Power/Performance Bits: June 10


Quantum dots plus perovskites Researchers at the University of Toronto and KAUST created a hybrid material for solar cells that utilizes both perovskites and quantum dots. Both quantum dots and perovskites suffer from instability: perovskites degrade quickly and certain types become incapable of fully absorbing solar radiation at room temperature, while quantum dots must be covered with a p... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 6


Compressing objects Computer scientists at MIT propose a way to improve data compression in memory by focusing on objects rather than cache lines. "The motivation was trying to come up with a new memory hierarchy that could do object-based compression, instead of cache-line compression, because that's how most modern programming languages manage data," said Po-An Tsai, a graduate student at... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 19


Flexible energy harvesting rectenna Researchers from MIT, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, University Carlos III of Madrid, Boston University, University of Southern California, and the Army Research Laboratory created a flexible rectenna capable of converting energy from Wi-Fi signals into electricity to power small devices and sensors. The device uses a flexible RF antenna to capture e... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 30


Long-term solar energy storage Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and Universidad de La Rioja created a system capable of storing solar energy for extended periods of time. The system, called Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage (MOST), hinges on a molecular photoswitch made from carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. When the molecule is hit by sunlight, it turns into an energy-rich... » 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: 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: June 19


Tandem solar reaches 25.2% efficiency In the push for ever-more efficient solar panels, researchers are turning to tandem, or double-junction, photovoltaics. Tandem solar panels use two different types of solar cell capable of absorbing different wavelengths of light stacked on top of each other to maximize the conversion of light rays into electrical power. Recently, two groups have reache... » 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: Feb. 20


Wireless TENG Researchers at Clemson University developed a wireless triboelectric nanogenerator, or W-TENG, that can also act as a battery-free remote. The key to triboelectric nanogenerators is using materials that are opposite in their affinity for electrons so they generate a voltage when brought in contact with each other. For the W-TENG, one electrode was constructed of a multipart... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 30


Wavy display architecture Researchers at KAUST developed a new transistor architecture for flexible ultrahigh resolution devices aimed at boosting the performance of the display circuitry. Flat-panel displays use thin-film transistors, acting as switches, to control the electric current that activates individual pixels consisting of LEDs or liquid crystals. A higher field-effect mobility of... » read more

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