Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 1


Concentrating photovoltaics Engineers at Penn State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tested a new concentrating photovoltaic solar system, which they say can produce over 50% more energy per day than standard silicon solar cells. In contrast to silicon solar panels, which currently dominate the market at 15 to 20 percent efficiency, concentrating photovoltaics (... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 27


Superconducting nanowire memory cell Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the State University of New York at Stony Brook developed a new nanoscale memory cell that provides stable memory at a smaller size than other proposed memory devices, and holds promise for successful integration with superconducting processors. The device comprises two superconducting nan... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 13


Theoretical all-carbon circuits Engineers at the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Central Florida, and Northwestern University designed a novel computing system made solely from carbon. "The concept brings together an assortment of existing nanoscale technologies and combines them in a new way," said Dr. Joseph S. Friedman, ass... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: May 23


Pushing optical metrology The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed a new way to determine crystal types using optical metrology techniques. Using an optical-based technique called absorption spectroscopy, researchers have detected tiny nanocrystals down to about 2nm resolutions. Absorption spectroscopy measures the absorption of radiation. It is measured as a function o... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Aug. 23


Rolling Out Solar Power...Literally An International team of researchers have developed solar cells that can be added onto a roll of flexible plastic in liquid form, bringing the same kind of economies of production to the solar industry as rolls of paper and ink did for newspapers more than a century ago. Using a roll-to-roll processing method, the team was able to achieve a power conversi... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 19


Antiferromagnetic memory Physicists at The University of Nottingham, working in collaboration with researchers in the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, and Hitachi Europe showed that the magnetic spins of antiferromagnets can be controlled to make a completely different form of digital memory. This was the first demonstration of electrical current control of antiferromagnets, and the first... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 15


Biologically powered chip Columbia Engineering researchers powered an integrated circuit from adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of life. They achieved this by integrating a conventional solid-state CMOS integrated circuit with an artificial lipid bilayer membrane containing ATP-powered ion pumps, opening the door to creating entirely new artificial systems that contain both b... » read more

System Bits: Feb. 3


A viable silicon substitute A new study by UC Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) moves graphene a step closer to knocking silicon off as the dominant workhorse of the electronics industry. They reminded that while silicon is ubiquitous in semiconductors and integrated circuits, researchers have been eyeing graphene, a one-atom... » read more

Amazing New Materials


Materials are fundamental to active photonics devices, and there were plenty of developments discussed at Photonics West 2014. Element Six was happy to talk about progress in making large single-crystal diamond and even larger polycrystalline diamond wafers. Carbon has a number of stable forms; diamond, graphite, nanotubes and amorphous carbon. The Element Six process uses CVD conditions in ... » read more

System Bits: Sept. 24


Printing nanostructures with self-assembling material A multi-institutional team of engineers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Chicago and Hanyang University in Korea has developed a new approach to the fabrication of nanostructures for the semiconductor and magnetic storage industries. The approach combines top-down advanced ink-jet printing technology... » read more

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