Manufacturing Bits: March 21


Making harder windows Using cubic silicon nitride materials, a team of researchers have developed a harder window that can sustain severe conditions. There is a demand for harder and stronger windows in various applications, such as engines, ball bearings, cutting tools and other others. To enable this technology, researchers used materials based on transparent polycrystalline ceramics. One... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 14


Making quark soup CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, recently presented its latest results on quark-gluon plasma, or quark soup, a state of matter that supposedly existed during the early formation of the universe. For this, CERN used the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. The LHC is situated in a tunnel 100 meters underground ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 29


Supersonic kinetic spraying Low-cost flexible electronics could enable a new class of products, such as roll-up displays, wearable electronics, flexible solar cells and electronic skin. There is a major barrier to enable these technologies, however. The problem is to make flexible transparent conducting films that are scalable and economical. The University of Illinois at Chicago and Kor... » 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: July 12


Detecting zeptojoules Aalto University has broken the world’s record for microwave detection. Specifically, researchers detected zeptojoule microwave pulses using a superconducting microwave detector, based on proximity-induced Josephson junctions. This broke the record by fourteenfold, according to researchers. Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation. They have frequencies... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: May 3


DNA thermometers The University of Montreal has taken DNA and built the world’s smallest thermometer. The programmable DNA thermometer is 5nm, or 20,000 times smaller than a human hair. Applications for the technology include cell imaging, nanofluidics, nanomedicine, nanoelectronics and synthetic biology, according to the University of Montreal. Researchers added optical reporters to D... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 16


Monoxide chips Two-dimensional (2D) materials are gaining steam in the R&D labs. The 2D materials could enable a new class of field-effect transistors (FETs), but the technology isn’t expected to appear until sometime in the next decade. The 2D materials include graphene, boron nitride and the transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). One TMD, molybdenum diselenide (MoS2), is gaining inter... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 26


Giant vice Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), a research center within the Helmholtz Association, has installed a giant vise or press in its organization. The vise, dubbed the Large Volume Press (LVP), measures 4.5 meters in height and weighs 35 tons. It can exert a force of up to 500 tons on each of its three axes. [caption id="attachment_25030" align="alignleft" width="160"] Th... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 27


CD-SAXS makes progress For years, chipmakers have used metrology tools based on various optical techniques, such as scatterometry. But optical-based scatterometry may one day run out of steam, prompting the need for a possible replacement. One long-awaited candidate is called X-ray scattering. There are various flavors of X-ray scattering, including CD small-angle X-ray scattering (CD-SAXS)... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 13


Exploring plasmas with lasers The Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has upgraded its high-power laser system to 200 terawatts of power, roughly 100 times the world’s total power consumption compressed into tens of femtoseconds. The peak power before the upgrade was 30 terawatts. The upgraded laser will be coupled with SLAC's X-ray laser, dubbed the Linac Cohere... » read more

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