Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 17


Harvesting body heat Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology developed a flexible, wearable thermoelectric generator that can harvest energy from body heat to power simple biosensors. Thermoelectric generators have been available for decades, but standard designs use inflexible inorganic materials that are too toxic for use in wearable devices. The team's device uses thousands... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 10


Asphalt anode Scientists at Rice University developed an anode for lithium metal batteries enabling them to charge 10 to 20 times faster than commercial lithium-ion batteries. The anodes are a porous carbon made from asphalt mixed with conductive graphene nanoribbons and coated with composite with lithium metal through electrochemical deposition. The lab combined the anode with a sulfurized... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 3


Slowing down photonics Researchers at the University of Sydney developed a chip capable of optical data into sound waves, slowing data transfer enough to process the information. While speed is a major bonus with photonic systems, it's not as advantageous when processing data. By turning optical signals into acoustic, data can be briefly stored and managed inside the chip for processing, re... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 19


Healing perovskites A team from the University of Cambridge, MIT, University of Oxford, University of Bath, and Delft University of Technology discovered a way to heal defects in perovskite solar cells by exposing them to light and just the right amount of humidity. While perovskites show promise for low-cost, efficient photovoltaics, tiny defects in the crystalline structure, called traps,... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 12


Water-based li-ion battery Researchers at the University of Maryland and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory developed a lithium-ion battery that uses a water-salt solution as its electrolyte and reaches the 4.0 volt mark desired for household electronics, without the fire and explosive risks associated with some commercially available non-aqueous lithium-ion batteries. The battery provides i... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 5


Energy-harvesting yarn Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Hanyang University in South Korea developed a carbon nanotube yarn that generates electricity when stretched or twisted. Possible applications for the so-called "twistron" yarns include harvesting energy from the motion of ocean waves or from temperature fluctuations. When sewn into a shirt, these yarns served as a sel... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 22


USB data leakage Researchers from the University of Adelaide found that USB connections are vulnerable to information leakage. In testing more than 50 different computers and external USB hubs, they found that over 90% of them leaked information to an external USB device. "USB-connected devices include keyboards, cardswipers and fingerprint readers which often send sensitive information to ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 15


Solar sunglasses Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed sunglasses with colored, semitransparent organic solar cells applied onto the lenses capable of supplying a microprocessor and two displays with electric power. The solar cell lenses, perfectly fitted to a commercial frame, have a thickness of approx. 1.6 millimeters and weigh about six grams, just like th... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 25


Sodium-ion cathode Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Seoul National University developed a manganese and sodium-ion-based cathode material they hope could lead to lower-cost rechargeable batteries. In a typical lithium-ion battery, the cathode is made of lithium, cobalt, nickel and oxygen. "Lithium is a more expensive, limited resource that must be mined from just a fe... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 11


3D chip integrates computing, storage Researchers at Stanford University and MIT developed a prototype 3D chip that integrates computation and data storage, based on carbon nanotubes and resistive RAM (RRAM) cells. The researchers integrated over 1 million RRAM cells and 2 million carbon nanotube FETs, making what the team says is the most complex nanoelectronic system ever made with emergi... » read more

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