System Bits: Oct. 11

Carbon Is So 2015 Researchers at MIT have created a supercapacitor that relies on a material other than carbon. This new class of materials, called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), are a porous and sponge-like, according to MIT, tthereby providing a much larger surface area than carbon. As with most things electrical, more surface area is essential for superconductors. The problem the re... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 17

Shrinking perovskites Researchers from Imperial College London, Oxford University, Diamond Light Source, Pohang University of Science and Technology in Korea, and Rutgers University have discovered a material that can be chemically tailored to either expand or contract in a precise way and over a wide temperature range. This could lead to new composite materials that do not expand when heate... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 22

Photonic memories A team of researchers from Oxford University, the University of Münster, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and the University of Exeter produced the first all-photonic nonvolatile memory chip. The new device uses the phase-change material Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST), used in rewritable CDs and DVDs, to store data. This material can be made to assume an amorphous state, like glass... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 21

Hybrid crystals for efficient LEDs A team from the University of Toronto combined two promising solar cell materials together for the first time, creating a new platform for LED technology. The team designed a way to embed strongly luminescent nanoparticles called colloidal quantum dots into perovskite. Perovskites are a family of materials that can be easily manufactured from solution, a... » 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: Aug. 26

Making light work of snaps 'Superradiance', a phenomenon where a group of atoms charged up with energy act collectively to release a far more intense pulse of light than they would individually, is well-known to physicists. In theory the effect can be reversed to create a device that draws in light ultra-efficiently. This could be revolutionary for devices ranging from digital cameras to solar... » read more

System Bits: July 15

Silicon oxide memories Thanks to a refinement that will allow manufacturers to fabricate devices at room temperature with conventional production methods, Rice University’s silicon oxide technology for high-density, next-generation computer memory is one step closer to mass production. Rice’s silicon oxide memories are a type of two-terminal, “resistive random-access memory” (RRAM) ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 6

Boosting image quality UCLA researchers have created a device based on a new material and manufacturing process that they say could lead to a significant leap in the quality of images on smartphones, computer displays, TVs and inkjet printers. The new material and manufacturing process are used to produce semiconductors that are essential to LCDs and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) disp... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 18

Bionic plants A team of MIT researchers wants to make plants more useful by augmenting them with nanomaterials that could enhance their energy production and give them new functions including environmental pollutant monitoring. The team reported that they’ve boosted the ability of plants to capture light energy by 30% by embedding carbon nanotubes in the chloroplast, the plant organelle w... » read more

Power-Performance Bits: Nov. 19

Different Species of Carbon Nanotubes We all know that humans can be either left or right handed, but what about carbon nanotubes? Apparently, single-walled carbon nanotubes come in a plethora of different “species,” each with its own structure and unique combination of electronic and optical properties. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National... » read more