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Patents Forecast Technological Change

Image: iStockNew method uses patent data to estimate a technology’s future rate of improvement.MIT News Office How fast is online learning evolving? Are wind turbines a promising investment? And how long before a cheap hoverboard makes it to market?...

Posted April 24, 2015    

Fostering U.S.-Russia Energy Innovation

MIT Professor Yang Shao-Horn, center, speaks to Skoltech Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage (CEES) researchers from MIT and Moscow State University during a meeting at the MIT Materials Processing Center in February. Listening are MIT...

Posted April 18, 2015    

Energy Research: Tunneling Across a Tiny Gap

This illustration depicts phonons "tunneling" from one lattice of sodium chloride to another. New research shows that phonons can reach across a gap as small as a nanometer, “tunneling” from one material to another to enhance heat transport....

Posted April 11, 2015    

Analysis Sees Many Promising Pathways for Solar Photovoltaic Power

Illustration shows the MIT team’s proposed scheme for comparing different photovoltaic materials, based on the complexity of their basic molecular structure. The complexity increases from the simplest material, pure silicon (single atom, lower left...

Posted April 1, 2015    

New Kind of "Tandem" Solar Cell Developed

Test sample of a monolithic perovskite-silicon multijunction solar cell produced by the MIT-Stanford University team. Image: Felice FrankelResearchers combine two types of photovoltaic material to make a cell that harnesses more sunlight.David L....

Posted March 28, 2015    

New Detector Sniffs Out Origins of Methane

Individual cows can produce up to 500 liters of methane a day; the species accounts for about one-third of total methane emissions. The structures shown represent the structure of methane. Photo: Danielle Gruen (edited by Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)....

Posted March 11, 2015    

Cheap and Flexible Solar

MIT physics graduate student Patrick Brown stands at the controls for a magnetron sputterer deposition chamber, used in the fabrication of charge-transport layers for quantum-dot solar cells. Photo: Denis Paiste/Materials Processing CenterTuning...

Posted March 4, 2015    

Sequestration on Shaky Ground

Christine Daniloff/MITStudy finds a natural impediment to the long-term sequestration of carbon dioxide.Jennifer Chu | MIT News OfficeCarbon sequestration promises to address greenhouse-gas emissions by capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere...

Posted January 22, 2015    

Where Does Bioenergy Fit into a Low-Carbon Future?

Miscanthus, a biofuel feedstock cropStudy evaluates the impacts of a large-scale bioenergy ramp-up.Audrey Resutek | MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change Biofuels like ethanol and other forms of bioenergy are often seen as a...

Posted January 20, 2015    

Tonio Buonassisi Seeks to Make Solar Cells Competitive

Tonio Buonassisi, Photo: M. Scott BrauerMechanical engineering professor pursues a vision of a cleaner, more energy-efficient world.David L. Chandler | MIT News Office One day in the 1990s, as he was riding home from high school in São Paulo, Tonio...

Posted January 15, 2015    

Drive-By Heat Mapping

A heat map of a home captured by one of Essess' thermal-imaging cars. Courtesy of EssessStartup’s thermal-imaging cars can quickly track energy leaks in thousands of homes and buildings. Rob Matheson | MIT News Office In 2007, Google unleashed a...

Posted January 9, 2015    

Catalyzing Greener Products

Yuriy Román, Photo: Len RubensteinYuriy Román knew that to change the future of catalysis he’d have to cross the boundary between chemical engineering and materials science. Eric Smalley | MIT Spectrum As a boy growing up in Mexico City, Yuriy Román...

Posted December 3, 2014