Electricity

A major area of nanotechnology application is that or energy collection, generation and storage. This topic entails articles under these mentioned topics.

  • A drop of water as a model for the interplay of adhesion and stiction

    A drop of water as a model for the interplay of adhesion and stiction picture 1 | Electrochemistry in a drop: Superposition of seven dynamic contact angle measurements of a drop of water on a surface; diameter of vertical tube capillary 0.85 mm. UZH

    Physicists at the University of Zurich have developed a system that enables them to switch back and forth the adhesion and stiction (static friction) of a water drop on a solid surface. The change in voltage is expressed macroscopically in the contact angle between the drop and the surface. This effect can be attributed to the change in the surface properties on the nanometer scale.

  • A hydrophobic membrane with nanopores for highly efficient energy storage

    A hydrophobic membrane with nanopores for highly efficient energy storage | Lab set-up of a redox flow battery with the hydrophobic membrane (grey device at the bottom of the image) and two electrolyte reservoirs (bottles with yellow liquid). Image: Philipp Scheffler / DWI

    Storing fluctuating and delivering stable electric power supply are central issues when using energy from solar plants or wind power stations. Here, efficient and flexible energy storage systems need to accommodate for fluctuations in energy gain. Scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials (DWI), RWTH Aachen University and Hanyang University in Seoul now significantly improved a key component for the development of new energy storage systems.

  • Aufruhr auf der Nanoskala – Topologische Isolatoren leisten Widerstand

    Die kleine Kante ist nur rund fünf Atomschichten dick, doch sie reicht aus, um eine feste Theorie ins Wanken zu bringen: An Topologischen Isolatoren, den Hoffnungsträgern z.B. für Quantencomputer, forschen Projektleiter Dr. Christian Bobisch und Sebastian Bauer vom Center for Nanointegration (CENIDE) der Universität Duisburg-Essen (UDE), gefördert von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft. Sie wiesen nach, dass Kanten auf der Oberfläche die elektrische Leitfähigkeit beeinflussen, indem sie wie kleine Widerstände wirken – was aber gleichzeitig die Tür zu einem präzisen elektronischen Oberflächendesign öffnet. Ihre Erkenntnisse erschienen soeben in der Fachzeitschrift „Nature Communications“.

  • Computer in der Jacke, in der Brille und auf der Haut

    Leuchtende Fasern erzeugen wechselnde Tartan-Webmuster auf dem Kleidungsstück Bild: L. Fraguada/E. Bigger

    Computer sind ein wichtiges Werkzeug im Alltag, sei es als PC oder als Smartphone. In Zukunft werden sie zunehmend mit den Alltagsgegenständen verschmelzen und von dort aus den Nutzer unterstützen, etwa als Smartwatch, Displaybrillen, Sensorkleidung und vieles mehr. Über diesen Trend der Digitalisierung tauschen sich Wissenschaftler, Unternehmer, Modedesigner und Nutzer auf der vom KIT mitorganisierten Konferenz ISWC/UBICOMP vom 12. bis 16. September 2016 in Heidelberg aus. Vertreter der Medien sind herzlich eingeladen. Anmeldung bitte mit beigefügtem Formular oder per E-Mail.

  • Computers Made of Genetic Material? - ZDR researchers conduct electricity using DNA-based nanowires

    Scientists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf conducted electricity through DNA-based nanowires by placing gold-plated nanoparticles on them.

    Tinier than the AIDS virus – that is currently the circumference of the smallest transistors. The industry has shrunk the central elements of their computer chips to fourteen nanometers in the last sixty years. Conventional methods, however, are hitting physical boundaries. An alternative could be the self-organization of complex components from molecules and atoms. Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and Paderborn University have now made an important advance: the physicists conducted a current through gold-plated nanowires, which independently assembled themselves from single DNA strands. Their results have been published in the scientific journal Langmuir.

