Power/Performance Bits: June 19


Tandem solar reaches 25.2% efficiency In the push for ever-more efficient solar panels, researchers are turning to tandem, or double-junction, photovoltaics. Tandem solar panels use two different types of solar cell capable of absorbing different wavelengths of light stacked on top of each other to maximize the conversion of light rays into electrical power. Recently, two groups have reache... » read more

What If We Had Bi-Directional RRAM?


The ideal memristor device for neuromorphic computing would have linear and symmetric resistance behavior. Resistance would both increase and decrease gradually, allowing a direct correlation between the number of programming pulses and the resistance value. Real world RRAM devices, however, generally do not have these characteristics. In filamentary RRAM devices, the RESET operation can raise ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Sept. 5


Energy-harvesting yarn Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Hanyang University in South Korea developed a carbon nanotube yarn that generates electricity when stretched or twisted. Possible applications for the so-called "twistron" yarns include harvesting energy from the motion of ocean waves or from temperature fluctuations. When sewn into a shirt, these yarns served as a sel... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 11


China’s storage ring for EUV A group of researchers are banding together to propel the development of a storage ring technology that may one day be used as a power source for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. The collaboration includes five institutions. Researchers have organized an informal collaboration or study group with plans to develop a storage ring for EUV based on a techno... » read more

Materials For Future Electronics


Examining the research underway in electronics materials provides a keyhole view into what may be possible in future electronics design. Although some of this research will not end up in commercial products, it does provide an indication of the kinds of problems that are being addressed, how they are being approached, and where the research dollars are being spent. Flexible electronics are a... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 10


Etching superconducting materials Superconductors are devices that have zero electrical resistance, making them attractive for a range of applications. But superconductors must be cooled down to temperatures at or near absolute zero on the Kelvin scale to work. This, in turn, limits their applications. Absolute zero equates to −273.15° on the Celsius scale and −459.67° on the Fahrenheit ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 24


LEGO AFM Students from the University College London (UCL), Tsinghua University and Peking University have built an atomic force microscope (AFM) or nanoscope using toy LEGOs. The AFM, dubbed LEGO2NANO, costs less than $500 to make. In contrast, traditional AFMs cost $100,000 or more. The system was made using LEGOs, Arduino controllers, 3D printed parts and consumer electronics. [captio... » read more