by Darren Quick @ gizmag.com:
Expanding on previous research into electronic devices that dissolve in water once they have reached the end of their useful life, researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new type of “transient” electronic device that self-destructs in response to heat exposure. The work is aimed at making it easy for materials from devices that usually end up in landfill to be recycled or dissolved completely.
The research involved a group led by aerospace engineering professor Scott R. White teaming up with John A. Rogers, who previously led work in the development of transient electronics that biodegrade in water. These previous devices dissolved in water after a predetermined period of time, which was related to the thickness of outer protective layers encapsulating the actual electronics. But using heat as a trigger has now enabled the creation of electronic devices that can be prompted to self-destruct on demand.
Things heat up for self-destructing electronic devices – [Link]
by Chris Wood @ gizmag.com:
Researchers have successfully transferred monolayer graphene to fibers commonly used in the textile industry. The transparent, flexible material could one day be used to create embedded wearable electronics, such as phones, fitness trackers or MP3 players.
Graphene-coated fibers make a good fit for wearable electronics – [Link]
by R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:
PORTLAND, Ore. — The world’s most expensive semiconductor fabrication plant–at over $14 billion–was announced at the ground breaking ceremony Thursday (May 7) by Samsung. Located in the Godeok Industrial Complex at Pyeongtaek City Gyeonggi-do Province–called “Samsung Semiconductor Valley”–in South Korea, Samsung will be building 10-nanometer FinFET semiconductors there.
Samsung Building World’s Most Expensive Fab for 10-Nanometer FinFETs – [Link]
by Amy Norcross @ edn.com:
A team of Michigan State University (MSU) researchers has created a transparent solar concentrator able to turn any window (or other sheet of glass, such as the screen for a smartphone) into a photovoltaic solar cell. What makes this development different? The panel is truly transparent.
Earlier attempts at building transparent solar cells resulted in panels with tinted glass and/or compromised visibility. Lead researcher Richard Lunt, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at MSU, says, “No one wants to sit behind colored glass. It makes for a very colorful environment, like working in a disco.”
See-through solar concentrator harvests energy from sunlight – [Link]
by Martin Cooke @ elektor.com:
A team of researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have designed a relatively low-cost smartphone add-on device that turns it into a mobile DNA imaging tool. Techniques using optical microscopy have found numerous applications in biology, chemistry and physics but they require relatively expensive, bulky and complicated instruments that cannot be easily transported outside the lab environment
The team have developed a compact, lightweight and cost-effective fluorescence microscope which clips onto a mobile phone and makes use of its built-in camera. Using the device they have demonstrated imaging and length quantification of single molecule DNA strands.
Smartphone Becomes DNA diagnostic tool – [Link]
A new generation of chipless RFID tags could soon be set to replace standard product barcodes. A research team at Monash University led by Dr Nemai Karmakar, from the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, have been developing chipless radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that can be printed directly onto products and packaging – including postal items, drugs and books – potentially making this new technology cheaper, smaller and faster than any other tracking system on the market.
The team have succeeded in producing fully printable tags for products made of metal and containing liquids including water bottles and soft-drinks cans. Until now, this hasn’t been possible because metal and liquids interfere with the technology. The tag can be printed using an inkjet printer and read when they are attached to reflective surfaces such as metal cans and water bottles.
Printable Chipless RFID Tags – [Link]
by Nancy Owano @ phys.org:
Michigan Micro Mote (M3) is the world’s smallest computer. How small? It’s about the size of a grain of rice. A University of Michigan’s March report can tell you that the team behind the computer have come up with a fully autonomous system that can act as a smart sensing system. “To be ‘complete,’ a computer system must have an input of data, the ability to process that data – meaning process and store it, make decisions about what to do next – and ultimately, the ability to output the data,” said David Blaauw, one of the faculty members who achieved the Michigan Micro Mote.
Hey, watch where you’re flicking. That’s a computer – [Link]
by Darren Quick @ gizmag.com:
Researchers at Stanford University have created a fast-charging and long-lasting rechargeable battery that is inexpensive to produce, and which they claim could replace many of the lithium-ion and alkaline batteries powering our gadgets today. The prototype aluminum-ion battery is also safer, not bursting into flames as some of its lithium-ion brethren are wont to do.
The prototype battery features an anode made of aluminum, a cathode of graphite and an ionic liquid electrolyte, all packed within a flexible, polymer-coated pouch. And unlike lithium-ion batteries, which can short circuit and explode or catch fire when punctured, the aluminum-ion battery will actually continue working for a short while before not bursting into flames.
Flexible, fast-charging aluminum-ion battery offers safer alternative to lithium-ion – [Link]
The wonder material with so many extraordinary properties has found its way out of the research lab and into a commercial product. This new product will surely posses super powers and allow us to do things we thought impossible and probably change our lives for ever. Well, actually no. In this case Graphene has been used in the reinvention of what was arguably the first commercial electrical device patented back in 1879. It is perilously close to April 1st but the National Graphene Institute has announced they will be producing a light bulb based on graphene.
The light bulb has an LED shaped like a filament coated in graphene. It is thought the new lamp will use 10 % less energy compared to conventional light bulbs. Manufacturing costs are also lower and it will be made using more sustainable components. The company behind this new light bulb is Graphene Lighting. Professor Colin Bailey is a director of the company and also deputy vice-chancellor at Manchester University. According to Prof Bailey the light bulb should be available later this year and will be priced around $22.
The future looks bright for graphene – [Link]
by R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:
PORTLAND, Ore.– Researchers sponsored by the Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC, Research Triangle Park, N.C.) claim they have extended Moore’s Law by finding a way to cut serial link power by as much as 80 percent. The innovation at the University of Illinois (Urbana) is a new on/off transceiver to be used on chips, between chips, between boards and between servers at data centers.
The team estimates the technique can reduce power up to whopping 44 times for communications, extending Moore’s Law by increasing computational capacity without increasing power. “While this technique isn’t designed to push processors to go faster, it does, in the context of a datacenter, allow for power saved in the link budget to be used elsewhere,” David Yeh, SRC director of Integrated Circuits and Systems Sciences told EETimes.
Researchers Claim 44x Power Cuts – [Link]