  • Cooling buildings with solar heat

    Since 2001 in operation: Solar-powered, open, desiccant and evaporative cooling (DEC) of seminar rooms at the Southern Upper Rhine IHK, Freiburg.  © Fraunhofer ISE

    The cooling demand in buildings is particularly high when the sun shines intensely. Consequently, with solar air conditioning the heating demand and supply are usually consistent with each other. Closed chillers and open sorption methods for direct air conditioning ensure a comfortable indoor climate. The recently published BINE Themeninfo brochure entitled "Cooling with solar heat" presents concepts and technologies for air conditioning buildings.

  • Der Quanten-Strom im Graphen

    Wenn der Strom in Portionen fließt: Berechnungen der TU Wien liefern Erkenntnisse über die Quanten-Eigenschaften des Kohlenstoff-Materials Graphen.

  • Diesel engine with innovative steel pistons

    The BINE Projektinfo brochure entitled "Steel pistons for more efficient diesel engines" © BINE Informationsdienst

    Car engines are becoming increasingly compact with a greater specific power. This reduces the weight, moving masses and fuel consumption. In the engine, however, the temperatures and pressures rise for individual components. This causes conventional pistons made of aluminium to reach their limits. The new BINE Projektinfo brochure entitled "Steel pistons for more efficient diesel engines" (14/2016) presents a cooling concept for engine pistons using a liquid metal alloy. Compared with aluminium, steel offers greater strength against thermal and mechanical loads.

  • Effizient und sicher: Forscher bereiten Markteintritt für neuartigen Heimenergiespeicher vor

    Einem Wissenschaftlerteam vom EWE-Forschungszentrum NEXT ENERGY ist es gelungen, die Vanadium-Redox-Flow-Technologie für den kosteneffizienten Einsatz in Heimenergiespeichern weiterzuentwickeln. Aktuell wird der Markteintritt vorbereitet. Präsentiert wird das innovative „ResiFlow“-Konzept vom 25. bis 29. April 2016 auf der Hannover Messe.

  • Electric field shakes a magnet in one trillionth of a sec. Novel method of spin control discovered

    An intense THz pulse (red waveform) changes the electronic orbitals of a magnetic material leading to oscillation of spins (compass needles). Dr. Rostislav Mikhaylovskiy

    An international team of scientists from Germany, the Netherlands and Russia has successfully demonstrated a novel, highly efficient and ultrafast magnetization control scheme by employing electromagnetic waves oscillating at terahertz frequencies. The new concept will be published in the upcoming issue of Nature Photonics.

  • Electric mobility: Opportunities for climate protection in Europe

    Several Smart electric drive cars charging at the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.

    Getting more electric vehicles on the roads in Europe can significantly reduce CO2 emissions and air pollutants within the European Union. If the share of electric mobility in passenger road transport increases to 80 percent by 2050, the CO2 emissions of the passenger road transport sector in Europe can be reduced by up to 84 percent compared to 2010.

  • Electricity from waste heat made possible by ceramics

    Where conventional materials reach their limits, ceramics can display their excellent properties. Functional ceramics – so-called thermoelectric materials – can convert waste heat directly into electricity, for example, in high-temperature processes. At the Hannover Messe 2016, Europe's largest ceramics research institute presents for the first time a system that demonstrates the reliable functionality of thermoelectric ceramic modules developed at Fraunhofer IKTS. (Hall 6, Booth B16)

  • Flexibles Halbleitermaterial für Elektronik, Solartechnologie und Photokatalyse

    Flexibler Halbleiter aus Zinn, Iod und Phosphor (SnIP) mit Doppelhelix-Struktur Bild: Andreas Battenberg / TUM

    Die Doppelhelix hat als stabile und flexible Struktur des Erbguts das Leben auf der Erde erst möglich gemacht. Nun hat ein Team der Technischen Universität München (TUM) eine Doppelhelix-Struktur auch in einem anorganischen Material entdeckt. Das Material aus Zinn, Iod und Phosphor ist ein Halbleiter, besitzt außergewöhnliche optische und elektronische Eigenschaften und ist mechanisch hoch flexibel.

