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: 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. 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. 1


Concentrating photovoltaics Engineers at Penn State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tested a new concentrating photovoltaic solar system, which they say can produce over 50% more energy per day than standard silicon solar cells. In contrast to silicon solar panels, which currently dominate the market at 15 to 20 percent efficiency, concentrating photovoltaics (... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 13


Theoretical all-carbon circuits Engineers at the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Central Florida, and Northwestern University designed a novel computing system made solely from carbon. "The concept brings together an assortment of existing nanoscale technologies and combines them in a new way," said Dr. Joseph S. Friedman, ass... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 11


High-efficiency silicon photodetector Electrical engineers at the University of California, Davis, and W&WSens Devices, Inc. built a new type of high-efficiency photodetector that could be monolithically integrated with silicon electronics. The new detector uses tapered holes in a silicon wafer to divert photons sideways, preserving the speed of thin-layer silicon and the efficiency o... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 28


Storing solar energy as carbon monoxide A team at Indiana University engineered a molecule that collects and stores solar energy without solar panels. The molecule uses light or electricity to convert the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide more efficiently than any other method of carbon reduction. Burning fuel such as carbon monoxide produces carbon dioxide and releases e... » read more

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

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