It’s been a great year if you’re the kind of techie that likes to dream up tomorrow’s gadgets.
Mind you, it’s hard not to get caught up in this year’s stunning gear like the Nest smart thermometer or LG’s prototype OLED HDTV. But 2011 also brought us advancements in materials technology that could soon make our gadgets even cooler and way more energy efficient.
Today, Kevin Bullis at MIT’s Technology Review has a great round up of the materials tech breakthroughs of 2011, many of which improve energy efficiency.
On the display front, QD Vision and Samsung are developing quantum dot screens. This could lead to “printed” displays — even on bendy surfaces — that barely sip power, produce bright visuals and reduce manufacturing waste. (Hit the TR link for a neat little update on Qualcomm’s Mirasol color e-reader tech.)
In the realm of batteries, some experts at Stanford have devised an electrode that can sustain 40,000 charges — a huge leap from the 1,000 charges your laptop battery can currently handle. From Lawrence Berkeley National Labs comes a new electrode that slots in to current manufacturing processes. If used with new, inexpensive battery chemistry that stores 10 times the power of today’s cells, it could lead to gadgets (and EVs?) that run for days between charges.
As for renewables, researchers are finding ways to capture more energy by using nanoscale materials to trap more light or convert certain wavelengths of light to the kind that solar panels can use.
See, something for everyone.
Source: Technology Review
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