  • Fraunhofer IISB releases foxBMS, a universal, royalty free and fully open battery management system

    Fraunhofer IISB is proud to announce the launch of its first generation, free, open, and flexible battery management system, namely foxBMS. At the conference “Batterietagung 2016” (battery-power.eu) foxBMS will be presented publicly for the first time. Visit us at Batterietagung 2016 on April 25-27 in Muenster, Germany, at the Fraunhofer Battery Alliance stand (booth 18). foxBMS will also be on show at the Fraunhofer IISB stand at the PCIM Europe 2016 from May 10-12 in Nuremberg, Germany. Currently, a total of 15 renowned industrial and research organizations from 7 countries worldwide have been selected from a long list of volunteers to participate in an intensive beta testing program.

  • Fraunhofer IWS scientists are now able to offer n-conductive polymers as processable paste

    Printed TEG (thermoelectric generator) made of p- and n-conductive polymer and silver contact © Fraunhofer IWS Dresden

    The Fraunhofer IWS has made another important step forward with respect to the research on n-conductive polymers for printed electronics. The Dresden scientists succeeded in modifying an n-conductive polymer, already synthesized in 2015, in such a way that it can now be processed as a paste and be printed in a three-dimensional manner.

  • Glass-on-glass lamination for large-area OLEDs right from the roll

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP will be presenting flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) at AIMCAL 2016 in Dresden, Germany, from May 30th to June 2nd, 2016. These OLEDs have been fabricated on ultra-thin glass and encapsulated with a ultra-thin glass foil in the same process.

  • Hannover Messe: New hybrid inks permit printed, flexible electronics without sintering

    Research scientists at INM have combined the benefits of organic and inorganic electronic materials in a new type of hybrid inks. This allows electronic circuits to be applied to paper directly from a pen, for example.

  • Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

    Light-driven atomic rotations (spirals) induce coherent motion of the electronic spins (blue arrows). Image: J.M. Harms/MPI for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter

    Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion. Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how the ultrafast light-induced modulation of the atomic positions in a material can control its magnetization. An international research team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter at CFEL in Hamburg used terahertz light pulses to excite pairs of lattice vibrations in a magnetic crystal.

  • Magnetic Bits by Electric Fields

    Controlled deleting (left) and writing (right) of individual nanoscale magnetic skyrmions by local electric fields. Between the individual images the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope was properly positioned and the local electric field was raised for a short time up to +3 V/nm (left) or -3V/nm (right). A single atomic vacancy in the ultrathin iron film (dark contrast) indicates the extremely small scale of the written and deleted skyrmions (bright contrast). P.-J. Hsu und R. Wiesendanger, University of Hamburg, Germany

    Researchers now make use of local electric fields for writing and deleting individual nanoscale magnetic skyrmions. Physicists of the University of Hamburg in Germany have demonstrated for the first time the controlled writing and deleting of individual nanoscale magnetic knots – so called skyrmions – by applying local electric fields to an ultrathin film of iron as data storage medium. These tiny knots in the magnetization of ultrathin metallic films exhibit an exceptional stability and are highly promising candidates for future ultra-high density magnetic recording. So far, they could be manipulated by local spin-currents and magnetic fields only. Now the research group at the University of Hamburg, headed by Roland Wiesendanger, report on the first electric-field controlled manipulation of nanoscale magnetic skyrmions in the journal Nature Nanotechnology (online issue of November 7, 2016).

  • Making magnets flip like cats at room temperature

    Making magnets flip like cats at room temperature | Flipping NiMnSb magnet Illustration: Inspire Group, JGU

    Heusler alloy NiMnSb could prove valuable as a new material for digital information processing and storage. The direction of its magnetic field can be switched by changing the direction of an electric current running through it.