Materials Science and Engineering
The development could lead to smaller, cheaper and more efficient rechargeable batteries.
Engineers across the globe have been racing to design smaller, cheaper and more efficient rechargeable batteries to meet the power storage needs of everything from handheld gadgets to electric cars.
In a paper published today in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, researchers at Stanford University report that they have taken a big step toward accomplishing what battery designers have been trying to do for decades – design a pure lithium anode.
Last modified Tue, 29 Jul, 2014 at 9:41
A team led by Yi Cui, an associate professor of Materials Science and Engineering and at SLAC, is working to make a better battery by making the cathode of sulfur instead of today's lithium-cobalt oxide.
Tucked in a small laboratory at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a team of engineers and scientists from the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES) is making and testing new types of lithium-ion batteries. Their goal: move beyond today's lithium-ion to create a battery five times better than those we use now.
Last modified Thu, 17 Jul, 2014 at 12:39
Using high-brilliance X-rays, researchers track the process that fuel cells use to produce electricity, knowledge that will help make large-scale alternative energy power systems more practical and reliable.
Solar power and other sources of renewable energy can help combat global warming, but they have a drawback: they don't produce energy as predictably as plants powered by oil, coal or natural gas. Solar panels only produce electricity when the sun is shining, and wind turbines are only productive when the wind is brisk.
Ideally, alternative energy sources would be complemented with massive systems to store and dispense power – think batteries on steroids. Reversible fuel cells have been envisioned as one such storage solution.
Last modified Thu, 17 Jul, 2014 at 14:22
Computer simulation shows how to make a crystal that would toggle like a light switch between conductive and non-conductive structures. This could lead to flexible electronic materials and, for instance, enable a cell phone to be woven into a shirt.
Do not fold, spindle or mutilate. Those instructions were once printed on punch cards that fed data to mainframe computers. Today’s smart phones process more data, but they still weren’t built for being shoved into back pockets.
In the quest to build gadgets that can survive such abuse, engineers have been testing electronic systems based on new materials that are both flexible and switchable – that is, capable of toggling between two electrical states: on-off, one-zero, the binary commands that can program all things digital.
Last modified Mon, 7 Jul, 2014 at 15:26
At a TEDx Stanford talk, Assistant Professor William Chueh discusses how to make solar energy available when and where it's needed.
William Chueh, an assistant professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department and a fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford, discusses solar fuels, which can provide long-lasting energy storage and are easy to dispatch on demand.
Last modified Thu, 26 Jun, 2014 at 17:00
Researchers have developed a new battery technology that captures waste heat and converts it into electricity.
Vast amounts of excess heat are generated by industrial processes and by electric power plants. Researchers around the world have spent decades seeking ways to harness some of this wasted energy. Most such efforts have focused on thermoelectric devices, solid-state materials that can produce electricity from a temperature gradient, but the efficiency of such devices is limited by the availability of materials.
Last modified Thu, 19 Jun, 2014 at 14:14
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.
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
Researchers invent a process to 'dope' carbon filaments with an additive to improve their electronic performance, paving the way for digital devices that bend.
Engineers would love to create flexible electronic devices, such as e-readers that could be folded to fit into a pocket. One approach involves designing circuits based on electronic fibers known as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) instead of rigid silicon chips.
But reliability is essential. Most silicon chips are based on a type of circuit design that allows them to function flawlessly even when the device experiences power fluctuations. However, it is much more challenging to do so with CNT circuits.
Last modified Tue, 18 Mar, 2014 at 15:28
Clustering silicon nanoparticles overcomes several remaining obstacles to using silicon for a new generation of lithium-ion batteries, researchers say.
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 National Accelerator Laboratory.
Last modified Tue, 18 Feb, 2014 at 11:36
Sigrid Close, an assistant professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Jennifer Dionne, an assistant professor of Materials Science and Engineering, will receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
Sigrid Close, an assistant professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, is among 19 National Science Foundation-funded researchers to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the U.S. government’s highest honor for scientists and engineers early in their independent research careers.
Last modified Fri, 10 Jan, 2014 at 12:17