Power/Performance Bits: June 12


AI for solar materials In the search for better organic photovoltaic materials, researchers at Osaka University turned to machine learning to help identify candidates. While organic photovoltaics (OPVs) are promising on a cost basis, they do not yet have the required power conversion efficiency (PCE) necessary for commercialization. A key element in this is the semiconducting polymer layer. ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 5


Self-assembled battery Researchers at Cornell University developed a self-assembling battery capable of near-instant charging. Instead of having the batteries' anode and cathode on either side of a nonconducting separator, the team's new approach intertwines the components in a self-assembling, 3D gyroidal structure, with thousands of nanoscale pores filled with the elements necessary for e... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 29


Using bandwidth like a fish Researchers from the University of Georgia developed a method to make fuller use of wireless bandwidth, inspired by a cave-dwelling fish's jamming avoidance response. Eigenmannia fish live in complete darkness, sensing their environment and communicating through emitting an electric field. When two fish emit signals at similar frequencies they can interfere with ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 22


Sensing without battery power Engineers at the National University of Singapore developed an IoT-focused sensor chip that can continue operating when its battery runs out of energy. The chip, BATLESS, uses a power management technique that allows it to self-start and continue to function under dim light without any battery assistance. The chip can operate in two different modes: minimum-ene... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 15


Aluminum battery materials Scientists from ETH Zurich and Empa identified two new materials that could boost the development of aluminum batteries, a potential low cost, materially abundant option for temporary storage of renewable energy. The first is a corrosion-resistant material for the conductive parts of the battery; the second is a novel material for the battery's positive pole that ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 8


Cobalt-free cathodes Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, built lithium-ion battery cathodes without cobalt that can store 50% more energy than traditional cobalt-containing cathodes. Currently, lithium-ion battery cathodes use layered structures, which cobalt is necessary to maintain. When lithium ions move from the cathode to anode during charging, a lot of space is left... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 1


Low power video streaming Engineers at the University of Washington developed a method for streaming HD video from a lightweight, wearable camera. The researchers used backscatter to send pixel data to a more powerful device, such as a smartphone or laptop, for power-hungry tasks like video processing and compression that have made a lightweight streaming camera out of reach. The pixels in ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 24


Waste heat to power Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, developed a thin-film system that can be applied to electronics to turn waste heat into energy. The thin-film system uses pyroelectric energy conversion, which is well suited for tapping into waste-heat energy supplies below 100 degrees Celsius, called low-quality waste heat. In particular, the technology might be part... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 17


Flexible LCDs Researchers at Donghua University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology developed a flexible, optically rewriteable LCD for paperlike displays. The team estimates it will be cheap to produce, perhaps only costing $5 for a 5-inch screen. Optically rewriteable LCDs, like conventional LCDs, are structured like a sandwich, with a liquid crystal filling between two ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Apr. 10


Lithium-air battery Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory designed a new lithium-air battery that works in a natural air environment and still functioned after 750 charge/discharge cycles, a record for this battery type. In theory, lithium-air batteries work by combining lithium present in the anode with oxygen from the air to produce lithium p... » read more

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