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The Battery Chronicles

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    Nothing grounds you faster than bad battery design

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    This video made the FAA nervous enough to issue a warning

    As frequently noted here, bad battery design can bring down the Internet of Things or any critical, sensor-based system that relies on internal power to supply DC voltage to circuits. A bum battery can even ground your flight.

    After photos were published this week of a burned and melted Samsung Galaxy Note 7 handset, the FAA advised passengers ‘don’t turn it on, don’t charge it, don’t pack it in your luggage.’

    The Battery Chronicles and other recent articles about battery systems underscore the critical nature and urgency of better battery design – especially, noted by Quartz, for a growing class consumers who want to stay connected to their always-on mobile devices, even at 30,000 feet.

    Innovation

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      Hey Apple – What took you so long?

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      Waiting is part of the Apple experience. This week, patient consumers got an iPhone7 with a new wireless audio controller chip that eliminated the earphone jack, among other things.

      Wireless earphones are nothing new, but what is a big deal for users – and for iPhone’s very patient semiconductor engineering team – is the W1 chip, Apple’s first ever designed in-house wireless semiconductor device.

      Beyond Silicon

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        Materials breakthrough will supercharge wide-bandgap semiconductors

        Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 12.28.23 PMIn a significant breakthrough, materials scientists at Pennsylvania State University have synthesized two-dimensional gallium nitride for the first time ever using a graphene encapsulation said to give the structure “superb electronic properties and strength to the resulting flat gallium nitride.” 

        The new materials will ultimately be used to create wide bandgap transistors and similar semiconductor devices designed to improve electrical energy efficiency.

        The Energy Imperative

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          Healthy You: Solar power to your rescue to kill bacteria?

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          Isn’t it the time to make better use of natural resources become more healthy. Here is an exciting development about a new system of solar power kills bacteria super fast. Researchers in Stanford university discovered nanomaterial that can kill 99.999% of bacteria in water within only 20 minutes. Now we all can hope that the next generation of humans will be healthier, Thanks to this invention by stanford researchers.

          Efficiency: The First Fuel

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            How engineers can stop climate change in its tracks

            The goal of the Paris agreement can be met by more efficient use of energy

             

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            In December 2015, after two decades of negotiations, 195 countries adopted a historic, legally binding agreement on climate change. The primary goal of the so-called Paris agreement is to hold the increase in global average temperature “to well below 2°C,” and “to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.”

            The agreement still needs to be approved by the individual governments of the countries involved.

            The Battery Chronicles

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              Ninety-two year old inventor of lithium-ion battery poised to create another breakthrough

              Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 10.37.02 PMJohn Goodenough, who invented the lithium ion battery 35 years ago, is in hot pursuit of his ultimate dream – a super battery that would finally displace the internal combustion engine.

              In 1980, Goodenough then 57, aided by a team of post-docs at Oxford University invented the lithium-cobalt-oxide cathode, the pivotal component of every lithium-ion battery.  In 1991, Sony combined Goodenough’s cathode and a carbon anode into the world’s first commercial rechargeable lithium-ion battery, a product that revolutionized portable electronics.

              Beyond Silicon

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                We need a “Giga-fab” for Gallium Nitride. Somewhere.

                Taking a page from the

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                A new technology promises a revolution in the efficient use of electrical power. If widely deployed, this technology could have a significant impact on climate change by reducing our dependence on fossil fuel in favor of renewable energy. It could enable discontinuous advances in communications, electric vehicles and medical diagnostic equipment.

                But it is still in its infancy, costly, and needs much development.

                Innovation

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                  New wellspring for science: tools of the maker movement

                  screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-3-34-55-pmIf you think the maker movement is just for hobbyists, tinkerers, and do-it-yourself geeks, think again.

                  Maker tools of the trade such as open source software, cheap sensors, inexpensive electronic hardware, and 3-D printers are rapidly making inroads into university, government, academic, and private research programs.

                  Embracing the maker ethos are budget-constrained scientists in fields like energy, transportation, neuroscience and consumer electronics, representing institutions like Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University, and the U.S.