Nanostructured Silicon Key to Better Batteries

Silicon with pores, spikes, and other nanostructures could be making gadgets run longer as soon as 2012

3 min read
Nanostructured Silicon Key to Better Batteries

silicon battery

Image: Yi Cui
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15 August 2011—By swapping graphite for silicon as an electrode material, two start-ups have made lithium-ion batteries that can hold twice as much energy as they do today, which would allow cellphones and electric vehicles to run twice as long between charges. Both companies—Nexeon, in Abingdon, England, and Amprius, in Menlo Park, Calif.—say their silicon electrode technology will be on the market in the next two years.

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How Nanotech Can Foil Counterfeiters

These tiny mechanical ID tags are unclonable, cheap, and invisible

10 min read
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Close up of a finger with a clear square on it.
University of Florida
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What's the largest criminal enterprise in the world? Narcotics? Gambling? Human trafficking?

Nope. The biggest racket is the production and trade of counterfeit goods, which is expected to exceed US $1 trillion next year. You've probably suffered from it more than once yourself, purchasing on Amazon or eBay what you thought was a brand-name item only to discover that it was an inferior-quality counterfeit.

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