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Manufacturing Bits: April 14


Monster waves of light The FOM Institute AMOLF has observed what researchers call monster waves of light. In this phenomenon, monster waves of light appear from nowhere and then disappear again. Researchers have shown that it is possible to influence the probability of this phenomenon. As a result, the technology could lead to faster telecommunication systems or more sensitive sensors, acco... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 10


Deadweight machines The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is in the process of cleaning, restoring and recalibrating its 4.45-million Newton deadweight machine. NIST’s deadweight machine, the largest of its kind in the world, is equivalent to one million pounds-force. Built in 1965, the deadweight system consists of a stack of 20 stainless steel discs about three meter... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 13


Pop-up 3D printing Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new “pop-up” printing technique to make 3D structures down to 100nm. The technique has advantages over today’s 3D printing, which is creating a lot of buzz, if not hype, in the market. Researchers from Northwestern and Illinois devised a printing technique that mimics the act... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 6


Vertical SiC chips for electric cars Silicon carbide (SiC) is a promising material for power electronics. The material has a high breakdown voltage, high operating temperatures and a superior thermal conductivity. At the recent 2014 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, Toyota, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and the... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 30


Mechanical switches For years, the industry has been talking about the use of advanced mechanical switches in low-power applications. In theory, mechanical switches have zero off-state leakages, abrupt ON/OFF switching capabilities and small voltage swings. Mechanical switches could overcome the energy efficiency limit of CMOS. In fact, mechanical switches could replace CMOS in some applica... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 9


Whispering sensors Inspired by a whispering technology from a famous cathedral, Washington University in St. Louis and Tsinghua University in China have developed a new sensor that can detect and count nanoparticles down to 10nm and perhaps below. Researchers have devised a Raman microlaser sensor in a silicon dioxide chip. The microsensor is called a whispering gallery mode resonator (WGMR... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 22


Skateboarding on 2D materials 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). These materials are attractive candidates for futuristic field-effect transistors (FETs). But researchers must gain more insight into these materials in order to understand their properties. For ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 29


Silky e-beam lithography Tufts University has put a soft and silky spin on direct-write electron-beam lithography. Researchers used common silk as the resist material, enabling the production of photonic lattices, quantum dots and other structures. This approach is a green alternative to traditional and toxic resists. The silk-based resist is developed using a water-based process. It starts... » read more

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