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Antennaless RFID tags solve problem of tracking metal and liquids

February 3, 2012 2:33 am | News | Comments

Most RFID tags that are to be used on metal objects are made by placing an antenna on a spacer. Such tags can be easily damaged because they stick out. New tags, developed by North Dakota State University researchers and being presented at an upcoming IEEE workshop, use the metal objects themselves as the antenna.

First-of-its-kind head patch monitors brain blood flow and oxygen

February 1, 2012 11:09 am | News | Comments

A research team led by investigators at Mayo Clinic in Florida has found that a small device worn on a patient's brow can be useful in monitoring blood oxygen in stroke patients in the hospital. Unlike a pulse oximeter, which also performs this task, the head patch uses near-infrared spectroscopy to quickly the presence of another stroke.

Kitchen gadget inspires scientist to make more effective plastic electronics

January 27, 2012 8:29 am | News | Comments

One day in 2010, Rutgers University physicist Vitaly Podzorov watched a store employee showcase a kitchen gadget that vacuum-seals food in plastic. The demo stuck with him. The simple concept—an airtight seal around pieces of food—just might apply to his research: Developing flexible electronics using lightweight organic semiconductors for products such as video displays or solar cells.

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Experts see tough road for Kodak to reinvent self

January 20, 2012 7:19 am | by Dave Carpenter, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Kodak is at a crossroads: It could go the way of Circuit City, or it could prosper after bankruptcy like General Motors. Even in bankruptcy, the company boasts some enviable strengths, including a rich collection of photo patents, and more than $4 billion in annual sales. But it may be too late for a transition.

UN sets stage for blazing fast mobile devices

January 19, 2012 4:51 am | by John Heilprin, Associated Press | News | Comments

Although still two years away for consumers, the next generation of mobile technology will be up to 500 times faster than 3G smartphones. Approved this week at a United Nations radio communications meeting, the technology standard is called IMT-Advanced and will use the radio-frequency spectrum much more efficiently.

Countries consider time out on the 'leap second'

January 18, 2012 5:33 am | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

After a long decade of deliberation, United Nations member countries will cast their vote this week on an issue that lasts literally just a second. Leap seconds are necessary to prevent atomic clocks from speeding ahead of solar time, but the United States and other countries want to abolish it for all time.

Magnetic actuation enables nanoscale thermal analysis

January 13, 2012 8:38 am | News | Comments

In recent years nanoscale thermal analysis has been employed to reveal the temperature-dependent properties of soft polymers at the nanoscale. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Anasys Instruments, Inc. have now shown that they can perform this nanoscale thermal analysis on stiff materials like epoxies and filled composites.    

Tiny transmitter sets frequency record

January 12, 2012 10:55 am | by Christian Meier | News | Comments

A team in Germany has built a transmitter less than a millimeter square that has generated the highest frequency ever attained by a microelectronic device: 1.111 THz. Compared to previous transmitters that have been bulky and expensive, the new device could soon find use in engineering applications.

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Keeping electronics cool

January 9, 2012 3:51 am | News | Comments

A University of California, Riverside team has made a breakthrough discovery with graphene, a material that could play a major role in keeping laptops and other electronic devices from overheating. The team has shown that the thermal properties of isotopically engineered graphene are far superior to those of graphene in its natural state.

Automatic tracking optimizes manual assembly

January 5, 2012 11:47 am | News | Comments

Manufacturing inspectors usually time procedures manually in order to organize manual assembly operations efficiently. This method is prone to error. A new system invented in Germany records times automatically, helping to costs for companies.

New device could bring optical information processing

January 3, 2012 3:20 am | News | Comments

Researchers have created a new type of optical device, the passive optical diode, small enough to fit millions on a computer chip that could lead to faster, more powerful information processing and supercomputers.

Quantum computing could make electron-diamond imager work

December 20, 2011 5:28 am | News | Comments

An innovative design for a small-volume molecular imaging instrument by University of Pittsburgh physicists has been hampered by a major question: How does one measure a magnetic field accurately using the resonance of single electrons within a diamond crystal? It’s too difficult with normal computers, but the scientists think they may now have an answer.

