by Amy Norcross @ edn.com:
A new way of switching the magnetic properties of a material using just a small applied voltage could signal the beginning of a new family of materials with a variety of switchable properties, according to a team of MIT-based researchers. The technique could let a small electrical signal change materials’ electrical, thermal, and optical characteristics.
Researchers use voltage to control magnetic memory – [Link]
by Martha Heil @ umdrightnow.umd.edu:
Researchers at the University of Maryland have invented a single tiny structure that includes all the components of a battery that they say could bring about the ultimate miniaturization of energy storage components.
The structure is called a nanopore: a tiny hole in a ceramic sheet that holds electrolyte to carry the electrical charge between nanotube electrodes at either end. The existing device is a test, but the bitsy battery performs well. First author Chanyuan Liu, a Ph.D. student in materials science & engineering, says that it can be fully charged in 12 minutes, and it can be recharged thousands of time.
Billion Holes Can Make a Battery – [Link]
By Eric Mack @ gizmag.com:
There’s another promising contender in the race to supplant the dominance of lithium-ion and metal-hydride based batteries in the world of energy storage. New research from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s (KIT’s) Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) details the development of an electrolyte that can be used in new magnesium-sulfur battery cells that would be more efficient and inexpensive than the dominant types of batteries in use today.
New electrolyte to enable cheaper, less toxic magnesium-sulfur-based batteries – [Link]
New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat via phys.org
A multidisciplinary engineering team at the University of California, San Diego developed a new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants designed to absorb and convert to heat more than 90 percent of the sunlight it captures. The new material can also withstand temperatures greater than 700 degrees Celsius and survive many years outdoors in spite of exposure to air and humidity. Their work, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot program, was published recently in two separate articles in the journal Nano Energy.
New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat – [Link]
Researchers at Columbia Engineering and the Georgia Institute of Technology have reportedly made the first experimental observation of piezoelectricity and the piezotronic effect in an atomically thin material, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). The piezo effect is traditionally thought of as one property of hard crystalline quartz. Using this new material it would now be possible to manufacture electric generator and mechanosensation devices that are optically transparent, extremely light, flexible and elastic.
Atomically thin Piezo Material – [Link]
Colin Johnson @ nextgenlog.blogspot.com:
Hybrid solar cells that harvest all of the suns energy, instead of just a few narrow bands, could transform the energy economies worldwide: R. Colin Johnson @EETimes
Hybrid Solar Cells Promise 95% Efficiency – [Link]
by DENNIS OVERBYE @ nytimes.com:
Three physicists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for revolutionizing the way the world is lighted.
The 2014 physics award went to Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and Shuji Nakamura of the University of California, Santa Barbara, for “the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes, which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.”
The three scientists, working together and separately, found a way to produce blue light beams from semiconductors in the early 1990s. Others had produced red and green diodes, but without blue diodes, white light could not be produced, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said on Tuesday morning in its prize citation.
American and 2 Japanese Physicists Share Nobel for Work on LED Lights – [Link]
by Applied Science @ yoututbe.com:
I describe how some materials can change temperature when a magnetic field is applied to them.
Magnetic refrigeration: How does that work?! – [Link]
Faster, smaller, greener computers, capable of processing information up to 1,000 times faster than currently available models, could be made possible by replacing silicon with materials that can switch back and forth between different electrical states.
The present size and speed limitations of computer processors and memory could be overcome by replacing silicon with ‘phase-change materials’ (PCMs), which are capable of reversibly switching between two structural phases with different electrical states – one crystalline and conducting and the other glassy and insulating – in billionths of a second.
Quick-change materials break the silicon speed limit for computers – [Link]