Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 14


Bacteria power wastewater cleanup Researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) are exploring ways to detoxify warm, salty industrial wastewater while simultaneously generating electricity. They are using bacteria with remarkable properties: the ability to transfer electrons outside their cells (exoelectrogenes) and the capacity to withstand extremes of temperat... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 7


Speeding up MRAM Researchers at UC Berkeley and UC Riverside developed an ultrafast method for electrically controlling magnetism in certain metals, which could lead to increased performance for magnetic RAM. While the nonvolatility of MRAM is a boon, speeding up the writing of a single bit of information to less than 10 nanoseconds has been a challenge. “The development of a non-volatile... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 31


Battery material supplies Researchers at MIT, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Rochester Institute of Technology conducted an analysis of whether there are enough raw materials to support increased lithium-ion battery production, expected to grow significantly due to electric vehicles and grid-connected battery systems. They conclude that while in the near future there shou... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 24


Molecular storage Chemists at the Institut Charles Sadron and Aix-Marseille University used mass spectrometry to read several bytes of data recorded on the molecular scale with synthetic polymers, setting a new benchmark for the amount of data stored as a sequence of molecular units (monomers) that can be read. Polymers have great potential since, to record a bit, their component monomers r... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 17


Harvesting body heat Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology developed a flexible, wearable thermoelectric generator that can harvest energy from body heat to power simple biosensors. Thermoelectric generators have been available for decades, but standard designs use inflexible inorganic materials that are too toxic for use in wearable devices. The team's device uses thousands... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 10


Asphalt anode Scientists at Rice University developed an anode for lithium metal batteries enabling them to charge 10 to 20 times faster than commercial lithium-ion batteries. The anodes are a porous carbon made from asphalt mixed with conductive graphene nanoribbons and coated with composite with lithium metal through electrochemical deposition. The lab combined the anode with a sulfurized... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 3


Slowing down photonics Researchers at the University of Sydney developed a chip capable of optical data into sound waves, slowing data transfer enough to process the information. While speed is a major bonus with photonic systems, it's not as advantageous when processing data. By turning optical signals into acoustic, data can be briefly stored and managed inside the chip for processing, re... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 26


Long-range communication Researchers at the University of Washington developed devices that run on almost zero power can transmit data across distances of up to 2.8 kilometers. The long-range backscatter system, which uses reflected radio signals to transmit data at extremely low power, achieved reliable coverage throughout 4800-square-foot house, an office area covering 41 rooms and a one-acr... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 19


Healing perovskites A team from the University of Cambridge, MIT, University of Oxford, University of Bath, and Delft University of Technology discovered a way to heal defects in perovskite solar cells by exposing them to light and just the right amount of humidity. While perovskites show promise for low-cost, efficient photovoltaics, tiny defects in the crystalline structure, called traps,... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 12


Water-based li-ion battery Researchers at the University of Maryland and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory developed a lithium-ion battery that uses a water-salt solution as its electrolyte and reaches the 4.0 volt mark desired for household electronics, without the fire and explosive risks associated with some commercially available non-aqueous lithium-ion batteries. The battery provides i... » read more

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