An engineer at Kansas State University has created a paper-like battery that could develop better tools for space exploration or unmanned aerial vehicles. The battery electrode was made using silicon oxycarbide-glass and graphene, and it’s over 10 percent lighter than other battery electrodes and features close to 100 percent cycling efficiency for more than 1,000 charge discharge cycles. It’s also made from inexpensive materials that are byproducts of the silicone industry, and it functions at temperatures as low as minus 15 C which can accommodate several aerial and space applications.
Superconducting materials have the characteristic of letting an electric current flow without resistance. The study of superconductors with a high critical temperature discovered in the 1980s remains a very attractive research subject for physicists. Indeed, many experimental observations still lack an adequate theoretical description. Researchers from the University of Geneva in Switzerland and the Technical University Munich in Germany have managed to lift the veil on the electronic characteristics of high-temperature superconductors. Their research shows that the electronic densities measured in these superconductors are a combination of two separate effects. As a result, they propose a new model that suggests the existence of two coexisting states rather than competing ones as was postulated for the past 30 years.
Finally, scientists at NIST have chemically modified and pulverized a promising group of compounds in order to develop safer, solid-state rechargeable batteries. These compounds are stable solid materials that would not pose the risks of leaking or catching fire typical of traditional liquid battery ingredients and are made from commonly available substances. The researchers have sought to enhance the compounds’ performance further in two key ways: Increasing their current-carrying capacity and ensuring that they can operate in a sufficiently wide temperature range to be useful in real-world environments.