Electrical Engineering

Stanford-led team develops self-cooling solar cells that last longer and have more power

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Research News

By adding a specially patterned layer of silica glass to the surface of ordinary solar cells, a team of researchers led by Professor Shanhui Fan has found a way for the cells to shed unwanted thermal radiation.

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Self-Cooling Solar Cells
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Specially patterned layer of silica glass lets cells shed unwanted thermal radiation.

Scientists may have overcome one of the major hurdles in developing high-efficiency, long-lasting solar cells – keeping them cool, even in the blistering heat of the noonday Sun.

Last modified Tue, 22 Jul, 2014 at 10:28

Stanford Engineering Hero Morris Chang honored for revolutionizing chip making

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Shaped by his youth in war-torn China, Chang immigrated to the United States after World War II, earned a doctorate at Stanford and twice transformed the semiconductor industry.

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Morris Chang Honored
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Stanford Engineering Hero twice transformed the semiconductor industry.

It is a rare thing when an engineer alters his field so profoundly that he forever transforms how things are done. Doing so twice makes one the stuff of legend. Morris Chang is such an engineer. In the course of a remarkable life that began in war-torn China, Chang has twice transformed the semiconductor industry – and he is still going strong today at age 82.

Last modified Mon, 16 Jun, 2014 at 8:38

Stanford engineer invents safe way to transfer energy to medical chips in the body

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Research News

A wireless system developed by Assistant Professor Ada Poon uses the same power as a cell phone to safely transmit energy to chips the size of a grain of rice. The technology paves the way for new "electroceutical" devices to treat illness or alleviate pain.

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New Way to Power Medical Implants
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Stanford engineer invents safe way to transfer energy to medical chips in the body

A Stanford electrical engineer has invented a way to wirelessly transfer power deep inside the body and then use this power to run tiny electronic medical gadgets such as pacemakers, nerve stimulators or new sensors and devices yet to be developed.

Last modified Mon, 19 May, 2014 at 12:11

Stanford Engineering and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism announce Magic Grants to transform the world of media

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Research News

Grants will fund eight groups of students, faculty and post-docs to develop media technologies that could transform how stories are discovered and told.

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Magic Grants Announced
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Brown Institute awards fund students' efforts to revolutionize content.

The David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation has awarded its 2014-2015 Magic Grants to eight teams of students, faculty, alumni and post-doctoral researchers from Columbia and Stanford universities to develop new technologies that could transform the way media content is produced, delivered and consumed.

Last modified Tue, 6 May, 2014 at 9:50

Like a hall of mirrors, nanostructures trap photons inside ultrathin solar cells

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Research News

In the quest to reduce solar energy costs, Stanford engineers survey how researchers are trying to get more bang per buck inside the silicon crystals where light meets matter to make energy.

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Solar-Cell Hall of Mirrors
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Nanostructures trap photons inside ultrathin solar cells.

In the quest to make sun power more competitive, researchers are designing ultrathin solar cells that cut material costs. At the same time, they’re keeping these thin cells efficient by sculpting their surfaces with photovoltaic nanostructures that behave like a molecular hall of mirrors.

Last modified Mon, 5 May, 2014 at 16:43

Stanford engineers design video game controller that senses when players get bored

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Research News

Stanford engineers have developed what could be the next big thing in interactive gaming: handheld game controllers that measure the player's physiology and alter the game play to make it more engaging.

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Controller Senses Players' Boredom
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Stanford engineers develop controllers that measure the player's physiology and alter play to make it more engaging.

Sometimes, a dozen ravenous zombies just aren't exciting enough to hold a video gamer's interest. The next step in interactive gaming, however, could come in the form of a handheld game controller that gauges the player's brain activity and throws more zombies on the screen when it senses that the player is bored.

Last modified Thu, 24 Apr, 2014 at 13:43

Stanford engineers brave the 'vomit comet' to improve astronauts' heart health

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Research Profile

When humans go into space, the reduced gravity can weaken the heart's ability to pump hard in response to a crisis. Stanford student researchers are developing a simple device to monitor an astronaut's heart function, and have flown in near-zero gravity to show that it works.

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Astronaut Heart Health
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Device measures heart function in near-zero gravity.

The human heart was not meant to pump in space.

Early astronauts in the Apollo program performed every conceivable physical test to ensure that they were each at the pinnacle of human fitness. And yet, when they returned to Earth after just a few days in space, they felt dizzy when standing and tests showed that each beat of their heart pumped less blood than it had before the mission.

Last modified Tue, 13 May, 2014 at 10:55

Stanford engineers create a software tool to reduce the cost of cloud computing

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Research News

Just as Netflix uses an algorithm to recommend movies we ought to see, their system suggests how to use computing resources at data centers more efficiently.

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Software To Aid Cloud Computing
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New software takes Netflix-like approach to improve data center efficiency.

We hear a lot about the future of computing in the cloud but not much about the efficiency of data centers, those facilities where clusters of server computers work together to host applications ranging from social networks to big data analytics.

Last modified Fri, 28 Feb, 2014 at 11:01

Professor Stephen Boyd elected to NAE

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Research News

He becomes the 110th member of the Stanford Engineering faculty to join this prestigious academy.

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Boyd Elected to NAE
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Professor is 110th member from Stanford Engineering faculty.

Stephen P. Boyd, Samsung Professor of Engineering at the Stanford University School of Engineering, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

According to the NAE, membership honors outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice or education" and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology," among other acts of professional distinction.

Last modified Tue, 18 Feb, 2014 at 10:31

Stanford researchers discover how parts of the brain work together, or alone

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Research News

Our brains have billions of neurons grouped into different regions. These regions often work alone but sometimes must join forces. How do regions communicate selectively?

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How brain regions communicate
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Researchers find communication system between brain regions.

Stanford researchers may have solved a riddle about the inner workings of the brain, which consists of billions of neurons, organized into many different regions, with each region primarily responsible for different tasks.

Last modified Mon, 12 May, 2014 at 14:03