U.S. Department of Energy

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2020
27 May 2020

Platinum Free Catalysts Could Make Cheaper Hydrogen Fuel Cells

The high cost of platinum catalysts used in hydrogen fuel cells limits the commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicles. Scientists are studying alternative catalysts to increase cost-effectiveness and maintain efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells.
25 May 2020

Marshaling AI in the Fight Against Covid-19

Artificial intelligence could play a decisive role in stopping the Covid-19 pandemic. To give the technology a push, the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab is funding 10 projects at MIT aimed at advancing AI's transformative potential for society.
12 May 2020

Promising Material Stable Enough for use in Solar Cells

Soft and flexible materials called halide perovskites could make solar cells more efficient at significantly less cost, but they're too unstable to use.
27 Apr 2020

Gas Storage Method Could Help Next-Generation Clean Energy Vehicles

Tremendous amounts of hydrogen and methane can be stored in nanoscopic pores.
17 Apr 2020

Six-Junction Solar Cell Sets Two World Records for Efficiency

Scientists have fabricated a solar cell with an efficiency of nearly 50%. The six-junction solar cell now holds the world record for the highest solar conversion efficiency at 47.1%, which was measured under concentrated illumination. A variation of the same cell also set the efficiency record under one-sun illumination at 39.2%.
25 Mar 2020

Deep Learning for Mechanical Property Evaluation

A standard method for testing some of the mechanical properties of materials is to poke them with a sharp point. This "indentation technique" can provide detailed measurements of how the material responds to the point's force, as a function of its penetration depth.
16 Mar 2020

Research Boosts Stability of Perovskites, Helps Silicon Solar Cells

A change in chemical composition enabled scientists to boost the longevity and efficiency of a perovskite solar cell. The new formula enabled the solar cell to resist a stability problem that has so far thwarted the commercialization of perovskites. The problem is known as light-induced phase-segregation, which occurs when the alloys that make up the solar cells break down under exposure to continuous light.
28 Feb 2020

Quadrupling Turbines, US Can Meet 2030 Wind Energy Goals

The United States could generate 20% of its electricity in a breezy way within 10 years according to new research.
7 Feb 2020

American Semiconductor Inc

American Semiconductor is a company based in Idaho, USA that has developed a process for thinning silicon chips and packaging them within a polymer. This enables flexible, durable silicon ICs, offering processing capability with a flexible form factor.
4 Feb 2020

Turbocharging Hydrogen Fuel Cells with Novel Ion-Conducting Copolymer

Renewed investments in hydrogen fuel cell technologies and infrastructure by companies like Amazon; nations like China; and automakers like Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai, are sparking sales and fresh interest in the vast possibilities of polymer-electrolyte fuel cells. The fresh interest could revolutionize transportation and fill streets with vehicles whose only effluent is water vapor.
31 Jan 2020

For Cheaper Solar Cells, Thinner Really is Better

Costs of solar panels have plummeted over the last several years, leading to rates of solar installations far greater than most analysts had expected. But with most of the potential areas for cost savings already pushed to the extreme, further cost reductions are becoming more challenging to find.
22 Jan 2020

Finalists Announced for 2019 R&D 100 Awards

Finalists for the venerable R&D 100 Awards have been announced by R&D World magazine and its new parent company, WTWH Media, LLC.
2019
31 Dec 2019

Thin Films with Tantalizing Properties

Scientists have created thin films made from barium zirconium sulfide and confirmed that the materials have alluring electronic and optical properties predicted by theorists.
13 Dec 2019

Big Advancements Ahead in Lead Battery Energy Storage Innovation

A three-year scientific research project currently underway at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory is showing promising results to unlock the untapped potential of lead batteries. Lead batteries currently supply over 70% of the world's rechargeable battery energy needs. Yet, possibilities exist to expand their performance to meet growing energy storage and transportation demands.
2 Dec 2019

Building a Better Battery with Machine Learning

Designing the best molecular building blocks for battery components is like trying to create a recipe for a new kind of cake, when you have billions of potential ingredients. The challenge involves determining which ingredients work best together — or, more simply, produce an edible (or, in the case of batteries, a safe) product.
27 Nov 2019

Ripple in Flexible Material Could Improve Electronic Properties

Two-dimensional materials — those either only an atom or layer thick — display a number of interesting properties and could form the foundation for a range of new devices. One of these materials, molybdenum disulfide, has shown an unusual flexibility that could make it attractive as a semiconducting component of bendable electronics.
21 Nov 2019

Collaboration Reviews Battery Recycling Process for Electric Vehicles

The US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory has collaborated with the Faraday Institution in a newly released Nature review of challenges and opportunities associated with recycling lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles.
5 Nov 2019

Longer-Lasting Catalysts to Improve Fuel Cells

Materials scientists have made a major leap in understanding the long-term effectiveness of fuel cells by integrating experiments with computer simulation studies. The result reveals a new mechanism in understanding how fuel cell catalysts can be made more durable.
4 Nov 2019

Shedding New Light on the Charging of Lithium-ion Batteries

Exposing cathodes to light decreases charge time by a factor of two in lithium-ion batteries. Researchers have reported a new mechanism to speed up the charging of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Simply exposing the cathode to a beam of concentrated light -- for example, the white light from a xenon lamp -- lowers the battery charging time by a remarkable factor of two or more. If commercialized, such technology could be a game changer for electric vehicles.
17 Oct 2019

New electrolyte stops rapid decline of next-gen lithium battery

The lithium-ion battery is ubiquitous. Because of its versatility, this battery can be tailored to powering cell phones, laptops, power tools or electric vehicles. It is now the source of a multibillion-dollar enterprise annually that continues to grow each year.