Print 30 comment(s) - last by Nichols1986.. on Dec 9 at 9:33 AM

Coating can be used to increase the efficiency of batteries

Batteries are an increasingly important area of research. Before electric vehicles are a viable alternative to traditional combustion engine vehicles, the battery packs used in electric vehicles need to improve to support longer driving distances and more performance. Huge amounts of money are being spent on battery research. Carbon nanotubes are one area that is being research heavily for their use in batteries. A group of researchers recently discovered that defective nanotubes were better for energy storage.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University (TAU) have made a discovery that may one day lead to more efficient batteries, solar panels and windows that clean themselves. The researchers grew a forest of nanosize peptides in the range of 100 nanometers. The so-called peptide forests are able to repel dust and water and have the potential for a very effective self-cleaning coating for windows and solar panels.

Both windows and solar panels are less efficient as they get dirty. This is a particularly big issue for solar panels since many of the world's largest solar energy plants are placed in deserts where dust is a very big concern. The researchers on the project include graduate student Lihi Adler-Abramovich and a team working under Prof. Ehud Gazit in TAU's Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Adler-Abramovich said, "This is beautiful and protean research. It began as an attempt to find a new cure for Alzheimer's disease. To our surprise, it also had implications for electric cars, solar energy and construction."

Like many discoveries that turn out to have great implications, the peptide forest coating was discovered by accident. The researchers were working on a project for drug company Merck to find a treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

Adler-Abramovich said, "We are not manufacturing the actual material but developing a basic-science technology that could lead to self-cleaning windows and more efficient energy storage devices in just a few years. As scientists, we focus on pure research. Thanks to Prof. Gazit's work on beta amyloid proteins, we were able to develop a technique that enables short peptides to 'self-assemble,' forming an entirely new kind of coating which is also a super-capacitor."

She continues saying, "Our technology may lead to a storage material with a high density. This is important when you need to generate a lot of energy in a short period of time. It could also be incorporated into today's lithium batteries."

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Very Interesting.....
By Simgamer on 12/6/2009 11:46:00 AM , Rating: 1
I got down to the bottom of this article and the first thing that came to mind was super fast re-charge for electro-magnetic weapons ie; rail guns etc.

RE: Very Interesting.....
By apcguru on 12/6/09, Rating: 0
RE: Very Interesting.....
By cruisin3style on 12/6/2009 9:52:52 PM , Rating: 3
It's nice to know some countries still use wooden navies and catapults...or are you the only one from your country that shuns the latest tech to defend it?

RE: Very Interesting.....
By Stuka on 12/7/2009 11:19:15 AM , Rating: 1
News Flash: bad people don't have scruples. A society can only be as peaceful as the most malicious person wants it to be. Thus, the olive branch and the sword must travel astride.

RE: Very Interesting.....
By roykahn on 12/7/2009 3:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
People like killing each other. It makes them feel powerful. When you are powerful, you can impose your will and control other people. That's very tempting, isn't it? It must feel nice ruling the world.

With mass communication methods like TV, radio, internet, and newspapers, it's even possible to fool people into believing that "killing" isn't even considered that. You can disguise it as a war on terror, a war on drugs, spreading democracy, ensuring stability, serving your country, etc. It all sounds so very tempting, doesn't it?

If you're not doing the killing, then surely it stands to reason that you'll be the one getting killed. Bring on the railguns so we can destroy ourselves.

RE: Very Interesting.....
By Durrr on 12/6/2009 8:50:20 PM , Rating: 2
energy isn't the issue with railguns, the issue is heat, electromagnetic field properties, and kinetic energy transfer

RE: Very Interesting.....
By Chernobyl68 on 12/7/2009 12:48:05 PM , Rating: 2
first thing after I read "peptides" was that weird ST:TNG episode...

Not news
By chrisld on 12/6/09, Rating: 0
RE: Not news
By futrtrubl on 12/6/2009 12:45:35 PM , Rating: 3
Even worse, while I'm sure this coating will repel dirt and water, I'm quite sure that a nano forest is going to have some light scattering properties of it's own. Also, peptides?! How long are they going to last while being exposed to UV everyday and hungry microbes?

