Material Science

New Battery Design Could Help Solar and Wind Energy Power the Grid

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Research News

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have designed a low-cost, long-life battery that could enable solar and wind energy to become major suppliers to the electrical grid.

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Powering the Grid
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New battery design may be the best yet to regulate the natural fluctuations of renewable energy sources.

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have designed a low-cost, long-life battery that could enable solar and wind energy to become major suppliers to the electrical grid.

Last modified Fri, 3 May, 2013 at 14:12

Materials Scientists Make Solar Energy Chip 100 Times More Efficient

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Research Profile

Scientists working at the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES) have improved an innovative solar-energy device to be about 100 times more efficient than its previous design in converting the sun's light and heat into electricity.

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Harnessing the Sun
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Materials scientists make solar energy chip 100 times more efficient.

In a report last week in Nature Communications, the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES) described how they improved a solar-energy device's efficiency from a few hundredths of a percent to nearly 2 percent, and said they expect to achieve at least another 10-fold gain in the future.

Last modified Thu, 28 Mar, 2013 at 12:10

New optical tweezers trap specimens just a few nanometers across

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Press Release

A microscale technique known as optical trapping uses beams of light as tweezers to hold and manipulate tiny particles. Stanford researchers have found a new way to trap particles smaller than 10 nanometers - and potentially down to just a few atoms in size – which until now have escaped light’s grasp.

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New Optical Tweezer
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Light-based tweezers trap particles just a few atoms in size.

To grasp and move microscopic objects, such as bacteria and the components of living cells, scientists can harness the power of concentrated light to manipulate them without ever physically touching them. 

Now, doctoral student Amr Saleh and Assistant Professor Jennifer Dionne, researchers at the Stanford School of Engineering, have designed an innovative light aperture that allows them to optically trap smaller objects than ever before – potentially just a few atoms in size. 

Last modified Thu, 13 Dec, 2012 at 10:09

Engineering Hero Craig Barrett Talks Research Universities and Competitiveness

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Press Release

In an interview on the day of his induction as a Stanford Engineering Hero, Craig Barrett, a former professor in the School of Engineering who rose to be CEO/Chairman of Intel, reminisced about his career, the central role of research universities in America’s economic past and future, and how to remain competitive going forward.

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Craig Barrett, Engineering Hero
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Former professor and Intel chief reminisces and looks ahead

In 1974, Craig Barrett was a Professor of Materials Science at Stanford Engineering with tenure and all the other inducements of academia when fate intervened. Barrett accepted an offer to join a nearby semiconductor maker named Intel, then in just its fifth year of operation. 

Last modified Mon, 3 Dec, 2012 at 11:10

The Master of Materials

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Research Profile

For Associate Professor Yi Cui, better materials mean better batteries, solar panels, renewable power storage and more.

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The Master of Materials
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Yi Cui is reinventing batteries, solar panels and much more.

To meet Yi Cui is to be immediately struck by two things: the extraordinary breadth of his interests, and his drive to design new materials that could change our world.

Last modified Fri, 16 Nov, 2012 at 9:19

Ann F. Marshall, 'a world-class electron microscopist,' wins the 2012 Marsh O'Neill Award

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Award

Award honors staff members who have made outstanding contributions to Stanford's research mission.

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Electron microscopist wins Stanford research award
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Research scientist has trained generations of grad students.

An expert at both the theory and practice of electron microscopy. An outstanding woman scientist who has mentored, nurtured and trained generations of graduate students. A talented and dedicated professional who runs an outstanding research enterprise.

Those are some of the many accolades bestowed upon Ann F. Marshall, winner of the 2012 Marshall D. O'Neill Award, which honors staff members who have made outstanding contributions to Stanford's research mission.

Last modified Thu, 15 Nov, 2012 at 11:26

Scratching the Surface: Stanford Engineers Examine UV Effects on Skin Mechanics

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Research News

Researchers in Stanford’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering are using models derived in mechanical labs to look closer at how ultraviolet radiation changes the protective functions of human skin.

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Sun and Skin Mechanics
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Ultraviolet radiation changes the protective functions of human skin.

Reinhold Dauskardt, PhD, of Stanford’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering has been studying skin for years. But when he sent his students to look for data on the mechanical properties of skin, they came back empty-handed. A lot was known about skin structure and disease, but few papers actually talked about its mechanical function – its ability to stretch and resist tension without tearing. “That motivated us to get more interested in the skin itself,” said Dauskardt.

Last modified Wed, 10 Oct, 2012 at 13:36

Lights, nano, action: Advances in nanomaterials science and engineering

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Research News

Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Jennifer Dionne discusses how engineers are controlling light at the nanoscale to treat cancer, create more efficient solar cells, develop a real-life cloak of invisibility and more.

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Lights, Nano, Action!
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Nano-optics for efficient solar cells, cancer treatments and invisibility cloaks.

 

Last modified Mon, 10 Sep, 2012 at 13:18

Materials Science Assistant Professor Named a Top Young Innovator by Technology Review

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Award

William Chueh is recognized for his novel approach to solar fuel production.

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TR35 Winner
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Materials Science Assistant Professor William Chueh is honored as one of the year's top young innovators.

Technology Review has named William Chueh, an assistant professor of Materials Science and Engineering, to its annual TR35 list honoring the year’s top young innovators.

Chueh was honored for developing a technology of using heat that is otherwise wasted to boost the efficiency of solar fuel production. Most current approaches to solar energy rely on rely on the photovoltaic effect, first converting light to electricity and then to fuel.

Hero Slot: 
2

Last modified Wed, 29 Aug, 2012 at 8:25

Newly Upgraded Nanotechnology Labs Advance Science, Learning

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Research News

Stanford’s shared nanotechnology facilities offer state-of-the-art scientific instruments and trained staff that would be too costly for any single researcher to acquire.

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Better Together
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Stanford’s Shared Nano labs pave the way for advances in medicine, biotechnology, information technology and energy.

In the Stanford Nanocharacterization Lab, Mechanical Engineering Professor Xiaolin Zheng, is studying nanowires “decorated” with tiny particles in a way that could lead to better batteries, solar cells and catalysts.

Last modified Thu, 15 Nov, 2012 at 12:23