SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

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2019
29 Aug

New coating brings lithium metal battery closer to reality

Hope has been restored for the rechargeable lithium metal battery - a potential battery powerhouse relegated for decades to the laboratory by its short life expectancy and occasional fiery demise while its rechargeable sibling, the lithium-ion battery, now rakes in more than $30 billion a year.
2018
8 Nov

Dancing atoms in perovskite materials

A new study is a step forward in understanding why perovskite materials work so well in energy devices and potentially leads the way toward a theorized "hot" technology that would significantly improve the efficiency of today's solar cells.
16 Aug

Particle physicists team up with AI to solve toughest science problems

Researchers from SLAC and around the world increasingly use machine learning to handle Big Data produced in modern experiments and to study some of the most fundamental properties of the universe.
20 Apr

Artificial intelligence accelerates discovery of metallic glass

If you combine two or three metals together, you will get an alloy that usually looks and acts like a metal, with its atoms arranged in rigid geometric patterns. But once in a while, under just the right conditions, you get something entirely new: a futuristic alloy called metallic glass.
29 Jan

Ideal material for smart photovoltaic windows

Imagine that when a window is darkened, it simultaneously produces electricity. Such a material - a photovoltaic glass that is also reversibly thermochromic - is a green technology researchers have long worked toward, and now, scientists have demonstrated a way to make it work.
2017
1 Nov

Finger-like growths that trigger battery fires

Scientists have captured the first atomic-level images of finger-like growths called dendrites that can pierce the barrier between battery compartments and trigger short circuits or fires.
13 Oct

Sodium may offer more cost-effective storage than lithium

As a warming world moves from fossil fuels toward renewable solar and wind energy, industrial forecasts predict an insatiable need for battery farms to store power and provide electricity when the sky is dark and the air is still.
14 Mar

So long stiffness: a stretchable plastic electrode

The brain is soft and electronics are stiff, which can make combining the two challenging, such as when neuroscientists implant electrodes to measure brain activity and perhaps deliver tiny jolts of electricity for pain relief or other purposes.
2 Jan

World's smallest diamonds to make wires three atoms wide

Scientists have discovered a way to use diamondoids - the smallest possible bits of diamond - to assemble atoms into the thinnest possible electrical wires, just three atoms wide.
2016
5 Dec

A tiny squeeze gives a big boost in performance

A nanosize squeeze can significantly boost the performance of platinum catalysts that help generate energy in fuel cells, according to a new study.
3 Aug

Scientists create plasma-printed sensors to monitor astronaut health

The plasma jet can spray tiny semiconductor particles onto cheap, flexible surfaces, such as paper or cloth, and form wearable electronic circuits. Astronauts can use these sensors to track their health and also the environment.
6 May

New catalyst offers efficient storage of alternative energies

Researchers have designed the most efficient catalyst for storing energy in chemical form, by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, just like plants do during photosynthesis.
31 Mar

New method can deposit nanomaterials onto flexible surfaces

Researchers have developed a new method that uses plasma to print nanomaterials onto a 3-D object or flexible surface, such as paper or cloth.
2 Feb

Putting silicon sawdust in a graphene cage boosts battery performance

Scientists have been trying for years to make a practical lithium-ion battery anode out of silicon, which could store 10 times more energy per charge than today's commercial anodes and make high-performance batteries a lot smaller and lighter.
18 Jan

Battery shuts down at high temperatures and restarts when it cools

Researchers have developed the first lithium-ion battery that shuts down before overheating, then restarts immediately when the temperature cools.
2015
30 Dec

New hybrid electrolyte for solid-state lithium batteries

Scientists have developed a novel electrolyte for use in solid-state lithium batteries that overcomes many of the problems that plague other solid electrolytes while also showing signs of being compatible with next-generation cathodes.
1 Jul

Single-catalyst water splitter produces clean-burning hydrogen 24/7

Scientists have invented a low-cost water splitter that uses a single catalyst to produce both hydrogen and oxygen gas 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
3 Jun

New 'designer carbon' boosts battery performance

Scientists have created a new carbon material that significantly boosts the performance of energy-storage technologies.
24 Feb

Semiconductor works better when hitched to graphene

Graphene shows great promise for future electronics, advanced solar cells, protective coatings and other uses, and combining it with other materials could extend its range even further.
2 Jan

Solution to lithium air batteries' premature death problem

Researchers have reduced the problem of sudden death in lithium air batteries through the addition of water, increasing their energy storage capacity by five times.