Manufacturing Bits: June 21


Atomic sculpting Oak Ridge National Laboratory has combined a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) with new electronic controls. This tool enables the construction, or the atomic sculpting, of 3D-like feature sizes down to 1nm and 2nm. To achieve these dimensions, the STEM is controlled with a special set of programmable electronics. This, in turn, enables the STEM to tunnel in... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 22


Tunable windows Harvard University has put a new twist on tunable windows. Researchers have devised a new manufacturing technique that can change the opacity of a window. With the flip of a switch, the window can become cloudy, clear or somewhere in the middle. Tunable windows, which aren’t new, rely on electrochemical reactions. Typically, the glass is coated with materials using vacuum... » read more

The Bumpy Road To 10nm FinFETs


Foundry vendors are currently ramping up their 16nm/14nm [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFET"] processes in the market. Vendors are battling each other for business in the arena, although the migration from planar to finFETs is expected to be a slow and expensive process. Still, despite the challenges at 16nm/14nm, vendors are gearing up for the next battle in the foundry business—the 10nm nod... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 14


Monster waves of light The FOM Institute AMOLF has observed what researchers call monster waves of light. In this phenomenon, monster waves of light appear from nowhere and then disappear again. Researchers have shown that it is possible to influence the probability of this phenomenon. As a result, the technology could lead to faster telecommunication systems or more sensitive sensors, acco... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 10


Deadweight machines The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is in the process of cleaning, restoring and recalibrating its 4.45-million Newton deadweight machine. NIST’s deadweight machine, the largest of its kind in the world, is equivalent to one million pounds-force. Built in 1965, the deadweight system consists of a stack of 20 stainless steel discs about three meter... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 13


Pop-up 3D printing Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new “pop-up” printing technique to make 3D structures down to 100nm. The technique has advantages over today’s 3D printing, which is creating a lot of buzz, if not hype, in the market. Researchers from Northwestern and Illinois devised a printing technique that mimics the act... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 6


Vertical SiC chips for electric cars Silicon carbide (SiC) is a promising material for power electronics. The material has a high breakdown voltage, high operating temperatures and a superior thermal conductivity. At the recent 2014 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, Toyota, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and the... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 30


Mechanical switches For years, the industry has been talking about the use of advanced mechanical switches in low-power applications. In theory, mechanical switches have zero off-state leakages, abrupt ON/OFF switching capabilities and small voltage swings. Mechanical switches could overcome the energy efficiency limit of CMOS. In fact, mechanical switches could replace CMOS in some applica... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 9


Whispering sensors Inspired by a whispering technology from a famous cathedral, Washington University in St. Louis and Tsinghua University in China have developed a new sensor that can detect and count nanoparticles down to 10nm and perhaps below. Researchers have devised a Raman microlaser sensor in a silicon dioxide chip. The microsensor is called a whispering gallery mode resonator (WGMR... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 22


Skateboarding on 2D materials Two-dimensional materials are gaining steam in the R&D labs. The 2D materials include graphene, boron nitride (BN) and the transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). These materials are attractive candidates for futuristic field-effect transistors (FETs). But researchers must gain more insight into these materials in order to understand their properties. For ... » read more

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