3D printing a battery itself is a remarkable achievement. A 3D printing a battery as small as a grain of sand is a giant hurdle forward in both, 3D printing and battery technologies. That is exactly what researchers working at University of Illinois and Harvard have done. To achieve this process the researchers had to create their own custom 3D printing technology. Although there are many types of materials 3D printers can use, most print objects using small liquid droplets, which build upon one another to create the object from the bottom up. For the researchers this process was not sufficient to achieve their goals. Therefore, they designed a 0.03mm nozzle, which releases the liquid materials continuously in a fashion, which is similar to toothpaste being squeezed from its tube. In addition, the researchers also invented a 3D printing material that is electrochemically active, which ultimately allowed the printed battery to store and release charges.
Micro-battery is 3D printed - [Link]
Grenoble, France and Cambridge, UK – 10th June 2013 – ISORG and Plastic Logic have co-developed the first conformable organic image sensor on plastic, with the potential to revolutionise weight/power trade-offs and optical design parameters for any systems with a digital imaging element. First mechanical samples will be publicly unveiled at LOPE-C 2013 (ISORG / CEA booth B0-509) from 12 to 13 June in Munich, Germany.
The collaboration is based on the deposition of organic printed photodetectors (OPD), pioneered by ISORG, onto a plastic organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) backplane, developed by the technology leader, Plastic Logic, to create a flexible sensor with a 4×4 cm active area, 375um pitch (175um pixel size with 200um spacing) and 94 x 95 = 8 930 pixel resolution.
The backplane design, production process and materials were optimised for the application by Plastic Logic to meet ISORG’s requirements. The result, a flexible, transmissive backplane, represents a significant breakthrough in the manufacture of new large area image sensors and demonstrates the potential use of Plastic Logic’s unique flexible transistor technology to also move beyond plastic displays. Combined with ISORG’s unique organic photodetector technology, it opens up the possibilities for a range of new applications, based around digital image sensing, including smart packaging and sensors for medical equipment and biomedical diagnostics, security and mobile commerce (user identification by fingerprint scanning), environmental, industrial, scanning surfaces and 3D interactive user interfaces for consumer electronics (printers, smartphones, tablets, etc.).
ISORG and Plastic Logic co-develop the world’s first image sensor on plastic - [Link]
Research on graphene-based sensors at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore has yielded a new type of image sensor able to detect light over a broad spectrum, from the visible to mid-infrared, with very high sensitivity. In addition to being 1,000 times more sensitive to light than current low-cost imaging sensors used in compact cameras, it also uses 10 times less energy because it operates at a lower voltage. [via]
Graphene Photosensor is 1000x More Sensitive - [Link]
On May 17, 1902, a Greek archeologist noticed precision gear wheels embedded in an ancient artifact of corroded bronze and wood. The device would come to be known as the Antikythera mechanism, the oldest known complex scientific instrument.
Discovered in 1900 on the wreck of an ancient Roman merchant vessel near the island of Antikythera, the 2000-year-old device was designed to calculate astronomical positions, predict eclipses, and calculate the timing of the ancient Olympics. It is now regarded as the world’s first mechanical computer.
Gears are discovered on the Antikythera mechanism, May 17, 1902 - [Link]
Here’s an amazing new DNA testing chip by Panasonic together with the Belgium-based research institution IMEC. It delivers DNA results within an hour:
This is the chip we’ve actually developed. As you can see, it’s less than half the size of a business card. It contains everything needed for testing DNA. Once a drop of blood is inserted, the chip completes the entire process, up to SNP detection.
New chip delivers DNA results within an hour - [Link]
Fully depleted silicon transistor are much promising for future developments. Xavier Cauchy writes:
To date, transistor scaling has continued in accordance with Moore’s Law down to 32 nm. Engineering challenges, however, are forcing chipmakers to compromise performance and power efficiency in order to reach smaller nodes – unless they switch to new technologies that help better solve these challenges. Today, the semiconductor industry is starting to deploy such new technologies, largely relying on “fully-depleted” transistors for continued scaling and performance gains.
Fully depleted silicon technology to underlie energy-efficient designs at 28 nm and beyond - [Link]
The following is important because with flexible organic photovoltaic cells, we are nearing a new era of development for practical solar-based solutions can be implemented with clever usage of these devices. Efficiency needs to be higher, but technology is progressing in the right direction and a breakthrough is inevitable.
Heliatek announced a record breaking 12.0% cell efficiency for its organic solar cells. This world record, established in cooperation with the University of Ulm and TU Dresden, was measured by the accredited testing facility SGS. The measurement campaign at SGS also validated the superior low light and high temperature performances of organic photovoltaics (OPV) compared to traditional solar technologies.
New world record for organic solar technology with a cell efficiency of 12% - [Link]
With OLEDs approaching production maturity, Osram has announced that it is researching another technology that could change the world of lighting: light emitting foils produced in a printing process. The foils are based on light-emitting electrochemical cells made from organic materials, known as organic light-emitting electrochemical cells (OLECs). Although similar to OLEDs, they have a conductive and light-emitting layer containing a liquid material instead of a solid material. This active layer contains freely mobile ions in the liquid phase. When a voltage is applied to the active layer, the ions migrate to the edge. This allows charge carriers to be injected into the layer, where they recombine to emit light in the same way as a light-emitting diode. With suitable combinations of materials, any desired color of light can be obtained. [via]
Printed Light-Emitting Foils Could Challenge OLEDs - [Link]
The Centre of Microsystems Technology (CMST), imec’s associated laboratory at Ghent University (Belgium), has developed an innovative spherical curved LCD display, which can be embedded in contact lenses. Unlike LED-based contact lens displays, which are limited to a few small pixels, the new LCD-based technology permits the use of the entire display surface. By adapting the patterning process of the conductive layer, this technology enables applications with a broad range of pixel number and sizes, such as a one pixel, fully covered contact lens acting as adaptable sunglasses, or a highly pixelated contact lens display. [via]
Breakthrough in Augmented Reality Contact Lens - [Link]