct current, Amiodarone, Defibrillation, DC offset


We demonstrate four- and two-terminal perovskite-perovskite tandem solar cells with ideally matched band gaps. We develop an infrared-absorbing 1.2-electron volt band-gap perovskite, FA0.75Cs0.25Sn0.5Pb0.5I3, that can deliver 14.8% efficiency. By combining this material with a wider-band gap FA0.83Cs0.17Pb(I0.5Br0.5)3 material, we achieve monolithic two-terminal tandem efficiencies of 17.0% with >1.65-volt open-circuit voltage. We also make mechanically stacked four-terminal tandem cells and obtain 20.3% efficiency. Notably, we find that our infrared-absorbing perovskite cells exhibit excellent thermal and atmospheric stability, not previously achieved for Sn-based perovskites. This device architecture and materials set will enable “all-perovskite” thin-film solar cells to reach the highest efficiencies in the long term at the lowest costs.

Concepts: Solar cell, Photovoltaics, Direct current, Dye-sensitized solar cell, Thin film solar cell, Band gap, Photovoltaic array, Anwell Technologies Limited


Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) modulates cortical excitability thereby influencing behavior and learning. While previous studies focused on tDCS after-effects, limited information about “online” tDCS effects is available. This in turn is an important prerequisite to better characterize and/or optimize tDCS effects. Here, we aimed to explore the feasibility of recording low-artifact somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) during tDCS using a novel ring electrode setup. We recorded SEP before, during and after 10min of anodal or sham tDCS using a full-band direct current (DC) EEG system in a total number of 3 subjects. SEPs were recorded in the bore of the tDCS ring electrode. Using this approach, no tDCS-induced artifacts could be observed after the application of a standard EEG filter. This new setup might help to better characterize how tDCS alters evoked brain responses thus providing novel insight into underlying physiological effects during stimulation.

Concepts: Electricity, Electrochemistry, Electroencephalography, Evoked potential, Direct current, Alternating current, Transcranial direct current stimulation, DC offset


Open structure ZnO/CdSe core/shell nanoneedle arrays were prepared on a conducting glass (SnO2:F) substrate by solution deposition and electrochemical techniques. A uniform CdSe shell layer with a grain size of approximately several tens of nanometers was formed on the surface of ZnO nanoneedle cores after annealing at 400 [degree sign]C for 1.5 h. Fabricated solar cells based on these nanostructures exhibited a high short-circuit current density of about 10.5 mA/cm2 and an overall power conversion efficiency of 1.07 % with solar illumination of 100 mW/cm2. Incident photo-to-current conversion efficiencies higher than 75 % were also obtained.

Concepts: Light, Electric current, Solar cell, Direct current, Energy conversion, Energy conversion efficiency, Glass, Cadmium telluride


Here we demonstrate a room temperature processed nonvolatile memory device based on an Al/AlOx/CdTe:Sb nanowire (NW) heterojunction. Electrical analysis shows an echelon hysteresis composed of a high-resistance state (HRS) and a low-resistance state (LRS), which can allow it to write and erase data from the device. The conductance ratio is as high as 10(6), with a retention time of 3 × 10(4) s. Moreover, the SET voltages ranged from +6 to +8 V, whilst the RESET voltage ∼0 V. In addition, flexible memory nano-devices on PET substrate with comparable switching performance at bending condition were fabricated. XPS analysis of the Al/AlOx/CdTe:Sb NW heterojunction after controlled Ar(+) bombardment reveals that this memory behavior is associated with the presence of ultra-thin AlOx film. This Al/AlOx/CdTe:Sb NW heterojunction will open up opportunities for new memory devices with different configurations.

Concepts: Data, Device, Direct current, Alternating current, Computer storage, Voltage, Non-volatile memory, Computer data storage


Monolayer graphene sheets were deposited on a transparent and flexible polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate, and a tensile strain was loaded by stretching the substrate in one direction. It was found that an electric potential difference between stretched and static monolayer graphene sheets reached 8 mV when the strain was 5%. Theoretical calculations for the band structure and total energy revealed an alternative way to experimentally tune the band gap of monolayer graphene, and induce the generation of electricity.

Concepts: Electric potential, Energy, Direct current, Alternating current, Potential energy, Voltage, Band gap, Volt