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American Institute of Physics articles

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Autumn is coming: high-tech electronics made from fallen leaves

Autumn is coming: high-tech electronics made from fallen leaves
Northern China's roadsides are peppered with deciduous phoenix trees, producing an abundance of fallen leaves in autumn. These leaves are generally burned in the colder season, exacerbating the country's air pollution problem. Investigators in Shandong, China, recently discovered a new method to convert this organic waste matter into a porous carbon material that can be used to produce high-tech electronics. The advance is reported in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, by AIP Publishing.
30th August 2017

Drone measurements spot optimal wind farms

Drone measurements spot optimal wind farms
Wind energy is a key part of the global energy future, expanding rapidly throughout the world in onshore and offshore settings. But to be sustainable, large scale, multi-megawatt (multi-MW) wind farming's economic efficiencies need to be maximised and knowing where to place the turbines within the wind farm is a first step. Without proper and strategic placement of wind turbines, the low-speed wind behind turbines, called a wake, decreases the efficiency of the wind farm.
22nd November 2016

Understanding the properties of the latest solar cells

As climate change garners more attention around the world, scientists at the University of Virginia and Cornell University have made critical advances in understanding the physical properties of an emerging class of solar cells that have the potential to dramatically lower the cost of solar energy. Solar cells remain a focal point of scientific investigation because the sun offers the most abundant source of energy on earth.
26th July 2016

Ultra-thin solar cells can bend around a pencil

Ultra-thin solar cells can bend around a pencil
Scientists in South Korea have made ultra-thin photovoltaics flexible enough to wrap around the average pencil. The bendy solar cells could power wearable electronics like fitness trackers and smart glasses. The researchers report the results in the journal Applied Physics Letters. Thin materials flex more easily than thick ones - think a piece of paper versus a cardboard shipping box.
20th June 2016

Turning li-ion batteries into energy storage units

Turning li-ion batteries into energy storage units
Despite their hefty price tag, smartphones have an average consumer lifetime of about three years. The lithium ion batteries that power them, however, can last for about five years. To cut down on the environmental waste and provide storage for rural communities, researchers at Kyung Hee University in Seoul have proposed a model for recycling unspent lithium ion batteries into energy storage units for solar-powered LED lamps.
19th April 2016

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