Electrolytes made from liquefied gas enable batteries to run at ultra-low temperatures

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a breakthrough in electrolyte chemistry that enables lithium batteries to run at temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius with excellent performance—in comparison, today’s lithium-ion batteries stop working at -20 degrees Celsius. The new electrolytes also enable electrochemical capacitors to run as low as -80 degrees Celsius—their current low temperature limit is -40 degrees Celsius. While the technology enables extreme low temperature operation, high performance at room temperature is still maintained. The new electrolyte chemistry could also increase the energy density and improve the safety of lithium batteries and electrochemical capacitors.

Slow earthquakes in ocean subduction zones shed light on tsunami risk

Understanding “slow-slip” earthquakes on the seafloor—seismic events that occur over a period of days or weeks—is giving researchers new insights into undersea earthquakes and the subsequent creation of tsunamis. Through an ocean discovery program supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), scientists are studying the seafloor off the coast of Japan. The region could provide vital clues.