System Bits: April 30


Future batteries could use a graphene sponge Researchers at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology devised a porous, sponge-like aerogel, made of reduced-graphene oxide, to serve as a freestanding electrode in the battery cell. This utilization has the potential to advance lithium sulfur batteries, which are said to possess a theoretical energy density about five times greater than lithi... » read more

System Bits: April 16


Characterizing 2D borophene Researchers at Rice and Northwestern universities collaborated on a method to view the polymorphs of 2D borophene crystals, providing insights into the lattice configurations of the two-dimensional material. Boris Yakobson, a materials physicist at Rice’s Brown School of Engineering, and materials scientist Mark Hersam of Northwestern led a team that not only d... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 8


Predicting battery life Researchers at Stanford University, MIT, and Toyota Research Institute developed a machine learning model that can predict how long a lithium-ion battery can be expected to perform. The researchers' model was trained on a few hundred million data points of batteries charging and discharging. The dataset consists of 124 commercial lithium iron phosphate/graphite cells... » read more

System Bits: March 11


Cryptography IC for the IoT Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers report their development of a cryptographic circuit that could be used to protect low-power Internet of Things devices when quantum computing takes hold. [caption id="attachment_24144905" align="alignleft" width="300"] Image Credit: MIT[/caption] The research team presented a paper at the 2019 International Sol... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Mar. 5


Solar chemical manufacturing Researchers at RMIT University, CSIRO Manufacturing, and University of Melbourne developed a nano-enhanced material that can capture 99% of light and use it to power chemical reactions. One of the world's biggest energy users, the chemical manufacturing industry accounts for about 10% of global energy consumption and 7% of industrial greenhouse gas emissions. In th... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 2


High-temp electronics Researchers at Purdue University, UC Santa Cruz, and Stanford developed a semiconducting plastic capable of operating at extreme temperatures. The new material, which combines both a semiconducting organic polymer and a conventional insulating organic polymer could reliably conduct electricity in up to 220 degrees Celsius (428 F). "One of the plastics transports the ch... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 6


Camera for object recognition Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed a new camera that could improve object detection in vehicles. Inspired by the visual system of mantis shrimp, the camera detects the polarization of light and has a dynamic range about 10,000 times higher than today's commercial cameras. "In a recent crash involving a self-driving car, th... » read more

Cobalt Shortages Ahead


Rapid growth of electric vehicles is creating an enormous demand for cobalt, causing tight supply, high prices and supply chain issues for this critical material. Cobalt is a ferromagnetic metal and one of the key materials used in lithium-ion batteries for cell phones, notebook PCs, battery-electric cars and hybrids. It also is used in alloys and semiconductors. And while the IC industry co... » 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. 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

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