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Production of Lithium-Ion Batteries

  • April 29th, 2016

By Wilhelm Pfleging, Melanie Mangang, Yijing Zheng, Peter Smyrek and Johannes Pröll


Thick film anodes and cathodes with thicknesses ranging from 20-300 µm, in state-of-the-art and future lithium-ion cells are complex multi-material systems consisting of defined material components, grain sizes, porosities and pore size distributions in the micrometer and submicrometer ranges. State-of-the-art cells with pouch cell geometry for high power applications consist of thick film electrode stacks with capacities up to 40-50 Ah.

The development of three-dimensional (3D) cell architectures for electrodes in lithium-ion batteries is a promising approach to overcome problems like 1-dimensional lithium-ion diffusion, inhomogeneous current densities, power losses, high interelectrode […]

Throwback Thursday: The Invention of The Laser Scalpel

  • April 28th, 2016

Invented just over 50 years ago, the laser scalpel is used in an array of surgical procedures, across medical fields. A laser scalpel is typically either a CO2 laser or a excimer laser, depending on the surgery. For soft tissue procedures, such as removing a birthmark or teeth whitening, a CO2 laser is used. A C02 laser’s wavelength is absorbed by water, which allows the laser to vaporize the surrounding tissue with minimal damage inflicted. Bleeding, swelling, and chances for infection are greatly decreased in procedures performed by CO2 lasers, which led to their adoption in the fields of […]

How Lasers May Help Spacecraft Reach Mars in Less Than An Hour

  • April 27th, 2016

When it comes to space travel, getting from point A to point B, at a faster rate is among the biggest challenges facing researchers, eager to explore new worlds. One researcher, however, thinks that he has found a solution that could reduce travel time to Mars to less than one hour, using laser-based technology.

The process, known as directed energy propulsion, involves focusing a laser on small spacecraft, speeding it up to a fraction of the speed of light. In doing so, trips to nearby systems can be potentially fractionalized, taking hours rather than months to reach a destination. This […]

Powering the Photon Factory in New Zealand

  • April 27th, 2016

If you have ever been to Auckland, New Zealand, you know the natural beauty of its surroundings and the vibrancy of the city. What you may not know is that the campus of the University of Auckland is home to a unique facility, one that uses the power of intense pulses of light to manipulate, measure and machine matter — it uses photons as its ‘machinery.’

The Photon Factory

This unexpected find is the result of the efforts of Dr. Cather Simpson, who joined the faculty of the University of Auckland in 2007. Soon after arriving, Dr. Simpson challenged herself to […]

How Lasers Could Revolutionize the Internet

  • April 26th, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego are hard at work, attempting to find a sustainable solution to growing issues surrounding the internet and data management. Data centers consume a significant amount of electricity and are currently projected to consume close to 140 billion kilowatt hours per year, in the U.S. alone.  Much of this power is converted into heat, requiring multiple backup systems. Simply, the issue is not so much that we are transmitting too much data, it is that data storage is not an efficient, renewable process.

Janelle Shane and her team of researchers at the Jacobs School […]

Theaters Using Lasers to Stop Phone Users During Performances

  • April 25th, 2016

Most people would agree that cell phone use during a performance or concert can be incredibly distracting. Violators of cell phone policies are asked to silence or turn off their devices, and in some cases, asked to leave the venue. In China, however, some theaters have adopted a policy that uses lasers to “shame” theatergoers into putting their phones away.

According to The New York Times, Shanghai Grand Theater, Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts, and others are opting to use red or green laser pointers to point out cell phone users. The beam is aimed directly at the […]

Weekly Wrap Up (April 22, 2016)

  • April 22nd, 2016

With Lasers For Manufacturing Event (LME®) right around the corner, laser manufacturing is at the forefront of our minds. This week, we took a closer look at the use of lasers for manufacturing and lumber processing. The use of lasers in lumber processing is expansive, with applications in cutting, marking, engraving, and drilling holes. Lasers have a number of advantages over other manufacturing and traditional processes in terms of automation and quality control. See the recent post at to learn more about the many ways lasers are used in lumber processing. Planning to attend LME®? Don’t forget to […]

Throwback Thursday: 20 Years of LASIK

  • April 21st, 2016

Corrective eye surgery, performed by lasers, has been a point of interest for many bespectacled individuals since its inception. The concept of using lasers to correct vision problems normally treated with eyeglasses or contacts was approached as early as the 1970’s. But did you know that it has only been 20 years since the FDA approved the first excimer laser for vision correction, in the United States?  For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we are exploring the history of lasers and vision correction, arguably one of the most well-known applications of laser technology in modern medicine.  

A significant number of […]

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