Insights into energy loss open doors for up-and-coming solar tech
Nov. 18, 2022
Written by Colton Poore, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

Organic solar cells are an emerging technology with a lot of promise. Unlike the ubiquitous silicon solar panel, they have the potential to be lightweight, flexible, and present a variety of colors, making them particularly attractive for urban or façade applications. However, continued advancements in device performance have been sluggish as…

The best place to store energy for the electric grid? You might be standing on it
Sept. 6, 2022
Written by Sharon Waters for the Office of Engineering Communications

For parts of the U.S., the best place to store massive amounts energy for the electric grid could be right beneath our feet.

Geothermal energy, which relies on hot rock far below the earth’s surface, has long been used as a source of heating and electricity generation. But recent advances in drilling technology have opened up new…

Why ‘erasure’ could be key to practical quantum computing
Sept. 1, 2022
Written by Steven Schultz, Office of Engineering Communications

Researchers have discovered a new method for correcting errors in the calculations of quantum computers, potentially clearing a major obstacle to a powerful new realm of computing.

In conventional computers, fixing errors is a well-developed field. Every cellphone requires checks and fixes to send and receive data over messy airwaves…

Researchers unfolded elegant equations to explain the enigma of expanding origami
Sept. 1, 2022
Written by John Sullivan, Office of Engineering Communications

Most materials – from rubber bands to steel beams – thin out as they are stretched, but engineers can use origami’s interlocking ridges and precise folds to reverse this tendency and build devices that grow wider as they are pulled apart.

Researchers increasingly use this kind of technique, drawn from the ancient art of origami, to…

BioLEC2 launches with new round of DOE funding
Aug. 25, 2022
Written by Wendy Plump, Department of Chemistry

The Department of Energy has awarded another four years of funding to the Energy Frontier Research Center helmed by Princeton University’s Department of Chemistry: Bio-Inspired Light-Escalated Chemistry (BioLEC). 

The $12.6M in funding was announced today by the DOE’s Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences. …

Once seen as fleeting, a new solar tech proves its lasting power
June 29, 2022
Written by Scott Lyon, Office of Engineering Communications

Princeton Engineering researchers have developed the first perovskite solar cell with a commercially viable lifetime, marking a major milestone for an emerging class of renewable energy technology.

The device is the first of its kind to rival the performance of silicon-based cells, which have dominated the market…

New method melds data to make a 3-D map of cells’ activities
May 16, 2022
Written by By Molly Sharlach, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Just as it’s hard to understand a conversation without knowing its context, it can be difficult for biologists to grasp the significance of gene expression without knowing a cell’s environment. To solve that problem, researchers at Princeton Engineering have developed a method to elucidate a cell’s surroundings so that biologists can make more…

Future hurricanes likely to pose much greater flood risk to U.S. East and Gulf coasts
Feb. 3, 2022
Written by Adam Hadhazy for the School of Engineering

Extreme flooding events spawned by hurricanes are likely to become far more frequent along the Eastern and Southern U.S. coastlines because of a combination of sea level rise and storm intensification. The findings, contained in new research from Princeton University, show that the two sources of water can produce what researchers call compound…

Work of ‘technical visionary’ underpins modern wireless communications
Feb. 2, 2022
Written by Molly Sharlach, School of Engineering

As a master’s student at Auburn University in the 1970s, H. Vincent Poor switched on an oscilloscope and tweaked its knobs to reveal a pattern of bright, undulating lines on a gridded screen — a visual measurement of background noise picked up by a radio receiver, and an example of the real-world relevance of the communication theory he was…

Glowing yeast lights the way to better biofuels
Jan. 28, 2022
Written by Tom Garlinghouse for the School of Engineering

Deploying a technique that promises to supercharge the development of biofuels, researchers at Princeton University have found a way to make yeast cultures glow when producing next generation fuels that could power cars and airplanes.

The glowing cultures address a major challenge that has slowed biofuel production: developing yeast…