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11 Jul 2015

20150629013013_lithiumDendrite

by Martin Cooke @ elektormagazine.com:

A paper published in the June 17th edition of Nature Communications describes how the addition of two chemicals to the electrolyte of lithium metal batteries can prevent the formation of dendrites. These are needles of lithium which grow in the battery and eventually puncture the barrier between the two battery halves. Their formation can cause short circuits in the battery which leads to overheating and sometimes combustion.

According to the paper this breakthrough could help remove a major barrier to the future development of lithium-sulfur and lithium-air batteries. These promising new battery technologies could store up to 10 times more energy per weight than batteries in use today in consumer electronics and electric cars.

Research Points the way to Safer Lithium Batteries – [Link]

10 Jul 2015

20150630012417_Waffle

by Rob Matheson @ MIT News Office:

An implantable, microchip-based device may soon replace the injections and pills now needed to treat chronic diseases: Earlier this month, MIT spinout Microchips Biotech partnered with a pharmaceutical giant to commercialize its wirelessly controlled, implantable, microchip-based devices that store and release drugs inside the body over many years.

Invented by Microchips Biotech co-founders Michael Cima, the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering, and Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor, the microchips consist of hundreds of pinhead-sized reservoirs, each capped with a metal membrane, that store tiny doses of therapeutics or chemicals. An electric current delivered by the device removes the membrane, releasing a single dose. The device can be programmed wirelessly to release individual doses for up to 16 years to treat, for example, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and osteoporosis.

Waffle implant supplies drugs – [Link]

7 Jul 2015

ncomms8393-f1

by GardenState @ element14.com:

Silicon is receiving considerable attention as an active material for next- generation lithium-ion battery anodes because of its gravimetric capacity–a measure in mAh/g of the total charge capacity stored by the cell or battery, per gram of the battery’s weight.

Unfortunately, the large volume change of silicon during charge–discharge cycles has in the past weakened its competitiveness. Recently, however, a research group from Samsung reported in the publication Nature Communications that using direct graphene growth over silicon nanoparticles without silicon carbide formation resulted in a near doubling of run-time by expanding energy density– the amount of stored power in a given area — to 1.8 times that of current batteries.

Samsung Researchers Nearly Double Lithium-ion Battery Capacity – [Link]

24 Apr 2015

molecule-size-switch

by Colin Jeffrey @ gizmag.com:

In the pursuit of ever-shrinking circuitry for nanotechnology electronics, increasingly smaller devices and components are being developed. Now researchers at the University of Konstanz and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) claim to have micro-miniaturized the humble electrical switch all the way down to molecule size and proven its operation for the very first time. Unable to flick such a tiny switch mechanically, however, the researchers instead used light to turn it on.

World’s first light-activated, molecule-sized switch gets turned on – [Link]


30 Mar 2015

5512898893ecc

by Tom Abate @ phys.org:

Computer chips, solar cells and other electronic devices have traditionally been based on silicon, the most famous of the semiconductors, that special class of materials whose unique electronic properties can be manipulated to turn electricity on and off the way faucets control the flow of water.

There are other semiconductors. Gallium arsenide is one such material and it has certain technical advantages over silicon – electrons race through its crystalline structure faster than they can move through silicon.

But silicon has a crushing commercial advantage. It is roughly a thousand times cheaper to make. As a result, gallium arsenide-based devices are only used in niche applications where their special capabilities justify their higher cost.

Cellphones, for instance, typically rely on speedy gallium arsenide chips to process the high-frequency radio signals that arrive faster than silicon can handle.

New process could make gallium arsenide cheaper for computer chips, solar cells – [Link]

27 Mar 2015

UHVCVD-2

by R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:

PORTLAND, Oregon — Scientists trying to fulfill the 80-year-old dream of Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner, recently discovered how to place crystalline lattices of pure electrons in the bottom of a silicon-encased quantum well. The resulting material promises electron mobility more than 200 times greater than that of graphene and more than 1,700 times that of crystalline silicon.

So far, the work is still at the level of fundamental physics, but if researchers make the kind of advances they anticipate they could open a door to significant applications in semiconductors.

Scientists Pursue Super-Fast Material – [Link]

23 Mar 2015

self-correcting-quantum-device

by Colin Jeffrey @ gizmag.com:

Before the dream of quantum computing is realized, a number of inherent problems must first be solved. One of these is the ability to maintain a stable memory system that overcomes the intrinsic instability of the basic unit of information in quantum computing – the quantum bit or “qubit”. To address this problem, Physicists working at the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) claim to have created breakthrough circuitry that continuously self-checks for inaccuracies to consistently maintain the error-free status of the quantum memory.

First-ever quantum device that detects and corrects its own errors – [Link]

4 Mar 2015

dendrite-free-battery-0

by Colin Jeffrey @ gizmag.com:

Dendrites – thin conductive filaments that form inside lithium batteries – reduce the life of these cells and are often responsible for them catching fire. Scientists working at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) of the US Department of Energy claim to have produced a new electrolyte for lithium batteries that not only completely eliminates dendrites, but also promises to increase battery efficiency and vastly improve current carrying capacity.

New electrolyte promises to rid lithium batteries of short-circuiting dendrites – [Link]

24 Feb 2015

rcj_Quantum_Transistor_TACC_MoS2_3

by R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:

A new type of transistor harnesses a new effect–called the quantum spin Hall effect — to create a topological field effect transistor (TFET) according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researcher who recently moved to the newly formed Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University where the Texas Advanced Computer Center (TACC) confirmed the researcher’s results.

“We found that when deposited in a flat sheet just three atoms thick, our crystalline lattices exhibited a new electronic effect we call the quantum spin Hall effect,” professor Xiaofeng Qian told EE Times.

Transistors Prelude Quantum Computers – [Link]

26 Jan 2015

germanium-tin-laser-2

by Colin Jeffrey @ gizmag.com:

Swiss scientists have created the first semiconductor laser consisting solely of elements of main group IV (the carbon group) on the periodic table. Simply, this means that the new device is directly compatible with other elements in that group – such as silicon, carbon, and lead – and so can be directly incorporated in a silicon chip as it is manufactured. This presents new possibilities for transmitting data around computer chips using light, which could result in potential transfer speeds exponentially faster than possible with copper wire and using only a fraction of the energy of today’s integrated circuits.

First germanium-tin semiconductor laser directly compatible with silicon chips – [Link]



 
 
 

 

 

 

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