Trump's remarks came a day before the Fed was set to announce its next decision on interest rates.Politicsread more
In a tweet, Trump said that he and Xi "had a very good telephone conversation," and that "our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting."Politicsread more
China is reducing support for its electric carmakers a move experts and industry insiders warn could lead to consolidation and waning investor appetite. But some of the...Technologyread more
Is your CEO on the list? Glassdoor has the results.Power Playersread more
Joseph Gaspar, the chief financial officer at Elbit Systems, said M&A among firms in the sector began to pick up pace in the 1980s and looks set to continue.Paris Air Showread more
Stocks in Asia rose in Wednesday afternoon trade following positive developments overnight on the U.S.-China trade front.Asia Marketsread more
Signs of companies moving out of Hong Kong have emerged, members of the business community told CNBC following massive protests in the city. But one analyst said Hong Kong's...China Politicsread more
Sen. Josh Hawley, a well-known tech critic, introduced legislation on Wednesday that would remove the immunity big technology companies receive for user-posted content under...Technologyread more
In its new "Future Skills" report, LinkedIn has identified what it calls the 10 "rising skills" of the future and the jobs associated with them.Get Aheadread more
Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters on Tuesday requested that Facebook pause its development of Libra, an upcoming cryptocurrency that the company plans to release in 2020.Technologyread more
Has your CEO won over enough workers in Germany to make the cut? Glassdoor reveals.Power Playersread more
Annoyed by how often your cellphone needs recharging? Stanford researchers say they've made a major step toward the "holy grail" of energy storage — a pure lithium battery.
A team that includes former Energy secretary Steven Chu says it's building a lithium anode battery that might give electric vehicles a 300-mile driving range and triple a cellphone's juice. Stanford professor Yi Cui says it will likely take three to five years, though, to bring the product to market.
Their work is partly of an intensifying push to build a better battery — not only for portable electronics but also for storing solar and wind power for times when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. Universities, start-ups and major companies are working with new materials, such as vanadium, or tweaking the lithium-ion battery that Sony introduced more than 20 years ago.
In a new breakthrough, the Stanford team says it's using nanotechnology to create a pure lithium battery — an advance sought for decades because of its light weight and superior efficiency.
"If we can triple the energy density and simultaneously decrease the cost four-fold, that would be very exciting," Chu said in a university announcement. "We would have a cellphone with triple the battery life and an electric vehicle with a 300-mile range that cost $25,000 — and with better performance than an internal combustion engine car getting 40 mpg."
Today's lithium batteries only have lithium in the electrolyte, which is one of three basic parts of a battery. The electrolyte provides electrons, while the anode discharges them and the cathode receives them.
The Stanford team is also putting lithium in the anode. This is tricky, because while silicon and graphite — two commonly used materials in anodes — expand during charging, lithium expands even more and can also eat up the electrolyte.
The solution? Cui's lab has built a honeycomb-like microscopic layer — called "nanospheres" — that creates a flexible non-reactive film to protect the unstable lithium. It describes the work in a study published this week in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
The layer improves battery efficiency. To become commercially viable, batteries generally need to put back 99.9% of the lithium lost in use during recharging. Previous anodes of unprotected lithium got about 96% efficiency, but Cui says his version is approaching 99.6%, and he expects it can reach 99.9% in two years.
Some experts are skeptical. John Goodenough, who helped invent the original lithium-ion battery of the late 1970s and is still working to improve the technology, said Cui's protective layer is not an "ideal" solution.
"It's not clear he has achieved that goal with a sufficiently cheap process," says Goodenough, now a 92-year-old professor of materials science at the University of Texas-Austin.
The battery world, like other cutting-edge technology, has seen its share of failures. In October 2012, lithium-ion battery manufacturer A123 filed for bankruptcy after spending $132 million in federal stimulus funds. Two months later, Wanxiang America, the U.S. arm of a Chinese automotive parts giant, bought A123's technology.
Yet Cui, whose lithium anode work has not yet received any federal funds, knows how to commercialize his research. He's the founder of Silicon Valley start-up Amprius, which received $30 million in venture capital in January — in addition to prior funding — to sell a new type of long-lasting lithium-ion battery. Amprius' board includes Chu, who won the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics and returned to Stanford after leaving the Obama administration.
— By Wendy Koch, USA Today