Phase-change random access memory (PCRAM) is a promising technology for next-generation non-volatile memory, but it has been limited by room temperature efficiency. A research group in Japan recently invented a variation of PCRAM that achieves a magnetoresistance effect of more than 2000% at room temperature and higher, and doesn’t require the use of magnetic elements such as cobalt and platinum.
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.
New evidence supports a theory developed five years ago at Rice University to explain the electrical properties of several classes of materials—including unconventional superconductors—that have long vexed physicists. The findings represent an important step toward the ultimate goal of creating a unified theoretical description of the quantum behavior of high-temperature superconductors and related materials.
The prospect of electronics at the nanoscale may be even more promising with the first observation of metallic conductance in ferroelectric nanodomains by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
According to a recently published study, the narrowest silicon conducting wires ever made—just four atoms wide and one atom tall—have been shown to have the same electrical current carrying capability of copper. The finding suggests the wires could be a building block for future atomic-scale electronic circuitry.
An R&D 100 Award-winning technology from National Renewable Energy Laboratory has recently been licensed to Natcore, a Colorado-based company that is able to commercialize the “black silicon” technology with its liquid phase deposition process.
Materials innovators at Notre Dame University have built a special type of nanoparticle from commonly used photovoltaic materials that converts sunlight to electricity. The particles, when dispersed in a paste, can be painted onto a surface to act as a large-area solar cell.
A team of University of Illinois engineers has developed a self-healing system that restores electrical conductivity to a cracked circuit in less time than it takes to blink. Their solution was to adapt a microcapsule healing solution used for polymers to conductive systems.
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.
Researchers at the Max Born Institute in Germany have observed the extremely fast onset of electrical resistance in a semiconductor by following electron motions in real time. Their solution relied on short bursts of terahertz light that revealed what was happening in just 300 fs.
Liotech, a joint venture between RUSNANO and Chinese holding company Thunder Sky, has launched the world's largest high-capacity lithium-ion battery factory near Novosibirsk. Covering more than 40,000-m 2 , it has a design capacity of more than 1 GWh, or approximately one million batteries per year.
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.
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.
To build denser electronics, developers of 3D, or stacked, chips, have primarily used copper. However, copper has several disadvantages that can limit the reliability of 3D electronics. Researchers have recently demonstrated that two stacked chips can also be vertically interconnected with carbon nanotube vias through the chips.
Dye-sensitized solar cells are made of inexpensive and environmentally benign materials including a dye, an electrolyte and titanium dioxide. A recently introduced dye, NCSU-10, has been shown to absorb more photons at lower dye concentrations, possibly helping developers build more transparent cells for windows and facades.
To be able to develop rapid electronic components based on graphene, one has to know precisely how long electrons linger at specific energy levels. Using longer wavelengths of light than had ever before been tested on graphene, an international team of scientists have recently made the first determination of the lifetime of electrons in graphene in lower energy ranges.
People permanently confined to beds or wheelchairs frequently develop bed sores. A new smart cushioning system has been developed by researchers in Germany that is intended to eliminate long-term discomforts of sitting or lying by equalizing pressure selectively.
Tube-shaped traps carved from bottle-brush molecules by chemists at the University at Buffalo could one day be used to capture and purify nanomaterials or proteins. The trapping mechanism is based on charge, and the tubes can selectively encapsulate positively charged molecules.
A little piece of iron wire is magnetic—just like a huge iron rod. When it comes to material properties, size usually does not matter. Surprisingly, researchers from Austria and India have now discovered that some materials show very unusual behavior, when they are studied in the form of tiny crystals. This could now lead to new materials with tailor-made electronic and magnetic properties.
A team of university researchers, aided by scientists at NIST, have succeeded in integrating a new, highly efficient piezoelectric material into a silicon microelectromechanical system. The invention offers much greater force response and electricity charge generation over previous piezoelectric materials.
Conventional cantilevers used in magnetic-force microscopes have been compromised either by a low resistance to magnetizing force from the sample material, or by lack of resolution due to coatings that protect them from magnetism. A new composite developed in China avoids both drawbacks.
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have developed a unique method for producing transparent electrodes that uses silver nanowires in combination with other nanomaterials. The new electrodes are flexible and highly conductive and overcome the limitations associated with indium tin oxide.
For the first time, engineering researchers have been able to watch in real time the nanoscale process of a ferroelectric memory bit switching between the 0 and 1 states.
To improve the electronic devices that keep our world organized, scientists are on the hunt for new semiconductor materials. One answer could lie with an unusual form of electrical conductivity that takes place at the junction of two oxides. However, a group of scientists were recently surprised to find the interface of two complex oxides—the polar lanthanum chromium oxide, and the nonpolar strontium titanium oxide—did not conduct electricity.
A team of engineers at Northwestern University has created an electrode for conventional lithium-ion batteries that allows them to both hold a charge up to 10 times greater than current technology and charge up to 10 times faster than current batteries.