System Bits: May 21


Washable, wearable energy devices for clothing Researchers at the University of Cambridge collaborated with colleagues at China’s Jiangnan University to develop wearable electronic components that could be woven into fabrics for clothing, suitable for energy conversion, flexible circuits, health-care monitoring, and other applications. Graphene and other materials can be directly incorpor... » read more

System Bits: April 30


Future batteries could use a graphene sponge Researchers at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology devised a porous, sponge-like aerogel, made of reduced-graphene oxide, to serve as a freestanding electrode in the battery cell. This utilization has the potential to advance lithium sulfur batteries, which are said to possess a theoretical energy density about five times greater than lithi... » read more

System Bits: April 16


Characterizing 2D borophene Researchers at Rice and Northwestern universities collaborated on a method to view the polymorphs of 2D borophene crystals, providing insights into the lattice configurations of the two-dimensional material. Boris Yakobson, a materials physicist at Rice’s Brown School of Engineering, and materials scientist Mark Hersam of Northwestern led a team that not only d... » read more

System Bits: April 8


Computers trained to design materials Researchers in the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering are applying deep learning technology to educate high-performance computers in the field of materials science, with the goal of having those computers design billions of potential materials. “You can train a computer to do what it would take many years for people to otherwise do,” ... » read more

A Different Kind Of Material World


The semiconductor manufacturing world is poised for big change, and the driver will be materials. Materials always have been a critical factor in semiconductors. Silicon is so important that an entire region of California is named after it. Rare earths have raised fears about nationalistic monopolies. And the shift from aluminum to copper interconnects at 130nm caused one of the most painful... » read more

System Bits: Feb. 11


Modeling computer vision on human vision University of Michigan scientists used digital foveation technology to render images that are more comprehensible to machine vision systems, while also reducing energy consumption by 80%. The effect is achieved by manipulating a camera’s firmware. “It'll make new things and things that were infeasible before, practical,” Professor Robert Dick s... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 18


Solar storage Engineers at MIT, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory designed a system to store renewable energy in vast amounts and deliver it back to the grid when power generation is low. The system stores excess electricity from solar or wind installations as heat using tanks of white-hot molten silicon, and then converts the light from the glowi... » read more

What’s A Mott FET?


The unique physics of two-dimensional semiconductors offers the potential for new kinds of switches that could extend the usefulness of conventional MOSFETs into a variety of new areas. A MOSFET applies a voltage to one side of the gate capacitor. The resulting electric field in the channel shifts the band structure and facilitates or impedes the flow of carriers. So as devices shrink, the g... » read more

Can Graphene Be Mass Manufactured?


Since the isolation of graphene in 2004, the high mobility and unique transport properties of 2-dimensional semiconductors have tantalized physicists and materials scientists. Their in-plane carrier transport and lack of dangling bonds potentially can minimize line/edge scattering and other effects of extreme scaling. While 2-D materials cannot compete with silicon at current device dime... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 3


Graphene foam devices Scientists at Rice University developed a method for building conductive, three-dimensional objects out of graphene foam, which they say could offer new possibilities for energy storage and flexible electronic sensor applications. The same lab initially created laser-induced graphene, or LIG, in 2014. The process involves heating inexpensive polyimide plastic sheets wi... » read more

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