Supercharging silicon batteries

Scientists have designed a novel silicon-based anode to provide lithium batteries with increased power and better stability.

Insect eyes inspire new solar cell design

Packing tiny solar cells together, like micro-lenses in the compound eye of an insect, could help scientists overcome a major roadblock to the development of perovskite photovoltaics.

Caching system could make data centers more energy efficient

Researchers have developed a new system for data center caching that uses flash memory, the kind of memory used in most smartphones.

Turning heat energy into a viable fuel source

A new device could one day turn the heat generated by a wide array of electronics into a usable fuel source. The device is a multicomponent, multilayered composite material called a van der Waals Schottky diode. It converts heat into electricity up to three times more efficiently than silicon — a semiconductor material widely used in the electronics industry.

Silicon solves problems for next-generation battery technology

Silicon — the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust — shows great promise in Li-ion batteries, according to new research. By replacing graphite anodes with silicon, it is possible to quadruple anode capacity.

Electricity production: When enzymes rival platinum

Making a biocell that is as effective as a platinum fuel cell: that’s the feat that researchers have achieved. Three years after making their first prototype biocell, the researchers have just reached a new milestone and increased its performance and stability. This biocell could, in the long run, offer an alternative to fuel cells that require rare and costly metals, such as platinum.

Scientists power past solar efficiency records

The high potential of silicon-based multijunction solar cells has now been demonstrated through new research.

High tunability of 2-D material

A science team has precisely measured some previously obscured properties of a 2-D semiconducting material known as moly sulfide, which opens up a new avenue to applications.

No batteries required: Energy-harvesting yarns generate electricity

Scientists have developed high-tech yarns that generate electricity when they are stretched or twisted. ‘Twistron’ yarns have many possible applications, such as harvesting energy from the motion of ocean waves or from temperature fluctuations.

Breakthrough in magnesium batteries

Magnesium batteries are safe — unlike traditional lithium ion batteries, they are not flammable or subject to exploding — but until now their ability to store energy has been limited. Researchers have reported a new design for the battery cathode, drastically increasing the storage capacity and upending conventional wisdom that the magnesium-chloride bond must be broken before inserting magnesium into the host.