Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 14


Strange metals The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (National MagLab) has unraveled the behavior in a new class of high-temperature superconductor (HTS) materials called cuprates. Cuprates are sometimes referred as a "strange" or "bad" metal. They don't conduct electricity well despite being a superconducting material. Superconductors are devices that have zero electrical resistance,... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: March 27


Equalizing batteries Engineers at the University of Toledo propose a bilevel equalizer technology to improve the life span of batteries by combining the high performance of an active equalizer with the low cost of a passive equalizer. "Whenever we are talking about batteries, we are talking about cells connected in a series. Over time, the battery is not balanced and limited by the weakest ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 13


Watching nanowires grow Using X-ray techniques, the University of Siegen and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have observed the formation of tiny nanowires in gallium arsenide (GaAs) materials in real time. GaAs is used for fiber optics, infrared systems, RF devices in mobile phones and solar panels in spacecraft. Observing the growth of GaAs nanowires could lead to a better unde... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 21


Greener greenhouses Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz are testing greenhouses capable of generating some of their own energy, without hampering plant growth. Greenhouses use electricity to control temperature and power fans, lights, and other monitoring systems. Electricity-generating solar greenhouses utilize Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic Systems (WSPVs), a novel ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 15


Solar sunglasses Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed sunglasses with colored, semitransparent organic solar cells applied onto the lenses capable of supplying a microprocessor and two displays with electric power. The solar cell lenses, perfectly fitted to a commercial frame, have a thickness of approx. 1.6 millimeters and weigh about six grams, just like th... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: March 21


Making harder windows Using cubic silicon nitride materials, a team of researchers have developed a harder window that can sustain severe conditions. There is a demand for harder and stronger windows in various applications, such as engines, ball bearings, cutting tools and other others. To enable this technology, researchers used materials based on transparent polycrystalline ceramics. One... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Feb. 7


The University of California at Santa Barbara claims to have developed the world’s smallest hammer. The technology, dubbed the μHammer or microHammer, is geared for biomedical research. With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the tiny hammer will allow researchers to get a cellular-level understanding when force is applied to brain cells. The project is part of the U.S.-b... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 11


Getting to 1nm Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, University of Texas at Dallas, and Stanford University created a transistor with a working 1nm gate from carbon nanotubes and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). "The semiconductor industry has long assumed that any gate below 5 nanometers wouldn't work, so anything below that was not even considered," said fir... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 28


Mimicking roses for solar Scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) reproduced the epidermal cells of rose petals and integrated the transparent replicas into an organic solar cell, with an efficiency gain of 12%. The epidermis of rose petals consists of a disorganized arrangement of densely p... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: April 26


An on-chip light source Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) demonstrated that carbon nanotubes are suited for use as an on-chip light source. By integrating tiny carbon nanotubes into a nanostructured waveguide, the team developed a compact miniaturized switching element that converts electric signals into clearly defined optical signals. "The nanostructures act lik... » read more

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