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

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 12


Incandescent bulbs might not be dead yet Can incandescent bulbs be as efficient – or even more so – than LEDs? More than 95 percent of the energy that goes into incandescents is wasted, most of it as heat, so researchers at MIT and Purdue University struck out to see if that could be changed. A conventional heated metal filament, with all its attendant losses, served as the basis. But... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 10


Singing to your storage Existing research on 'racetrack memory', which uses tiny magnetic wires, each one hundreds of times thinner than a human hair, down which magnetic bits of data run like racing cars around a track, has focused on using either magnetic fields or electric currents to move the data bits down the wires. However, both these options create heat and reduce power efficiency. ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 18


Reducing crosstalk with tantalum oxide memories Scientists at Rice University created a solid-state memory technology that allows for high-density storage with a minimum incidence of crosstalk errors. The memories are based on tantalum oxide. Applying voltage to a 250-nanometer-thick sandwich of graphene, tantalum, nanoporous tantalum oxide and platinum creates addressable bits where the ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 5


Single material batteries Engineers at the University of Maryland created a battery made entirely out of a single material that, by incorporating the properties of both the electrodes and electrolyte, can both move electricity and store it. The reason the new battery is revolutionary is because it solves the problem of what happens at the interface between the electrolyte and the electrod... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 24


Power from packing peanuts After setting up a new lab, a Purdue University research team was left with a problem: mountains of packing peanuts. Instead of filling bags destined for a dumpster, the team saw an opportunity to find the packing material a useful purpose. The result was a process to convert waste packing peanuts into high-performance carbon electrodes for rechargeable lithium-... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 10


Simulated memories Resistance-switching cells hold promise as a faster, higher capacity, lower power replacement for current non-volatile memory. Yet "the mechanisms that govern their remarkable properties have been poorly understood, limiting our ability to assess the ultimate performance and potential for commercialization," said Alejandro Strachan, professor of materials engineering at Pu... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 3


Black phosphorus photodetectors Phosphorus, a highly reactive element commonly found in match heads, tracer bullets, and fertilizers, can be turned into a stable crystalline form known as black phosphorus. In a new study, researchers from the University of Minnesota used an ultrathin black phosphorus film 20 atoms thick to demonstrate high-speed data communication on nanoscale optical circui... » read more

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