Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Capacitor


Electronic phase separation is one of the key features in correlated electron oxides. The coexistence and competition of multiple phases give rise to gigantic responses to tiny stimuli producing dramatic changes in magnetic, transport and other properties of these compounds. To probe the physical properties of each phase separately is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of phase separation phenomena and for designing their device functions. Here we unravel, using a unique p-n junction configuration, dynamic properties of multiple phases in manganite thin films. The multiple dielectric relaxations have been detected and their corresponding multiple phases have been identified, while the activation energies of dielectric responses from different phases were extracted separately. Their phase evolutions with changing both temperature and applied magnetic field have been demonstrated by dielectric response. These results provide a guideline for exploring the electronic phase separation phenomena in correlated electron oxides.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Fundamental physics concepts, Maxwell's equations, Physical quantities, Capacitor, Dielectric, Dielectric spectroscopy, Permittivity


Consumer-wearable activity trackers are electronic devices used for monitoring fitness- and other health-related metrics. The purpose of this systematic review was to summarize the evidence for validity and reliability of popular consumer-wearable activity trackers (Fitbit and Jawbone) and their ability to estimate steps, distance, physical activity, energy expenditure, and sleep.

Concepts: Exercise, Reliability, Capacitor, Electronics, Electronic engineering


Wearable electronics fabricated on lightweight and flexible substrate are believed to have great potential for portable devices, but their applications are limited by the life span of their batteries. We propose a hybridized self-charging power textile system with the aim of simultaneously collecting outdoor sunshine and random body motion energies and then storing them in an energy storage unit. Both of the harvested energies can be easily converted into electricity by using fiber-shaped dye-sensitized solar cells (for solar energy) and fiber-shaped triboelectric nanogenerators (for random body motion energy) and then further stored as chemical energy in fiber-shaped supercapacitors. Because of the all-fiber-shaped structure of the entire system, our proposed hybridized self-charging textile system can be easily woven into electronic textiles to fabricate smart clothes to sustainably operate mobile or wearable electronics.

Concepts: Energy, Light, Sun, Kinetic energy, Solar cell, Energy conversion, Capacitor, Textile


Two-dimensional atomic crystals, such as two-dimensional oxides, have attracted much attention in energy storage because nearly all of the atoms can be exposed to the electrolyte and involved in redox reactions. However, current strategies are largely limited to intrinsically layered compounds. Here we report a general strategy that uses the surfaces of water-soluble salt crystals as growth templates and is applicable to not only layered compounds but also various transition metal oxides, such as hexagonal-MoO3, MoO2, MnO and hexagonal-WO3. The planar growth is hypothesized to occur via a match between the crystal lattices of the salt and the growing oxide. Restacked two-dimensional hexagonal-MoO3 exhibits high pseudocapacitive performances (for example, 300 F cm(-3) in an Al2(SO4)3 electrolyte). The synthesis of various two-dimensional transition metal oxides and the demonstration of high capacitance are expected to enable fundamental studies of dimensionality effects on their properties and facilitate their use in energy storage and other applications.

Concepts: Iron, Water, Chemistry, Atom, Carbon, Zinc, Chemical compound, Capacitor


Today’s consumer electronics, such as cell phones, tablets and other portable electronic devices, are typically made of non-renewable, non-biodegradable, and sometimes potentially toxic (for example, gallium arsenide) materials. These consumer electronics are frequently upgraded or discarded, leading to serious environmental contamination. Thus, electronic systems consisting of renewable and biodegradable materials and minimal amount of potentially toxic materials are desirable. Here we report high-performance flexible microwave and digital electronics that consume the smallest amount of potentially toxic materials on biobased, biodegradable and flexible cellulose nanofibril papers. Furthermore, we demonstrate gallium arsenide microwave devices, the consumer wireless workhorse, in a transferrable thin-film form. Successful fabrication of key electrical components on the flexible cellulose nanofibril paper with comparable performance to their rigid counterparts and clear demonstration of fungal biodegradation of the cellulose-nanofibril-based electronics suggest that it is feasible to fabricate high-performance flexible electronics using ecofriendly materials.

