Power/Performance Bits: June 13


Theoretical all-carbon circuits Engineers at the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Central Florida, and Northwestern University designed a novel computing system made solely from carbon. "The concept brings together an assortment of existing nanoscale technologies and combines them in a new way," said Dr. Joseph S. Friedman, ass... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 11


High-efficiency silicon photodetector Electrical engineers at the University of California, Davis, and W&WSens Devices, Inc. built a new type of high-efficiency photodetector that could be monolithically integrated with silicon electronics. The new detector uses tapered holes in a silicon wafer to divert photons sideways, preserving the speed of thin-layer silicon and the efficiency o... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 28


Storing solar energy as carbon monoxide A team at Indiana University engineered a molecule that collects and stores solar energy without solar panels. The molecule uses light or electricity to convert the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide more efficiently than any other method of carbon reduction. Burning fuel such as carbon monoxide produces carbon dioxide and releases e... » 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: Jan. 31


Microbial nanowires Microbiologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report that they have discovered a new type of microbial nanowire, the protein filaments that bacteria use to make electrical connections with other microbes or minerals. The team was motivated by the potential for improved "green" conducting materials for electronics. According to Derek Lovley, professor of... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 24


Printable circuits with silver nanowires Scientists at Duke University compared the conductivity of films made from different shapes of silver nanostructures and found that electrons move through films made of silver nanowires much easier than films made from other shapes, like nanospheres or microflakes. In fact, electrons flowed so easily through the nanowire films that they could function... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 17


Creating magnets with electricity Researchers at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea Institute of Materials Science, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Max Planck Institute, and the University of New South Wales drew magnetic squares in a nonmagnetic material with an electrified pen and then "read" this magneti... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 6


Perovskites for data storage Scientists at EPFL developed a new perovskite material whose magnetic order can be rapidly changed without disrupting it due to heating that could potentially be used to build next-generation hard drives. "We have essentially discovered the first magnetic photoconductor," said Bálint Náfrádi, a postdoc at EPFL. This new crystal structure combines the advant... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 29


PV technology comparison Joshua J. Romero at the IEEE Spectrum put together an overview of photovoltaic technologies, including the world records for each type of cell, grouped into five broad categories. There is a brief overview of each cell type and some of its trade-offs. He also looks at how fast each technology has made efficiency gains. The most rapid progress is being seen in high... » read more

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

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