Chipmaker STMicroelectronics is joining in the race to develop fuel cells for portable equipment. Its Geneva, Switzerland research center has developed a 3D technique for making the membranes found in fuel cells. Using nanoporous layers made from silicon provides millions of pores that measure only a few nanometers in diameter, yielding more surface area for chemical reactions to take place. The company did not estimate a timeframe for commercialization.
With a better understanding of materials’ response to load and temperature, researchers could potentially use the knowledge to improve design. The research could even help geologists studying plate tectonics.
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