Still Searching For Rare Earths

There is both good and bad news for buyers of rare earths. The good news: It’s a buyers’ market. Prices for rare earths remain depressed amid a glut in the marketplace. The bad news: The supplier base is shaky. China still accounts for 85% of the world’s total production of rare earths, but most Chinese suppliers are operating at a loss. And two of the main non-Chinese suppliers, M... » read more

Searching For Rare Earths Again

Rare earths are back in the spotlight again. Rare earths are chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. They are used in cars, consumer electronics, computers, communications, clean energy and defense systems. The big market for rare earths is magnets. In semiconductor production, rare earths are used in high-k dielectrics, CMP slurries and other applications. Last year, the World Tr... » read more

System Bits: July 1

In the quest to build gadgets that can survive the abuse, engineers have been testing electronic systems based on new materials that are both flexible and switchable – that is, capable of toggling between two electrical states: on-off, one-zero, the binary commands that can program all things digital. At the same time, three Stanford researchers believe that they’ve discovered just such ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 15

Self-assembled nano-walls Using a self-assembly process, Texas A&M University and the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research have devised a new technology called “nano-walls.” [caption id="attachment_11488" align="alignnone" width="499"] Researchers use common spray gun to create self-assembling nanoparticle films. (Source: Texas A&M).[/caption] Researcher... » read more