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. 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. 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. 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: May 23


Biosupercapacitor Researchers from UCLA and the University of Connecticut designed a biological supercapacitor, a new biofriendly energy storage system which operates using ions from fluids in the human body. The device is harmless to the body's biological systems, say the researchers, and could lead to longer-lasting cardiac pacemakers and other implantable medical devices. The supercapa... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 2


Turning bottles into batteries Researchers at the University of California, Riverside used waste glass bottles and a low-cost chemical process to create nanosilicon anodes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries. Billions of glass bottles end up in landfills every year, prompting the researchers to ask whether silicon dioxide in waste beverage bottles could provide high purity silicon ... » read more

Pushing Batteries Too Far?


Reports of battery fires in consumer devices are not abating. The culprit in almost all cases is the lithium-ion battery. In some cases, this is a manufacturing issue, where predictable intervals of failure can point to a breach in the membrane separating the anode and cathode or a metal particle contaminant that causes a short circuit. Those kinds of flaws are well understood, based upon ho... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 14


Magnetic storage on one atom Scientists at IBM Research created a single-atom magnet and were able to store one bit of data on it, making it the world's smallest magnetic storage device. Using electrical current, the researchers showed that two magnetic atoms could be written and read independently even when they were separated by just one nanometer. This tight spacing could, the team hop... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 7


Supercapacitor plants Scientists at Linköping University in Sweden developed a method for transforming roses into supercapacitors that can be charged and discharged hundreds of times. The team created a solution that, when fed through the cut end of the stem, polymerizes inside the rose's vascular system with the plant's own biochemical response mechanism acting as catalyst, creating lon... » 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

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