Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 6


Perovskites for data storage Scientists at EPFL developed a new perovskite material whose magnetic order can be rapidly changed without disrupting it due to heating that could potentially be used to build next-generation hard drives. "We have essentially discovered the first magnetic photoconductor," said Bálint Náfrádi, a postdoc at EPFL. This new crystal structure combines the advant... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 29


PV technology comparison Joshua J. Romero at the IEEE Spectrum put together an overview of photovoltaic technologies, including the world records for each type of cell, grouped into five broad categories. There is a brief overview of each cell type and some of its trade-offs. He also looks at how fast each technology has made efficiency gains. The most rapid progress is being seen in high... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 23


Increasing lithium battery density Researchers at Columbia University developed a new method to increase the energy density of lithium batteries using a trilayer structure that is stable in ambient air. "When lithium batteries are charged the first time, they lose anywhere from 5-20% energy in that first cycle," said Yuan Yang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at C... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 15


Another record-breaking tandem perovskite solar cell University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists report a new design for perovskite solar cells that achieves an average steady-state efficiency of 18.4%, with a high of 21.7% and a peak efficiency of 26%. "This has a great potential to be the cheapest photovoltaic on the market, plugging into any... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 8


Scrap metal batteries A research team at Vanderbilt University used scraps of steel and brass - two of the most commonly discarded materials - to create a steel-brass battery that can store energy at levels comparable to lead-acid batteries while charging and discharging at rates comparable to ultra-fast charging supercapacitors. The researchers found that when scraps of steel and brass a... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 1


New approach to switches According to the National Resource Defense Council, Americans waste up to $19 billion annually in electricity costs due to always-on digital devices in the home that suck power even when they are turned off. With that in mind, a team from University of Utah devised a new kind of switch for electronic circuits that uses solid electrolytes such as copper sulfide to ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 25


Energy-harvesting floor Engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed a flooring material which can be used as a triboelectric nanogenerator to convert footsteps into electricity. The method uses wood pulp, a common waste material already often used in flooring. The pulp is partly make of cellulose nanofibers, which when chemically treated produce an electrical charge when th... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 18


Speeding up memory with T-rays Scientists at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), the University of Regensburg in Germany, Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and Moscow Technological University proposed a way to improve the performance of memory through using T-waves, or terahertz radiation, as a means of resetting memory cells. This process is several thousand... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 11


Getting to 1nm Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, University of Texas at Dallas, and Stanford University created a transistor with a working 1nm gate from carbon nanotubes and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). "The semiconductor industry has long assumed that any gate below 5 nanometers wouldn't work, so anything below that was not even considered," said fir... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 4


Solar battery Chemists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia integrated solar cells with a large-capacity battery in a single device that eliminates the usual intermediate step of making electricity and, instead, transfers the energy directly to the battery's electrolyte. The team used a redox flow battery, or R... » read more

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