Researchers in Korea have created what they call a rectenna—a combination of an antenna and a rectifier—which converts alternating current into direct current. For a price of just one penny per unit the device can be placed onto objects such as price tags, logos, and signage so that we can read product information on our smartphones with one simple swipe.
On August 1, 2007, without warning, the roadway suddenly disappeared beneath drivers on Minneapolis' I-35W Bridge, killing 13. In the five years since, advances in wireless sensor technology are making warning systems to prevent such tragedies affordable and practical. Both startups and federally initiatives are close to releasing systems that will be suitable for commercial use.
Plastic semiconductors have an important design flaw: The electronic current is influenced by poorly understood "charge traps" in the material. A new study by an international team of researchers reveals a common mechanism underlying these traps and provides a theoretical framework to design trap-free plastic electronics.
A Tennessee company has licensed award-winning software from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that will help industries install wireless networks more cost-effectively in challenging environments such as mines, offshore drilling platforms and factory floors. Networcsim signed an agreement today to license the Radio Channel Simulator software, which won an R&D 100 Award this month.
A new semiconductor laser device, the smallest ever built, was created at the University of Texas at Austin and is constructed of a gallium nitride nanorod that is partially filled with indium gallium nitride. Operating below the 3D diffraction limit, the nanolaser emits a green light that is too small to be visible to the naked eye.
Scientists in Switzerland have developed a rapid, precise opto-mechanical measurement system that can be embedded into a silicon chip. With a resonator string just a few hundreds of nanometers in diameter, the device is one of the most sensitive that can be operated at room temperature.
In theory, quantum computers should be able to perform certain kinds of complex calculations much faster than conventional computers, and quantum-based communication could be invulnerable to eavesdropping. But producing quantum components for real-world devices has proved to be fraught with daunting challenges. Now, a team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University has achieved a crucial long-term goal of such efforts.
Researchers in National Physical Laboratory's Quantum Detection Group have demonstrated, for the first time, a monolithic 3D ion microtrap array which could be scaled up to handle several tens of ion-based quantum bits. The research shows how it is possible to realize this device embedded in a semiconductor chip, and demonstrates the device's ability to confine individual ions at the nanoscale.
Carnegie Mellon University's new Pedo-Biometrics Lab is working to perfect special shoe insoles that can help monitor access to high-security areas, like nuclear power plants or special military bases. The concept is based on research that shows each person has unique feet, and ways of walking. Sensors check on the pressure of feet and the gait, using a computer to compare patterns.
In conventional field effect transistors, the current through the device can be switched on and off by an electric field. A research team in Poland, however, has developed a new way to control electron current in a transistor-like structure by using the electrons’ spin. The new method can not only tune the electrical current in the device but also the spin-polarization of the electron current.
3DIcon Corporation and Dimension Technologies Inc. announced that they have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent outlining the terms and conditions for 3DIcon to acquire Dimension Technologies.
From driftwood traveling down a river to a blood cell flowing through your artery, objects moving in a stream of fluid are mostly thought to passively go with the flow but not disturb it in controllable ways. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have recently found that objects within a confined stream create controllable disturbances that can be used to move mass or heat at high rates, potentially providing simple solutions to performing chemical reactions on particles or cooling microelectronic chips.
Researchers from North Carolina State University and ImagineOptix Corporation have developed new technology to convert unpolarized light into polarized light, which makes projectors that use liquid crystal (LC) technology almost twice as energy efficient. The new technology has resulted in smaller, lower cost and more efficient projectors, meaning longer battery life and significantly lower levels of heat.
A NASA-created application that brings some of the agency's robotic spacecraft to life in 3D now is available for free on the iPhone and iPad. Called Spacecraft 3D, the app uses animation to show how spacecraft can maneuver and manipulate their outside components.
Despite impressive recent advances, holographic television, which would present images that vary with varying perspectives, probably remains some distance in the future. But in a new paper, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab's Camera Culture group offers a new approach to multiple-perspective, glasses-free 3D that could prove much more practical in the short term.
A researcher in Sweden has recently shown, as part of his doctoral thesis, how to grow white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) directly on a piece of paper. The LEDs, made from zinc oxide and a conducting polymer, are created through an entirely chemical method that involves the use of ultrasound.
TEL NEXX Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo Electron U.S. Holdings, has announced a new multi-year joint development program in 3D semiconductor packaging with IBM. The program focuses on meeting IBM's rigorous technology requirements through its partners in the Semiconductor Research and Development Alliance.
A team of scientists in the U.K. have developed an electron pump—a nano-device—which picks these electrons up one at a time and moves them across a barrier, creating a very well-defined electrical current. This technique, which manipulates electrons individually, could replace the traditional definition of electrical current, the ampere, which relies on measurements of mechanical forces on current-carrying wires.
Over the years, the telephone has gone mobile, from the house to the car to the pocket. The University of South Carolina's Xiaodong Li envisions even further integration of the cell phone—and just about every electronic gadget, for that matter—into our lives. He sees a future where electronics are part of our wardrobe.
A University of Washington laboratory has been working for more than a decade on fusion energy, harnessing the energy-generating mechanism of the sun. But in one of the twists of scientific discovery, on the way the researchers found a potential solution to a looming problem in the electronics industry.
Shimi, a musical companion developed by Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology, recommends songs, dances to the beat and keeps the music pumping based on listener feedback. Powered by an Android phone, the robot is also app-based, meaning it can perform other functions, such as face recognition, based on the type of software programmed for it.
Long-time Japanese rivals Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. are working together to develop next-generation TV panels based on organic light-emitting diode technology. The move is a reversal of decades of rivalry as they try to catch up with South Korea's Samsung Electronics.
A drawing program and a 3D printer: These might be the only tools necessary for production of microstructures and nanostructures for devices and sensors of the future. With a new printed 3D silicon manufacturing technology, researchers at Sweden hope to greatly reduce the cost and complexity of creating these building blocks.
University of Utah physicists developed an inexpensive, highly accurate magnetic field sensor for scientific and possibly consumer uses based on a “spintronic” organic thin-film semiconductor that basically is “plastic paint.” Its inventors say the new type of magnetometer also resists heat and degradation, works at room temperature and never needs to be calibrated.
Continued miniaturization and increased component density in today’s electronics have pushed heat generation and power dissipation to unprecedented levels. Current technology is keeping pace, but greatly adding to the size and weight of electronics. As a solution DARPA pursuing a new thermal management strategy that place microfluidic cooling inside the chip substrate.