Research in new battery technology and more efficient solar cells has been named among the hottest research fields of 2014

Solar cells and longer-life batteries among hottest research fields

Solar-cell research involving innovative materials as well as study of novel longer-life batteries has been listed among the hottest fields of scientific research in a new report.

Compiled by Thompson Reuters in cooperation with the National Science Laboratory, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NSCL), the annual report – 'Research Fronts 2014: 100 Top Ranked Specialties in the Sciences and Social Sciences' – identifies prominent scientific fields of the past 12 months based on science performance metrics and data about scholarly paper publication counts and citations.

Among this year’s top 100 hottest fields of scientific research and 44 emerging research fronts were many themes addressing current engineering and technological challenges.

The study of properties of silicone, research in high-performance petrovskite-based solar cells, sensitised solar cells or next-generation electronics based on quantum effects including inverse spin and the Hall Effect have all made it to the list.

"We were pleased to work with the NSLC to expand the depth of this year's Research Fronts report," said David Pendlebury, Thomson Reuters IP & Science analyst. "The combined strength of Thomson Reuters unparalleled data and analysis capabilities with the Chinese Academy's expertise in scientific research not only increases the depth of the report, but also provides a solid foundation for researchers, funding agencies and administrators for better decision-making by identifying research trends and new areas of study."

Uncovering genetic links to ALS and dementia has been named among the most significant areas in the biological sciences field while understanding the impacts of heat and drought scored high in the ecology and environment domain.

Other significant research fields included experimental psychology, genomic editing and repair and the study of neglected diseases.

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