[Image above] Credit: NIST
In the world of catalytic science and technology, the hunt is always on for catalysts that are inexpensive, highly active, and environmentally friendly. Recent efforts have focused on combining two metals, often in a structure where a core of one metal is surrounded by an atom-thick layer of a second one. Researchers at the University of Delaware now show that a patched architecture may yield more effective catalysts than a traditional core-shell structure.
A*STAR researchers have demonstrated that electrodes made from tellurium can improve the energy storage and power output of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The researchers heated tellurium to 500 degrees Celsius until it melted into a porous carbon electrode, and then tested its performance as a cathode in four different liquid electrolytes. They found that when lithium reacts with tellurium as the battery discharges, it forms a compound that is soluble in dimethyl sulfoxide.
Burning a candle could be all it takes to make an inexpensive but powerful electric car battery, according to new research. The research reveals that candle soot could be used to power the kind of lithium ion battery used in plug-in hybrid electric cars. The authors of the study, from the Indian Institute of Technology in Hyderabad, India, say their discovery opens up the possibilities to use carbon in more powerful batteries, driving down the costs of portable power.
McMaster Engineering researchers are turning trees into energy storage devices capable of powering everything from a smart watch to a hybrid car. The scientists are using cellulose, an organic compound found in plants, bacteria, algae and trees, to build more efficient and longer-lasting energy storage devices or supercapacitors. This development paves the way toward the production of lightweight, flexible, and high-power electronics, such as wearable devices, portable power supplies and hybrid and electric vehicles.
The U.S. DOE has announced $12 million in funding over the next four years for a new Center for Computational Design of Functional Strongly Correlated Materials and Theoretical Spectroscopy at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Rutgers University. Center scientists will develop next-generation methods and software to accurately describe electronic properties in complex strongly correlated materials, as well as a companion database to predict targeted properties with energy-related application to thermoelectric materials.
Perovskite solar cells are cheaper to make than traditional silicon cells and their electricity conversion efficiency is improving rapidly. To be commercially viable, perovskite cells need to scale up from lab size. Researchers from Brown and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory report a method for making perovskite cells larger while maintaining efficiency.
As the push for tinier and faster electronics continues, a new finding by University of British Columbia scientists could help inform the design of the next generation of cheaper, more efficient devices. The work details how electronic properties at the edges of organic molecular systems differ from the rest of the material. Not only did the molecules at the edge of nano-islands have very different properties than in the middle, the variation in properties depended on the position and orientation of other molecules nearby.