Fuel cells must be made more efficient if they are to provide a viable alternative to traditional energy sources, and the choice of materials is crucial to how efficient they are. New findings from scientists at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Uppsala University, and Linköping University are opening new ways of finding optimal materials for better fuel cells much more quickly.
In the future solid oxide fuel cells may supply residential areas like Stockholm with electricity. In a solid oxide fuel cell, chemically stored energy is converted to electricity with a high degree of efficiency. The figure illustrates this with the chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen, which yields water (plus electricity). The article by Andersson et al. explains how the electrolyte should be constructed for optimal performance.
Using methods of calculation from quantum mechanics, the researchers managed to find a better way of understanding the connection between the atomic structure of an element and its capacity to conduct oxygen ions, which is key to the efficiency of fuel cells that use solid oxides as electrolyte materials (so-called solid oxide fuel cells).
The faster the transport of oxygen ions through the material occurs, the better the fuel cell will function. The findings are now being presented in the prestigious American scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS.
Magnus Myrén | alfa
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
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Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
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An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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