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: May 10

Diamond polarimeters The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) has achieved what it says are the highest precision measurements of polarization in an atom smasher. The measurements were conducted with an instrument called a Hall C Compton Polarimeter. The polarimeter makes use of electron-photon scattering techniques and diamond-based microstrip detectors. The g... » read more

Searching For The Next Power Transistor

For decades, the industry has relied on various power semiconductors to control and convert electrical power in an efficient manner. Power semis are ubiquitous, as they are found in adapters, appliances, cars, elevators, switching power supplies, power grids and other systems. But today’s silicon-based power semiconductor transistor technologies, such as IGBTs, MOSFETs and thyristors, are ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 29

Cool Magnets MIT researchers believe that magnets on the outside of the refrigerator may someday be used for cooling. Magnons, which are essentially a collective spin wave or quasi-particle, are also conductors of heat. MIT researchers found that when exposed to a magnetic field gradient, magnons can be driven from one end of a magnet to another, carrying heat with them. “You can p... » read more

What Comes Next?

The latest manufacturing, materials and production developments for emerging and adjacent markets will be featured at SEMICON West 2014 (, to be held on July 8-10 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Calif. The co-location of emerging and adjacent market focused exhibitors and technical presentations within the framework of SEMICON West maximizes the synergies between sem... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 10

Self-Assembling Nano Films Applying thin films with uniformity has always been an engineering challenge, but as feature sizes shrink the problem become even more pronounced. But a new approach developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs’ Materials Science Division could end up simplifying this process. The new approach used chloroform as an annealing solvent to create self-assembling arr... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 10

Optical Metamaterial with a Refractive Index of Zero Most of the time we hear about the need for coherent light sources, such as those produced by lasers, but there may be equal promise looking in the other direction. Quantum processors promise to be many times faster and more powerful than today’s supercomputers, but to get to that point they will need fast and efficient multi-directiona... » read more

Power-Performance Bits: Nov. 19

Different Species of Carbon Nanotubes We all know that humans can be either left or right handed, but what about carbon nanotubes? Apparently, single-walled carbon nanotubes come in a plethora of different “species,” each with its own structure and unique combination of electronic and optical properties. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 9

Fishy Robots National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a robotic fish that mimics the movements of a carp—a technology that could pave the way for more efficient autonomous underwater vehicles. This robot is classified as an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Applications include military, pipeline leakage detection, and the laying of communication cable. The robot could be u... » read more

LED Firms Mull New Wafer Sizes And Materials

By Mark LaPedus Seeking to reduce the cost of solid-state lighting and related applications, LED manufacturers are taking a page from the IC industry: They are looking at larger wafer sizes and new materials in the fab. Today, the state-of-the-art LED fab is a 150mm (6-inch) facility, but a large percentage of these plants are still using 50mm (2-inch) substrates. The vast majority of LED s... » read more