Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 20


Hedgehog spin-vortex crystals The U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory has discovered a missing piece to enable novel superconductor devices--the hedgehog spin-vortex crystal phase. 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 ... » read more

System Bits: Jan. 9


Microspectrometer smartens up smartphones Thanks to researchers at TU Eindhoven, smartphones are about to get much smarter to do things like checking how clean the air is, whether food is fresh or a lump is malignant thanks to a spectrometer that is so small it can be incorporated easily and cheaply in a mobile phone. The little sensor developed at TU Eindhoven is just as precise as the no... » read more

Joint R&D Has Its Ups And Downs


As corporate spending on research and development dwindles, enterprises are reaching out to colleges and universities to supplement their R&D. And they often are finding eager partners in those endeavors, as professors and their graduate students look for help, financial and technical, in addressing long-term research projects. “Pure research is just a luxury no one can afford anymore,... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 16


Dissolving batteries Researchers at Iowa State University developed a self-destructing lithium-ion battery capable of delivering 2.5 volts and dissolving or dissipating in 30 minutes when dropped in water. The battery can power a desktop calculator for about 15 minutes. Making such devices possible is the goal of a relatively new field of study called "transient electronics." These transi... » read more