Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 15


Lasersabers and laser swords In 2013, the California Institute of Technology, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found a way to bind two photons, thereby forming photonic molecules. To accomplish this feat, Caltech, Harvard and MIT pumped rubidium atoms into a vacuum chamber. They used lasers to cool the atoms. Then, they fired photons into a cloud of atoms. This, ... » read more

System Bits: Aug. 25


Quantum computer building block In a finding that could ultimately be used to produce key components of quantum computers in the future, a team of researchers led by MIT have analyzed an exotic kind of magnetic behavior, driven by the mere proximity of two materials, using a technique called spin-polarized neutron reflectometry. This discovery could also be used to probe a variety of exotic... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 21


Graphene metrology Harvard University, Monash University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new technique that provides atomic-scale images of colloidal nanoparticles. The technique, dubbed SINGLE, stands for 3D Structure Identification of Nanoparticles by Graphene Liquid Cell Electron Microscopy. Using the technology, researchers ha... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 28


CIA and 3D printers Voxel8, a supplier of 3D printers, has closed a strategic investment and technology development agreement with In-Q-Tel (IQT), the venture capital arm of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Voxel8, founded by technologists from Harvard University, is commercializing a new platform for 3D printing. The company enables engineers to create products with embedded 3D ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 30


Muscle-on-a-chip Harvard University has developed a human airway muscle-on-a-chip as a means to test new drugs for the treatment of asthma. There is an urgent need for a new breakthrough in this arena. The majority of drugs used to treat asthma have not changed in 50 years, according to researchers at Harvard. Asthma affects nearly 25 million people in the United States alone. Asthma, ac... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 12


Origami Robots It may sound like something out of the movie Transformers, but MIT and Harvard have created origami robots that be reconfigured using timed sequencing. The robots were built from laser-cut parts using five layers of materials. A layer of etched copper is embedded between two structural layers of paper, with outer layers made of a polymer that folds when heated, according to... » read more

If It Ain’t Broke, Start Fixing It Right Away


"If it ain't broke don't fix it." It’s a line that can lull businesses into fatal complacency. It lies at the heart of Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen's innovator's dilemma writings: The products or services driving a successful business "ain't broke," but they usually prevent companies from anticipating or responding to disruptive innovation outside their walls. Our electronics ind... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 24


Solar-cell efficiency in one step Rice University scientists have created a single-step process for producing highly efficient materials that let the maximum amount of sunlight reach a solar cell. The Rice lab of chemist Andrew Barron found a simple way to etch nanoscale spikes into silicon that allows more than 99 percent of sunlight to reach the cells’ active elements, where it can be t... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: May 6


Litho beam startup A startup has developed a new beam technology for advanced lithography applications. The company, called Digibeam, has demonstrated the ability to shoot a particle beam through a slow wave RF structure to create a train of compressed beam packets for high-throughput lithography. “Synchronized with high-speed deflection, the core technology enables shot rates well into t... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 15


Smaller is not always better While Moore’s Law-esque shrinking has allowed for economies of scale in many industries, when it comes to nanomedicine, however, smaller is not always better, according to researchers at UCLA. They have determined that the diminutive size of nanowire-based biosensors -- that healthcare workers use to detect proteins that mark the onset of heart failure, cancer an... » read more

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