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OCTOBER 2019 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 13 there are or how many articles are read ver- sus customers calling Digi-Key and talking to someone live. We still provide that service and resources to support the user, but in all of our purchasing and methodologies, it's critical that we have the right content on our site. Some- times, you monetize that, and other times, you don't, but it's archiving a lot of information so that we remain a resource to get the job done. Research is a big part of the technology, so a great amount of time and energy is put into making sure that we have the appropriate technical content for the users. Matties: When you talk about users, are your primary customers circuit designers? Beeson: Historically, yes, but it's evolving. We would be deemed an on-the-circuit-board type of organization with leading semiconductor, electromechanical, interconnect, and passive product portfolios, but that's evolving for us. The opportunity for us to get into some of the new or evolving verticals and industrial auto- mation would be a good example where our user community is expanding. We all know the focus surrounding IoT, 5G, AI, etc., but what we're seeing is nontraditional electronic experts need solutions, and a lot of times, that involves an electronics type of solution. We're seeing a lot of adoption of Digi-Key from what one would deem as the nontraditional user. Moving forward, that is the more traditional user, which has expanded in scope related to our user community. Matties: Also, there's a generational shift going on in your user community as well. How is that changing the landscape? Beeson: The other day, my wife asked, "What is this WeChat thing all about?" In China, we're trying to be proficient in WeChat, and use that type of platform to communicate to our users and add features like WeChat Pay. Now, com- merce can be conducted outside of our web- site. It's about adopting methodologies that are aligned with the user and how they want to engage. That's a never-ending process for us. Over the last couple of years, we've expanded to about eight types of currency. Once again, we're trying to have a much more localized A possible alternative to silicon-based solar panels has been shown to convert solar energy into electricity more efficiently, reports KTH Royal Institute of Technology Professor Hans Ågren. He and researchers from Russia, South Korea, and China recently co-published a study of the material palladium diselenide (PdSe 2 ). In the observations reported in the American Physi- cal Review, Ågren and co-authors show that PdSe2 can absorb a wider spectrum of solar energy compared to sili- con-based materials, allowing a higher conversion rate of solar energy to electricity. Researchers at KTH and Sibe- rian Federal University in Russia used high-precision cal- culations to examine, for the first time, the electronic and optical properties of both single- and multi-layer films made of the material. Ågren says it is too soon to say how well PdSe2 would perform in an actual solar cell application. He adds that research on two-dimensional materials has exploded in recent years, particularly with regard to chalcogenides. "Our research on two-dimensional compounds between precious metals and such chalcogenides has resulted in us being able to optimize two-dimensional structures. This means that a wide wavelength range of the solar spectrum can be utilized if the material is used for captur- ing solar energy." (Source: KTH Royal Institute of Technology) Researchers Report Possible Alternative to Silicon-based Solar Cells

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