RE: Not news
By Amiga500 on 12/6/2009 3:12:04 PM , Rating: 2
As a top scientist it drives me nuts when other scientists hype up their frankly boring work and make ridiculous claims for it.

As a "top scientist" maybe you could learn to read the f**king article.

The discovery is in self-growth and organisation of the peptides. NOT in self-cleaning paint.

You want another potential application for this discovery? Try replication of gecko feet for climbing virtually all surfaces.

RE: Not news
By chrisld on 12/7/2009 6:26:43 PM , Rating: 2
Quoting the article "The so-called peptide forests are able to repel dust and water and have the potential for a very effective self-cleaning coating for windows and solar panels.

Both windows and solar panels are less efficient as they get dirty. This is a particularly big issue for solar panels since many of the world's largest solar energy plants are placed in deserts where dust is a very big concern."

They do claim self-cleaning, which as everyone knows is known as the Lotus-Effect. Such surface are totally impractical in real life because once you touch them, the surface structure is ruined and they no longer work. They also don't work when there is detergent present. Only when the surface is washed with pure water. Want me to recommend a book where you can read and verify this?

Just In Time!!!
By SRoode on 12/6/2009 7:28:59 PM , Rating: 2
This technology will be used to make the dust resistant paper on Grey's Sports Almanac!

In other news...
By Jephph on 12/7/2009 7:14:57 AM , Rating: 2
.. it's still cheaper to pay a guy with a pressure washer to clean off solar panels than to put a peptide coating on them.

By zinfamous on 12/7/2009 6:29:36 PM , Rating: 2
Geeks of the world rejoice for the potential in splatter-proof mouse pads and keyboards!


By Nichols1986 on 12/9/2009 9:33:01 AM , Rating: 1
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Here is another, better use for this
By Lerianis on 12/6/09, Rating: -1
RE: Here is another, better use for this
By inighthawki on 12/6/2009 11:53:58 AM , Rating: 3
The article never mentioned anything about the material be scratch proof or resistant, it simply doesn't get dirty. CDs/DVDs with this coating could still easily become just as scratched, though I suppose if you play with your discs in the mud or something then they'll come out clean.

RE: Here is another, better use for this
By Oregonian2 on 12/6/2009 1:30:01 PM , Rating: 5
A better application may be for digital camera sensors -- keeping dust off of them.

RE: Here is another, better use for this
By XCeled on 12/6/2009 3:59:54 PM , Rating: 3
I don't believe the material would maintain the proper optical qualities to work in front of camera sensors.

RE: Here is another, better use for this
By Oregonian2 on 12/7/2009 1:14:05 AM , Rating: 2
Well, the article does mention use on windows, so I'd imagine that if the layer is thin enough, it may work on camera sensors. Do you know specifically that they wouldn't?

By Oregonian2 on 12/7/2009 1:16:27 AM , Rating: 2
P.S. - Note that digital cameras usually have a anti-aliasing filter (effectively a blurring filter, kinda), perhaps any scattering characteristic can be made to take over that job as well. :-)

By AnnihilatorX on 12/6/2009 6:17:32 PM , Rating: 2
If this is non-toxic, clothing would be good too.

RE: Here is another, better use for this
By Devo2007 on 12/7/2009 8:41:40 AM , Rating: 2
How about eyeglasses? I'd love that one!

By tastyratz on 12/7/2009 10:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
they already made teflon coatings for your glasses to keep them from getting nasty and smudged. You can get a scotchbrite branded one from lensecrafters (think it was $400 last time I checked) or buy it online like I did for only 80 bux or so more.

I have it on mine, works great but doesn't last forever.

By SunAngel on 12/6/2009 8:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
LOL! Don't you know that would kill the entire .mkv market?

RE: Here is another, better use for this
By Raidin on 12/6/2009 9:00:20 PM , Rating: 5
How about a final coat on cars?

By ashishmishra on 12/6/2009 11:05:35 PM , Rating: 2
First thing I thought about as well

By cokbun on 12/7/2009 12:54:38 AM , Rating: 2
or mud wrestlers

By Spookster on 12/7/2009 5:18:21 PM , Rating: 2
That's what I was thinking. I'd pay big bucks not to have to wash my damn car every few weeks. Why did I have to buy a white car. Arghhhh!!!!

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