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

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 15


Another record-breaking tandem perovskite solar cell University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists report a new design for perovskite solar cells that achieves an average steady-state efficiency of 18.4%, with a high of 21.7% and a peak efficiency of 26%. "This has a great potential to be the cheapest photovoltaic on the market, plugging into any... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 25


Energy-harvesting floor Engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed a flooring material which can be used as a triboelectric nanogenerator to convert footsteps into electricity. The method uses wood pulp, a common waste material already often used in flooring. The pulp is partly make of cellulose nanofibers, which when chemically treated produce an electrical charge when th... » read more

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

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