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. 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: Aug. 23


Connecting implanted devices University of Washington researchers developed a new method for communication between devices such as brain implants, contact lenses, credit cards and smaller wearable electronics with other devices such as smartphones and watches. Using only reflections, an interscatter system requires no specialized equipment, relying solely on mobile devices to generate Wi-... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 16


Dissolving batteries Researchers at Iowa State University developed a self-destructing lithium-ion battery capable of delivering 2.5 volts and dissolving or dissipating in 30 minutes when dropped in water. The battery can power a desktop calculator for about 15 minutes. Making such devices possible is the goal of a relatively new field of study called "transient electronics." These transi... » read more

Power To The People (Right On…)


If you’re the right age (or older), you will immediately think of John Lennon when you read the title of this piece.  The song was released in 1971, so I will cut many of you some slack on that. The title was inspired by several pieces of research that I was fortunate enough to be exposed to this past week. I am currently in Vancouver, British Columbia at the NEWCAS conference. NEWCAS... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 28


Mimicking roses for solar Scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) reproduced the epidermal cells of rose petals and integrated the transparent replicas into an organic solar cell, with an efficiency gain of 12%. The epidermis of rose petals consists of a disorganized arrangement of densely p... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 14


Origami battery A new disposable battery that folds like an origami ninja star could power biosensors and other small devices for use in challenging field conditions. The researchers, from Binghamton University, previously developed a paper-based origami battery. The first design, shaped like a matchbook, stacked four modules together. The ninja star version, which measures about 2.5 inches ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 3


Nanowire batteries University of California, Irvine researchers invented a nanowire-based battery material that can be recharged hundreds of thousands of times. Nanowires have long been sought as a battery material. However, these filaments are extremely fragile and don't hold up well to repeated discharging and recharging, or cycling. In a typical lithium-ion battery, they expand and gro... » read more

Bluetooth Smart: Doing (A Lot) More With Less


By Charles Dittmer and Prithi Ramakrishnan I was really struck by Ann Steffora Mutschler's piece last month (Running Out Of Energy?). She notes that by 2040, the energy required for computing is expected to surpass the estimated world's energy production. That's a problem. One factor could be the rise of IoT applications. Billions of devices will be deployed in the next decade, and we ... » read more

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