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

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 5


Energy-harvesting yarn Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Hanyang University in South Korea developed a carbon nanotube yarn that generates electricity when stretched or twisted. Possible applications for the so-called "twistron" yarns include harvesting energy from the motion of ocean waves or from temperature fluctuations. When sewn into a shirt, these yarns served as a sel... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 29


Colored solar panels Researchers from AMOLF, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) developed a technology to create efficient bright green solar panels in the hopes that a greater array of colors will prompt greater adoption among architects and builders who might see the traditional blue or black panels as an eyesore. The panels have a gr... » read more

Performance To The People


Ever since the IoT became a household term, the almost universal concept was that extremely low-power, simplistic devices would rule the edge. They would collect data, send it to the cloud, and the cloud would send back useful information. That's a great marketing concept for gateways and cloud services, but it's not scalable. Consumers don't just want to know when their heartbeat is irregul... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 11


3D chip integrates computing, storage Researchers at Stanford University and MIT developed a prototype 3D chip that integrates computation and data storage, based on carbon nanotubes and resistive RAM (RRAM) cells. The researchers integrated over 1 million RRAM cells and 2 million carbon nanotube FETs, making what the team says is the most complex nanoelectronic system ever made with emergi... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 21


Harvesting energy from multiple sources Researchers from the University of Oulu in Finland found a particular type of perovskite, KBNNO, has the right properties to extract energy from multiple sources simultaneously. While perovskites are particularly known for their use as solar cells, certain minerals in the perovskite family show piezoelectric and pyroelectric (harvesting energy from ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 13


3D porous microsupercapacitors A research team from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) developed an integrated microsupercapacitor targeted at self-powered system applications where the power source may be intermittent, such as sensors for wearables, security, and structural health monitoring. The key to the microsupercapacitors is vertically-scaled three-dimen... » read more

Architecting For Energy


Most of the time, electrical design engineers create their designs by putting in the functions first, then going back later to figure out what they can afford to shut down. But with energy harvesting, this is flipped, and the systems must be built to normally be ‘off,’ and with a clear understanding of the minimum power requirements. Also, most of the time, energy harvesting systems are ... » read more

Energy Harvesting Gains Steam


Energy harvesting is gaining traction with a surge in ultra-low-power IoT applications, ranging from inventory tracking, wearables and drones, to vibration sensors for motors in industrial settings. The idea that machines could run without batteries—or that energy could be harvested either from motion or ambient sound waves or chemical reactions to augment battery power—has been in the w... » read more

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