Heated AFM tip used as voltage tester for the first time

December 20, 2011 5:07 am | News | Comments

Atomic force microscope cantilever tips with integrated heaters are widely used to characterize polymer films, and to study fundamentals of nanometer-scale heat flow. Until University of Illinois engineers adapted such a tip to read electrothermal voltage, however, no one had used a heated nano-tip for electronic measurements.

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Temperature control system features more PID zones

December 15, 2011 3:56 am | Product Releases | Comments

BriskHeat Corporation has recently released the Centipede 2, a temperature control system that economically controls multiple heaters in a system. Each heater in a system has its own PID temperature controller and RTD sensor, and individual PID control improves temperature uniformity across a system.

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%.

Cities fail to recognize full potential of smart technologies

December 7, 2011 8:11 am | News | Comments

Cities are wasting the potential of smart technologies by failing to realize the value of their hidden infrastructure and digital assets. A report published by The Climate Group, Accenture, Arup, and Horizon Digital Economy Research at The University of Nottingham says opening up data and digital assets is critical to accelerating low carbon cities.

Stretching electrical conductance to the limit

December 5, 2011 4:50 am | News | Comments

Individual molecules have been used to create electrical components like resistors, transistors, and diodes, that mimic the properties of familiar semiconductors. But according to Nongjian Tao, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, unique properties inherent in single molecules may also allow designers to produce novel devices whose behavior falls outside the performance observed in conventional electronics.

The first molybdenite microchip

December 5, 2011 4:09 am | News | Comments

Molybdenite, a mineral of molybdenum disulfide, was shown earlier this year to be an effective band gap semiconductor and a possible competitor to graphene. EPFL scientists have now made the first molybdenite microchip, boasting smaller and more energy-efficient transistors than traditional silicon.

Electronics takes on a new spin

December 5, 2011 3:16 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Exotic materials called topological insulators, discovered just a few years ago, have yielded some of their secrets to a team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers. For the first time, the team showed that light can be used to obtain information about the spin of electrons flowing over the material's surface, and has even found a way to control these electron movements by varying the polarization of a light source.

Researchers invent switch that could improve electronics

December 1, 2011 8:26 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have invented a new type of electronic switch that performs electronic logic functions within a single molecule. The incorporation of such single-molecule elements could enable smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient electronics.

Important step toward computing with light

November 23, 2011 4:42 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

There has been enormous progress in recent years toward the development of photonic chips—devices that use light beams instead of electrons to carry out their computational tasks. Now, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have filled in a crucial piece of the puzzle that could enable the creation of photonic chips on the standard silicon material that forms the basis for most of today's electronics.

3D printers may signal personal electronics’ next revolution

November 17, 2011 5:19 am | News | Comments

Instead of sending grandma a holiday photo of the family for her fridge, imagine calling up the image on your computer monitor, clicking “print,” and producing a 3D plastic model ready for hanging on the holiday tree. According to a American Chemical Society editor, scenes like that are fast approaching reality.

Adding up photons with a transition edge sensor

November 14, 2011 5:24 am | News | Comments

Scientists have demonstrated that a superconducting detector called a transition edge sensor (TES) is capable of counting the number of as many as 1,000 photons in a single pulse of light with an accuracy limited mainly by the quantum noise of the laser source.

Russian scientists struggle to save Mars moon probe

November 9, 2011 6:29 am | by Vladimir Ischenkov, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Martian probe designed to examine one of Mars’ tiny moons, Phobos, was imperiled just hours after a successful launch on Wednesday. Probable failure of the craft’s orientation system has left it stuck in Earth’s orbit and engineers have just days to reboot the system’s software before battery power fails and the 13.2-ton spacecraft full of toxic fuel falls to Earth.

Sound mapping ferrets out dead spots

November 8, 2011 4:17 am | News | Comments

Despite dramatic improvements in the sound quality of loudspeakers over the years, manufacturers still wrestle with the issue of “dead spots”. A new noninvasive method to visualize sound propagation may help sound engineers design out the deconstructive interferences that cancel sound waves.

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