Neutrons offer guide to getting more out of solid-state lithium-ion batteries

A new study has revealed promising results that could drastically boost the performance of solid-state electrolytes, and could potentially lead to a safer, even more efficient battery. Researchers used neutron diffraction (the VULCAN instrument, SNS beam line 7) to conduct an in-depth study probing the entire structure evolution of doped garnet-type electrolytes during the synthesis process to unravel the mechanism that boosts the lithium-ionic conductivity.

X-rays reveal details of plastic solar cell production

Plastic solar cells are light, easy to install, and readily produced using a printer. Nevertheless, the processes that take place on the molecular scale during the production of organic solar cells are not yet entirely clear. Researchers have now managed to observe these processes in real time. Their findings could help to improve the efficiency of organic solar cells.

Preventing hydropower turbine failure

The Francis turbine is the most common type of water turbine used in Norwegian hydropower plants, and has been for many years. About half of the world’s Francis turbines are found in Norwegian plants.

Basic technology of high thermally-durable all-solid-state lithium ion battery developed

Hitachi, Ltd. and Tohoku University’s Advanced Institute for Materials Research have developed a basic technology to reduce the internal resistance of the all-solid-state lithium ion battery using a complex hydride as a solid electrolyte.

Promising new prototype of battery

An alternative technology to Li-ion has been designed for application in specific sectors. The researchers have developed the first battery using sodium ions in the usual “18650” format, an industry standard. The main advantage of the prototype is that it relies on sodium, an element far more abundant and less costly than lithium. The batteries have displayed performance levels comparable to their lithium counterparts, and this new technology is already attracting industrial interest. It could be used to store renewable energies in the future, say researchers.

A nanophotonic comeback for incandescent bulbs?

Traditional light bulbs, thought to be well on their way to oblivion, may receive a reprieve thanks to a technological breakthrough.

Clay makes better high-temp batteries

Scientists develop lithium-ion batteries with clay-based electrolytes for high-temperature environments.