A new process for growing forests of manganese dioxide nanorods may lead to the next generation of high-performance capacitors. As an energy-storage material for batteries and capacitors, manganese dioxide has a lot going for it: it’s cheap, environmentally friendly and abundant. However, chemical capacitors made with manganese dioxide have lacked the power of the typical carbon-based physical capacitor.
Quantum computers promise to perform certain types of operations much more quickly than conventional digital computers. But many challenges must be addressed before these ultra-fast machines become available, among them, the loss of order in the systems – a problem known as quantum decoherence – which worsens as the number of bits in a quantum computer increases.
The application of light for information processing opens up a multitude of possibilities. However, to be able to adequately use photons in circuits and sensors, materials need to have particular optical and mechanical properties. Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now for the first time used polycrystalline diamond to manufacture optical circuits and have published their results online in Nature Communications.
Nearly everyone knows what the inside of a computer or a mobile phone looks like: A stiff circuit board, usually green, crammed with chips, resistors, capacitors and sockets, interconnected by a suburban sprawl of printed wiring.
Nanoelectronics has taken another step forward. An international team including researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics in Halle has discovered an effect which can be used to produce silicon nanowires with particularly attractive electrical and morphological properties. These nanowires are grown in an elegant way with aluminium as the catalyst.
ETH-Zurich researchers use x-ray tomography to screen lithium ion battery electrodes and can reconstruct the microstructure in high resolution. This helps to understand the discharging and charging process better and develop optimised electrodes.