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24 Feb 2015


by R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:

A new type of transistor harnesses a new effect–called the quantum spin Hall effect — to create a topological field effect transistor (TFET) according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researcher who recently moved to the newly formed Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University where the Texas Advanced Computer Center (TACC) confirmed the researcher’s results.

“We found that when deposited in a flat sheet just three atoms thick, our crystalline lattices exhibited a new electronic effect we call the quantum spin Hall effect,” professor Xiaofeng Qian told EE Times.

Transistors Prelude Quantum Computers - [Link]

26 Jan 2015


by Colin Jeffrey @ gizmag.com:

Swiss scientists have created the first semiconductor laser consisting solely of elements of main group IV (the carbon group) on the periodic table. Simply, this means that the new device is directly compatible with other elements in that group – such as silicon, carbon, and lead – and so can be directly incorporated in a silicon chip as it is manufactured. This presents new possibilities for transmitting data around computer chips using light, which could result in potential transfer speeds exponentially faster than possible with copper wire and using only a fraction of the energy of today’s integrated circuits.

First germanium-tin semiconductor laser directly compatible with silicon chips - [Link]

23 Jan 2015

4-scientistsdiby Curt Richter @ phys.org:

Two-dimensional (2D) materials such as molybdenum-disulfide (MoS2) are attracting much attention for future electronic and photonic applications ranging from high-performance computing to flexible and pervasive sensors and optoelectronics. But in order for their promise to be realized, scientists need to understand how the performance of devices made with 2D materials is affected by different kinds of metal electrical contacts.

Researchers in PML’s Semiconductor & Dimensional Metrology Division, in collaboration with researchers from George Mason University, compared silver and titanium contacts on MoS2 transistors to determine the influence of the metal–MoS2 interface.

Scientists discover a better metal contact that improves two-dimensional transistor performance - [Link]

30 Dec 2014
Laser causes oxygen atoms (red) to vibrate between layers of copper (blue) oxide that are just two molecules thick in a common high-temperature superconducting material known as YBCO in a way that  likely indicates superconductivity.

Laser causes oxygen atoms (red) to vibrate between layers of copper (blue) oxide that are just two molecules thick in a common high-temperature superconducting material known as YBCO in a way that
likely indicates superconductivity.

Superconducting at up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit has been demonstrated at the U.S. National Accelerator Laboratory, but the catch to room temperature superconducing today is that it only lasts for pico-second pulses, but they hope to extend the time to DC: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog and EE Times.

Superconducting at 140 Degrees F - [Link]

26 Dec 2014


by Amy Norcross @ edn.com:

A team of University Wisconsin-Madison researchers, with support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) Reliable Neural-Interface Technology (RE-NET) program, have developed “invisible” implantable medical sensor arrays that will not block views of brain activity. Their research was published in the Oct. 20 issue of Nature Communications.

According to a recent Phys.org article, “electrical monitoring and stimulation of neuronal signaling is a mainstay technique for studying brain function, while emerging optical techniques—which use photons instead of electrons—are opening new opportunities for visualizing neural network structure and exploring brain functions. Electrical and optical techniques offer distinct and complementary advantages that, if used together, could offer profound benefits for studying the brain at high resolution. Combining these technologies is challenging, however, because conventional metal electrode technologies are too thick (>500 nm) to be transparent to light, making them incompatible with many optical approaches.”

Implantable, transparent sensors give researchers a better view of brain activity - [Link]

24 Dec 2014


A new material may offer a new avenue to room temperature superconductivity according to researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog and EE Times.

Superconductivity Exhibited by New Material with Room Temp Hopes - [Link]

23 Dec 2014


by Amy Norcross @ edn.com:

A new way of switching the magnetic properties of a material using just a small applied voltage could signal the beginning of a new family of materials with a variety of switchable properties, according to a team of MIT-based researchers. The technique could let a small electrical signal change materials’ electrical, thermal, and optical characteristics.

Researchers use voltage to control magnetic memory - [Link]

15 Dec 2014


by Martha Heil @ umdrightnow.umd.edu:

Researchers at the University of Maryland have invented a single tiny structure that includes all the components of a battery that they say could bring about the ultimate miniaturization of energy storage components.

The structure is called a nanopore: a tiny hole in a ceramic sheet that holds electrolyte to carry the electrical charge between nanotube electrodes at either end. The existing device is a test, but the bitsy battery performs well. First author Chanyuan Liu, a Ph.D. student in materials science & engineering, says that it can be fully charged in 12 minutes, and it can be recharged thousands of time.

Billion Holes Can Make a Battery - [Link]

1 Dec 2014


By Eric Mack @ gizmag.com:

There’s another promising contender in the race to supplant the dominance of lithium-ion and metal-hydride based batteries in the world of energy storage. New research from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s (KIT’s) Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) details the development of an electrolyte that can be used in new magnesium-sulfur battery cells that would be more efficient and inexpensive than the dominant types of batteries in use today.

New electrolyte to enable cheaper, less toxic magnesium-sulfur-based batteries - [Link]

6 Nov 2014


New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat via phys.org

A multidisciplinary engineering team at the University of California, San Diego developed a new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants designed to absorb and convert to heat more than 90 percent of the sunlight it captures. The new material can also withstand temperatures greater than 700 degrees Celsius and survive many years outdoors in spite of exposure to air and humidity. Their work, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot program, was published recently in two separate articles in the journal Nano Energy.

New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat - [Link]





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