Lithium Anode Could Boost Cellphone Battery Life & Electric Car Range


Stanford researchers have created a stable pure lithium anode. It’s a huge step towards a dramatic increase in battery capacity.

We currently refer to rechargable batteries in portable devices as being “lithium ion” rather than simply lithium because today’s models only use lithium in the electrolyte and not the anode, which is usually silicon or graphite.

A lithium anode would allow batteries that are far more efficient in terms of volume and weight. The problem is that when charged, lithium expands dramatically. In previous attempt to create a lithium anode that’s led to cracking and short circuits.

Lithium anodes also react with the electrolyte in a way that not only uses up the electrolyte more quickly, but produces a potentially-dangerous increase in heat.

The Stanford researchers tackled this problem by building a carbon honeycomb layer that’s 20 nanometers thick to lay over the lithium anode. The layer is able to physically block the anode-electrolyte reaction, but is flexible enough to cope with the anode expanding and contracting.

The researchers say previous attempts to use this tactic have worked at 96 percent efficiency on first use, meaning 96 percent of the lithium put into the anode during charging can be extracted before the next charge. This dropped to less than 50 percent in 100 cycles.

The new design not only achieved 99 percent efficiency, but maintained it for 150 cycles. It will still need some refining however: to be commercially viable, a battery usually needs at least 99.9 percent efficiency.

One team member, Steven Chu (a former US Energy secretary) speculated that the end result of the process could be cellphones with up to three times the battery life of current models. He also suggested the possibility of an electric car battery with a 300 mile range, albeit at a potential cost of $25,000.

San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) 2014 Cosplay in Pictures: The Final Day [Photo Gallery]


Noooooo, San Diego Comic-Con 2014 is already over! We’ve posted photo galleries for all previous days, and now, here’s the one for Sunday. A massive thank you to Nick Acott for covering the event for us! If you’re looking for an awesome and dedicated photographer and live in the UK, Nick is always looking for work! I’ve also included a few creative commons-licensed pictures from the always awesome Pat Loika and Howie Muzika to complete the gallery. Thank guys! [Previous Galleries: SDCC 2014 - Friday | SDCC 2014 - Saturday]

[Photo: Geeks are Sexy | Pat Loika | Howie Muzika]

Amazon Deal of the Day: 68% Off The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy on Blu-Ray (Extended) – $37.99 + FREE Shipping


For today’s edition of Deal of the Day, Amazon has The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy on Blu-Ray (Extended) for just $37.99 + FREE shipping. THat’s 68% off on the trilogy’s regular list price of $119.98.

-The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy on Blu-Ray (Extended)$119.98 $37.99 + FREE Shipping (68% Off)

GAS Interviews Guillermo del Toro! (Yes, THAT Guillermo del Toro!)

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1964, writer-producer-director Guillermo del Toro has been working steadily in the film industry since the early 1990s, but his career really began to take off after directing Mimic in 1997. Right after that came The Devil’s Backbone, Hellboy, the Oscar-winning Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy 2, and of course, Pacific Rim.

While he has 17 director credits to his name, he has more than double that with producer credits, most recently on the horror movie Mama and the upcoming animated feature Book of Life, due out in October.

But his current project takes him back to TV — where he first started his career way back in the mid-1980s. The Strain, a new horror series on FX, is based on the horror trilogy del Toro wrote with author Chuck Hogan, a story that first forayed into a comic series in 2011, published by Dark Horse.

Courtesy of FX, Geeks Are Sexy, along with numerous other online media outlets, were recently granted a conference call with writer-producer-director Guillermo del Toro and showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost) to discuss The Strain (and more!).

The Strain airs on FX every Sunday night at 10 pm ET.

Guillermo del Toro, left, and Carlton Cuse.

Guillermo del Toro, left, and Carlton Cuse.

(NOTE: The first question was asked by yours truly, near the end of the call. All questions after mine were ones I wanted to ask, but other media outlets asked them first. Plus, the whole conference call ran close to a whopping 2 hours. Each media outlet was only allowed one question.)

Hello, guys! This is Lauren Berkley with Geeks Are Thank you so much for doing this today. My question is for Guillermo. Guillermo, I know that you were raised by your Catholic grandmother —

Guillermo del Toro: Yes.

Well, I was curious as to how much of the religion you grew up around has influenced your storytelling over your extensive body of work?

GDT: I think very much.

I think so too.

GDT: I do. I know that as a Catholic, the main mythology I seize upon, the way I understand the world, comes from that upbringing, including The Strain, which goes to very definite mythological and spiritual places in the third novel; it comes all from that. I really like to think about what it is that makes you right or wrong in this world and all that moral ambivalence is in the heroes.

The character of Corey is that he’s a character that is very certain, but somewhat emotionally remote, in the series. And in many ways, [The Strain character Abraham] Setrakian, who’s more outlandish, should be relatable in the way that Corey has too much certainty of himself, and little by little, he goes to a place of spiritual doubt, and ultimately enlightenment, in my opinion, as a character. So that’s definitely inspired very specifically by Catholic lore.

And I’m thinking, one of my favorite books in the Bible, and one of the most mysterious books in the Bible that I relate to the most, is the Book of Job, in which a man of faith is basically stripped of everything before finding a direct line to God’s voice. And I don’t want to sound like you’re about to step into a Catholic symposium dissertation with vampires, but ultimately, that speaks very highly to the arc of Corey. So you need him to start the series on a place of full certainty, and end up in a place of spiritual discovery.

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