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Silicon sponge improves lithium-ion battery performance

Increasing battery's storage capacity could allow laptops, electric vehicles to run longer

10-07-2014

The lithium-ion batteries that power our laptops and electric vehicles could store more energy and run longer on a single charge with the help of a sponge-like silicon material. Researchers developed the porous material to replace the graphite traditionally used in one of the battery's ...

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Sunlight generates hydrogen in new porous silicon

14-04-2014

Porous silicon manufactured in a bottom up procedure using solar energy can be used to generate hydrogen from water, according to a team of Penn State mechanical engineers, who also see applications for batteries, biosensors and optical electronics as outlets for this new material. The surface ...

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Strain can alter materials' properties

New field of 'strain engineering' could open up areas of materials research with many potential applications

04-04-2014

In the ongoing search for new materials for fuel cells, batteries, photovoltaics, separation membranes, and electronic devices, one newer approach involves applying and managing stresses within known materials to give them dramatically different properties. This development has been very ...

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Process to 'dope' carbon filaments

Engineers invent a process to 'dope' carbon filaments with an additive to improve their electronic performance, paving the way for digital devices that bend.

19-03-2014

Engineers would love to create flexible electronic devices, such as e-readers that could be folded to fit into a pocket. One approach they are trying involves designing circuits based on electronic fibers, known as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), instead of rigid silicon chips. But reliability is ...

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Bending the light with a tiny chip

A silicon chip developed by Caltech researchers acts as a lens-free projector--and could one day end up in your cell phone.

13-03-2014

Imagine that you are in a meeting with coworkers or at a gathering of friends. You pull out your cell phone to show a presentation or a video on YouTube. But you don't use the tiny screen; your phone projects a bright, clear image onto a wall or a big screen. Such a technology may be on its way, ...

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Thinnest-possible LEDs to be stronger, more energy efficient

12-03-2014

Most modern electronics, from flat-screen TVs and smartphones to wearable technologies and computer monitors, use tiny light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. These LEDs are based off of semiconductors that emit light with the movement of electrons. As devices get smaller and faster, there is more demand ...

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Microanalysis technique makes the most of small nanoparticle samples

26-02-2014

Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have demonstrated that they can make sensitive chemical analyses of minute samples of nanoparticles by, essentially, roasting them on top of a quartz crystal. The NIST-developed ...

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Nanoscale pillars could radically improve conversion of heat to electricity

24-02-2014

University of Colorado Boulder scientists have found a creative way to radically improve thermoelectric materials, a finding that could one day lead to the development of improved solar panels, more energy-efficient cooling equipment, and even the creation of new devices that could turn the vast ...

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New 'pomegranate-inspired' design solves problems for lithium-ion batteries

18-02-2014

An electrode designed like a pomegranate – with silicon nanoparticles clustered like seeds in a tough carbon rind – overcomes several remaining obstacles to using silicon for a new generation of lithium-ion batteries, say its inventors at Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC ...

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Energy storage in miniaturized capacitors may boost green energy technology

Researchers study the properties of a novel material that could help build high heat-tolerant supercapacitors

21-01-2014

The capacitors of electronic circuits function something like batteries – storing electrical charge that can be quickly dumped to power devices like camera flashes. So-called "supercapacitors" take the energy-storing abilities of capacitors a step further, storing a far greater charge in a much ...

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