Power/Performance Bits: April 25


Thermal diode Engineers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln developed a nano-thermal-mechanical device, or thermal diode, which uses heat as an alternative energy source that would allow computing at ultra-high temperatures. "If you think about it, whatever you do with electricity you should (also) be able to do with heat, because they are similar in many ways," said Sidy Ndao, assistan... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 11


Getting to 1nm Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, University of Texas at Dallas, and Stanford University created a transistor with a working 1nm gate from carbon nanotubes and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). "The semiconductor industry has long assumed that any gate below 5 nanometers wouldn't work, so anything below that was not even considered," said fir... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 10


Non-toxic thin-films A team at Australia's University of New South Wales achieved the world's highest efficiency using flexible solar cells that are non-toxic and cheap to make, with a record 7.6% efficiency in a 1cm2 area thin-film CZTS cell. Unlike its thin-film competitors, CZTS cells are made from abundant materials: copper, zinc, tin and sulphur, and has none of the toxicity problems... » 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

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 29


Printing hair Using a low-cost, 3D printing technique, Carnegie Mellon University has found a way to produce hair-like strands and fibers. The printer produces plastic hair strand by strand. It takes about 20-25 minutes to generate hair on 10 square millimeters. A video can be seen here. [caption id="attachment_24544" align="alignleft" width="300"] 3D printed hair (Photo: Carnegie Mellon... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 14


MoS2 FETs 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). One TMD, molybdenum diselenide (MoS2), is an attractive material for use in future field-effect transistors (FETs). MoS2 has several properties, including a non-zero band gap, atomic scale thickness and pristine int... » read more