Concepts: Vacuum tube, Electricity, Integrated circuit, Transistor, Capacitor, Electronics, Radio, Electronic engineering


Power supply represents a critical challenge in the development of body-integrated electronic technologies. Although recent research establishes an impressive variety of options in energy storage (batteries and supercapacitors) and generation (triboelectric, piezoelectric, thermoelectric, and photovoltaic devices), the modest electrical performance and/or the absence of soft, biocompatible mechanical properties limit their practical use. The results presented here form the basis of soft, skin-compatible means for efficient photovoltaic generation and high-capacity storage of electrical power using dual-junction, compound semiconductor solar cells and chip-scale, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, respectively. Miniaturized components, deformable interconnects, optimized array layouts, and dual-composition elastomer substrates, superstrates, and encapsulation layers represent key features. Systematic studies of the materials and mechanics identify optimized designs, including unusual configurations that exploit a folded, multilayer construct to improve the functional density without adversely affecting the soft, stretchable characteristics. System-level examples exploit such technologies in fully wireless sensors for precision skin thermography, with capabilities in continuous data logging and local processing, validated through demonstrations on volunteer subjects in various realistic scenarios.

Concepts: Electricity, Solar cell, Photovoltaics, Rechargeable battery, Capacitor, Lithium-ion battery, Solar energy, Nickel-cadmium battery


The rapid development of miniaturized electronic devices has increased the demand for compact on-chip energy storage. Microscale supercapacitors have great potential to complement or replace batteries and electrolytic capacitors in a variety of applications. However, conventional micro-fabrication techniques have proven to be cumbersome in building cost-effective micro-devices, thus limiting their widespread application. Here we demonstrate a scalable fabrication of graphene micro-supercapacitors over large areas by direct laser writing on graphite oxide films using a standard LightScribe DVD burner. More than 100 micro-supercapacitors can be produced on a single disc in 30 min or less. The devices are built on flexible substrates for flexible electronics and on-chip uses that can be integrated with MEMS or CMOS in a single chip. Remarkably, miniaturizing the devices to the microscale results in enhanced charge-storage capacity and rate capability. These micro-supercapacitors demonstrate a power density of ~200 W cm-3, which is among the highest values achieved for any supercapacitor.

Concepts: Integrated circuit, Transistor, Capacitor, Electronics, Flywheel energy storage, Electronic engineering, Electrolytic capacitor, Blu-ray Disc


Porous yet densely packed carbon electrodes with high ion-accessible surface area and low ion transport resistance are crucial to the realization of high-density electrochemical capacitive energy storage but have proved to be very challenging to produce. Taking advantage of chemically converted graphene’s intrinsic microcorrugated two-dimensional configuration and self-assembly behavior, we show that such materials can be readily formed by capillary compression of adaptive graphene gel films in the presence of a nonvolatile liquid electrolyte. This simple soft approach enables subnanometer scale integration of graphene sheets with electrolytes to form highly compact carbon electrodes with a continuous ion transport network. Electrochemical capacitors based on the resulting films can obtain volumetric energy densities approaching 60 watt-hours per liter.

Concepts: Volume, Water, Electrochemistry, Physical chemistry, Battery, Electrolyte, Capacitor, Energy density


We report a simple approach based on a chemical reduction method to synthesize aqueous inorganic ink comprised of hexagonal MnO2 nanosheets. The MnO2 ink exhibits long-term stability and continuous thin films can be formed on various substrates without using any binder. To obtain a flexible electrode for capacitive energy storage, the MnO2 ink was printed onto commercially available A4 paper pretreated with multiwalled carbon nanotubes. The electrode exhibited a maximum specific capacitance of 1035 F g(-1) (91.7 mF cm(-2) ). Paper-based symmetric and asymmetric capacitors were assembled, which gave a maximum specific energy density of 25.3 Wh kg(-1) and a power density of 81 kW kg(-1) . The device could maintain a 98.9 % capacitance retention over 10 000 cycles at 4 A g(-1) . The MnO2 ink could be a versatile candidate for large-scale production of flexible and printable electronic devices for energy storage and conversion.

Concepts: Energy, Fundamental physics concepts, Battery, Capacitor, Energy density, Manganese, Energy storage, Alkaline battery


This report demonstrates a simple, but efficient method to print highly ordered nanopillars without the use of sacrificial templates or any expensive equipment. The printed polymer structure is used as a scaffold to deposit electrode material (manganese dioxide) for making supercapacitors. The simplicity of the fabrication method together with superior power density and energy density make this supercapacitor electrode very attractive for the next generation energy storage systems.

Concepts: Battery, Chlorine, Capacitor, Flywheel energy storage, Manganese, Manganese dioxide, Pyrolusite, Alkaline battery