Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 25

GaN-on-GaN power semis Power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) are heating up in the market. Typically, suppliers are shipping devices using a GaN-on-silicon process. These devices are available with blocking voltages of up to 650 volts. Going beyond 650 volts is problematic, however. GaN-on-silicon processes suffer from lattice mismatches, cost and other issues. At the ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 18

Measuring gooey materials The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Thermo Fisher Scientific have devised an instrument that correlates the flow properties of “soft gooey” materials, such as gels, molten polymers and biological fluids. The instrument, called a rheo-Raman microscope, combines three instruments into one system. First, the system incorporates a Raman sp... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 11

Space elevators Last year, Pennsylvania State University disclosed a technology called benzene-derived carbon nanothreads or sometimes called diamond nanothreads (DNTs). DNTs resemble carbon nanotubes. They are tiny hollow cylindrical tubes that are stronger than steel, but they are also brittle. Basically, DNTs are 1D structures with poly-benzene sections, which are connected by Stone–Wa... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 4

China’s powerful laser The Shanghai Superintense-Ultrafast Lasers Facility (SULF) in China claims to have demonstrated the world’s most powerful laser. The ultra-intense, ultra-fast laser is said to have delivered a peak power of more than five petawatts. This is supposedly the largest peak-power laser pulse ever measured on record. A petawatt is equivalent to one quadrillion watts. ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 27

X-ray movies Leveraging the concepts behind the paradox of Schroedinger’s cat, the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) has made an X-ray movie of the internal workings of a molecule. Specifically, SLAC has taken time-resolved femtosecond x-ray diffraction patterns from a molecular iodine sample. Then, researchers created a movie of intramolecular motion wi... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 20

Crystal database The University of California at San Diego and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created an open-source database of elemental crystal surfaces and shapes. The database, called Crystalium, is a new and expanding set of information about various crystals. The database can help researchers design new materials for various applications, such as batteries, catalytic conv... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 13

Direct-write liquid litho The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed what could be called direct-write liquid lithography. In the lab, researchers have modified a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM). Then, using the STEM as an e-beam tool, researchers have devised a technology that enables the direct write of tiny features in “microfabricated liq... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 6

DARPA ALD The University of Colorado at Boulder has developed an atomic layer deposition (ALD) technology that can be performed at room temperatures. The technology, dubbed electron-enhanced ALD (EE-ALD), has been developed as part of the Local Control of Materials Synthesis (LoCo) program at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The LoCo program is developing tech... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 30

Redefining the ampere In 2014, an international group called the BIPM agreed to redefine four common units of measurements--the kilogram, the ampere, the kelvin and the mole. These units of measurement make up the so-called International System of Units or SI. In total, there are seven SI base units—meter, kilogram, second, ampere, kelvin, mole, and the candela. Work is already under wa... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 23

Rolling Out Solar Power...Literally An International team of researchers have developed solar cells that can be added onto a roll of flexible plastic in liquid form, bringing the same kind of economies of production to the solar industry as rolls of paper and ink did for newspapers more than a century ago. Using a roll-to-roll processing method, the team was able to achieve a power conversi... » read more

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