Compact solid-state pulsed power generators achieve shorter, more powerful pulses — ScienceDaily


Powerful picosecond generators are in demand in various fields of experimental electrophysics to produce ultrashort electron beams and X-ray pulses in vacuum diodes and to form runaway electron flows in gases.

They also have applications in high-power microwave electronics, but researchers are constantly striving to obtain shorter and more powerful pulses.

In Review of Scientific Instruments, by AIP Publishing, scientists showed compact solid-state pulse generators could generate electrical pulses of less than one-billionth of a second in duration and up to 50 billion watts in power.

“For comparison, the most powerful hydroelectric power plant in China has an output power of 22.5 billion watts,” said Sergei Rukin, one of the authors.

Improving picosecond generators and mastering higher peak power levels in the picosecond range sets the groundwork for new applications in the coming years.

“This also happened with the development of powerful nanoscecond pulsed devices during the last 60 years,” said Rukin.

At first, generators with unique parameters were developed and then, application areas appeared, such as high-power microwave electronics and X-ray imaging devices for medical and engineering applications.

An input pulse of a nanosecond duration from a solid-state semiconductor opening switch generator was amplified in power and reduced in duration by a three-stage magnetic compressor on ferrite gyromagnetic lines.

The line of each stage operated in the magnetic compression line mode, which occurs at close values of the input pulse duration and the period of oscillations generated in the line.

In the picosecond range of pulse duration, record high values of peak power and rate of rise of the output voltage and power were achieved.

A surprising feature was that neither closing nor opening switches were required in the pulse compression system. The pulse amplification in power and its compression in time occurred automatically during the passage of the

Mercedes-Benz’s newest electric city bus uses solid-state batteries


Lithium-ion battery technology has made impressive gains over the years. Today’s cells are cheaper than they’ve ever been, but lithium-ion still leaves a lot to be desired in terms of energy density compared to liquid hydrocarbon fuels. Which means that putting enough of them in a car to give it an acceptable range adds a lot of mass and volume. Which is where solid-state batteries come in.

In a traditional battery, a pair of electrodes are immersed in an electrolyte solution, and it’s this liquid electrolyte that allows ions to move from one electrode to the other. But liquid electrolytes can leak, and that’s not a great thing, whether the material is highly corrosive, as in a lead-acid battery, or highly flammable, as in a lithium-ion battery. So researchers around the world have been experimenting with batteries that use a solid electrolyte instead, with a particular eye on using them in electric vehicles.

And now, it seems it’s a technology that is ready to be deployed, as Mercedes-Benz just announced that its new eCitaro and eCitaro G city buses will be available with roof-mounted solid-state battery packs, developed in conjunction with the Canadian power company Hydro Quebec.

Although details are still rather limited right now, Mercedes-Benz says that the solid-state pack has a 25-percent higher energy density than even the most advanced lithium-ion chemistry. It also says that the solid-state battery has a much better service life than lithium-ion and