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Sharper lines, faster chips

December 14, 2011 4:47 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

The microchip revolution has seen a steady shrinking of features on silicon chips, packing in more transistors and wires to boost chips' speed and data capacity. But in recent years, the technologies behind these chips have begun to bump up against fundamental limits, such as the wavelengths of light used for critical steps in chip manufacturing. Now, a new technique offers a way to break through one of these limits.

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Analytical Tool for Quantification of Polymers

December 14, 2011 4:30 am | Product Releases | Comments

B&W Tek Inc announced its partnership with Gnosys Global Ltd. on the PolymerIQ, a solution for real-time, non-destructive identification and quantification of polymers.

Multiphysics Simulation Tool

December 14, 2011 4:26 am | Product Releases | Comments

A new version of the Opera electromagnetics simulator for design engineers has been released by Cobham Technical Services. The latest software adds 3D mechanical stress analysis, extending the tool's multiphysics capability to provide a single-step solution to complex design problems.

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Millimeter waves help monitor food and more

December 14, 2011 4:18 am | News | Comments

Able to see through all non-transparent materials, the SAMMI—short for Stand Alone MilliMeter wave Imager—is an invention by Fraunhofer Institute engineers to find hazards and impurities in food and other non-metallic materials without using harmful waves. And it can detect things invisible to X-rays.

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Amorphous silicon brings flex and efficiency to electronic optical fibers

December 14, 2011 3:30 am | News | Comments

A new chemical technique for depositing a non-crystalline form of silicon into the long, ultra-thin pores of optical fibers has been developed by an international team of scientists. The method is the first of its kind to use high-pressure chemistry to make this particular kind of well-developed films and wires.

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Largest-ever gas mix caught in ultra-freeze trap

December 14, 2011 3:25 am | News | Comments

A team of scientists in France have slowed down the movement of a large quantity of gaseous atoms at ultra-low temperature, trapping them for closer study. The effort, which builds directly from the method that won the 1997 Nobel Prize, has doubled the previous record for trapping atoms.

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Solution-based technology produces flex-and-stretch electronics

December 14, 2011 3:21 am | News | Comments

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory engineers have pioneered a new inexpensive technique for fabricating large-scale flexible and stretchable backplanes using semiconductor-enriched carbon nanotube solutions. Their method yields networks of thin film transistors with excellent charge carrier mobility.

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New operating system for space: High-tech tycoons

December 13, 2011 4:21 pm | by Donna Blankinship and Seth Borenstein, Associated Press | News | Comments

The tycoons of cyberspace are looking to bankroll America's resurgence in outer space, reviving "Star Trek" dreams that first interested them in science. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen made the latest step Tuesday, unveiling plans for a new commercial spaceship that, instead of blasting off a launch pad, would be carried high into the atmosphere by the widest plane ever built.

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Affordable solar energy may be closer than we think

December 13, 2011 4:02 pm | News | Comments

Sure, solar only generates about 1% of the electricity in the U.S. But to Joshua Pearce, an associate professor of electrical engineering and materials science at Michigan Technological University, economics shows that ratio is about to change, allowing solar to go mainstream.

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New communication code discovered in disease-causing bacteria

December 13, 2011 3:53 pm | News | Comments

Single-celled bacteria coordinate attacks by sending each other coded messages. Until now, the diversity of these codes was thought to be extremely limited. But recent research has revealed communication by a previously undescribed signal type. Stranger still is an apparent cypher-breaking system that some plants have evolved in response.

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Advanced carbon fiber may be nearing broad automotive use

December 13, 2011 2:40 pm | News | Comments

General Motors and Teijin Limited, a manufacturer of carbon fiber and composites, have announced they will co-develop advanced carbon fiber composite technologies for potential high-volume use globally in GM cars, trucks, and crossovers.

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New MEMS resonator achieves low loss, high quality at RF frequencies

December 13, 2011 2:34 pm | News | Comments

At the 2011 International Electron Devices Meeting, Semiconductor Research Corporation and Cornell University revealed their work in advancing on-chip silicon development for smaller, mobile electronic devices through the implementation of radio frequency MEMS resonators on a silicon chip.

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Volumetric titrator reduces reagent waste

December 13, 2011 7:25 am | Product Releases | Comments

JM ?Science’s AQV-2200S AQUACOUNTER Karl Fischer Volumetric Titrator features small volume titration cells requiring only 20 mL of titration solvent for accurate measurements. The instrument is suitable for a wide measurement range from 100 ppm to 100% water content.

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Integrated PLC provides reduction in development time

December 13, 2011 7:20 am | Product Releases | Comments

Aerotech’s new A3200 MotionPAC is a software-based programmable logic controller that is completely integrated with the company’s A3200 motion controller to increase programming efficiency, increase quality, and decrease development time by 30 to 50%.

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Congress reaches deal on SBIR reauthorization

December 13, 2011 7:14 am | News | Comments

The Small Business Innovation Research and the Small Business Technology Transfer programs were both set to expire on Dec. 16, 2011. But on Monday evening, Congress successfully negotiated a long-term reauthorization.

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