Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 18


Etching photovoltaics Researchers at Michigan Technological University and Aalto University found a way to reduce production costs of black silicon solar cells by more than 10%. The first prototype modules have been manufactured on an industrial production line. Typically, the silicon used for solar cells is etched to reduce reflected light, although some light is still lost. Nano-texturing... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 11


Non-toxic photoluminescent nanoparticles Researchers from Osaka University developed a way to improve display technologies using non-toxic light-emitting nanoparticles. In trying to replace cadmium and other toxic materials used in quantum dots, scientists have turned to non-toxic nanoparticles that emit light in an efficient manner by creating I–III–VI semiconductors, such as silver in... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 4


Preventing battery fires Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Rochester developed a method to prevent lithium-ion batteries from catching on fire when damaged. "In a lithium-ion battery, a thin piece of plastic separates the two electrodes," said Gabriel Veith, a research lead at ORNL. "If the battery is damaged and the plastic layer fails, the electrodes can... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 28


Multilayer stretchable electronics Researchers at UC San Diego, the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, and the Air Force Research Laboratory developed an approach to creating stacked, stretchable electronics with complex functionality. "Rigid electronics can offer a lot of functionality on a small footprint--they can easily be manufactured with as many as 50 layers of... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 21


Physical neural network Engineers at UCLA built a physical artificial neural network capable of identifying objects as light passes through a series of 3D printed polymer layers. Called a "diffractive deep neural network," it uses the light bouncing from the object itself to identify that object, a process that consumes no energy and is faster than traditional computer-based methods of imag... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 14


All-optical logic Researchers from Aalto University developed multifunction all-optical logic gates using a network of nanowires. To build the nanostructure, the team assembled two different semiconductor nanowires, indium phosphide and aluminum gallium arsenide. The nanowires have a unique one-dimensional structure, which allows them to function like nanosized antennas for light. Using ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 7


Optical neural network Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have made a silicon chip that distributes optical signals precisely across a miniature brain-like grid, showcasing a potential new design for neural networks. Using light would eliminate interference due to electrical charge and the signals would travel faster and farther, said the researchers. "... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 31


Training optical neural networks Researchers from Stanford University used an optical chip to train an artificial neural network, a step that could lead to faster, more efficient AI tasks. Although optical neural networks have been recently demonstrated, the training step was performed using a model on a traditional digital computer and the final settings were then imported into the optical... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 24


Single-atom storage Scientists at EPFL are working on a single-atom magnetic data storage device that takes advantage of quantum effects to provide dense storage. The team is using holmium, an element they've been exploring for years. "Single-atom magnets offer an interesting perspective because quantum mechanics may offer shortcuts across their stability barriers that we could exploit in t... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 16


Bacterial solar Researchers at the University of British Columbia developed a solar cell that uses bacteria to convert light to energy. The cell worked as efficiently in dim light as in bright light, making solar a potential option in areas of the world that frequently have overcast skies. Called biogenic cells, they work by utilizing the natural dye that bacteria use for photosynthesis. Pr... » read more

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