A group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers has discovered a way of making perfectly ordered and repeatable surfaces with patterns of microscale wrinkles. The method involves chemical vapor deposition of a layer onto a stretched silicon-polymer substrate. When tension is released first one way, then the other, a perfectly ordered wrinkled pattern emerges.
R&D laboratories take on challenges of terrorism, energy, and communications in the new millennium.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers have developed a technology that enables low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells to be made from virtually any semiconductor material. This opens the door to the use of plentiful, relatively inexpensive semiconductors previously considered unsuitable for photovoltaics.
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.
A new manufacturing process called “micropunching” lithography can be used to create lightweight, low-cost, and flexible polymer-based devices, such as sensors, actuators, or even a cellular telephone. According to its inventor, the technique has the potential to replace silicon-based materials commonly used in computers and other electronic devices.
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.
Though smartphones and tablets are hailed as the hardware of the future, their present-day incarnations have some flaws. Most notoriously, low RAM memory limits the number of applications that can be run at one time and quickly consumes battery power. Researchers in Israel have used carbon molecules to build a sophisticated memory transistor that can both transfer and store energy, eliminating the need for a capacitor.
With the placement of a sheet of graphene, researchers at Columbia University have transformed an originally passive photonic integrated circuit into an active generator of microwave photonic signals. The device performs parametric wavelength conversion at telecommunication wavelengths, offering a glimpse at communications using very little power.
Materials experts in Japan have recently developed an advanced self-assembling technology for semiconductor quantum dots called droplet epitaxy. This method has produced quantum dots with the world’s highest surface density, greatly exceeding the previously reported value.
As electronic devices get smaller, they are becoming more vulnerable to contamination through the presence of impurities. Using a Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) microscope such as Bruker Optics’ LUMOS, contaminations in the low micrometer range can be identified. In this white paper, Bruker demonstrates how FT-IR can be used to determine surface contamination on the soldering contact of a surface mounted device.
Soitec and Chongqing Silian Optoelectronics Science & Technology Co. Ltd. have partnered to jointly develop gallium nitride (GaN) template wafers using hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE). The resulting GaN template wafers present cost savings in manufacturing light-emitting diodes.
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.
One bit of digital information stored on a hard disk currently consists of about 3 million magnetic atoms. Researchers in Germany and Japan have now developed a magnetic memory with one bit per molecule. Using an electric pulse deliver by atomic force microscopy, the metal-organic molecule can be switched reliably between a conductive, magnetic state and a low-conductive, non-magnetic state.
Memory-chip maker Micron Technology Inc. has agreed to buy Elpida Memory Inc. for approximately $750 million in cash in a deal that would boost its wafer manufacturing capacity by about 50%. Elpida specializes in dynamic random access memory chips used in mobile phones and computers, and has been developing a plan of reorganization since filing for the largest manufacturing bankruptcy ever in Japan earlier this year.
Melanin could soon be the face of a new generation of biologically friendly electronic devices used in applications such as medical sensor and tissue stimulation treatments. An international team of scientists has published a study that, for the first time, gives insight into the electrical properties of this pigment and its biologically compatible "bioelectronic" features.
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.
In the not-too-distant future, scientists may be able to use DNA to grow their own specialized materials, thanks to the concept of directed evolution. University of California, Santa Barbara scientists have, for the first time, used genetic engineering and molecular evolution to develop the enzymatic synthesis of a semiconductor.
Physicists in Germany have recently provided new insights into spintronics: In ultra-thin topological insulators, they have identified spin-polarized currents, which were first theoretically predicted six years ago. They have also presenteda method of application for the development of new computers.
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.
When searching for the technology to boost computer speeds and improve memory density, the best things come in the smallest packages. A relentless move toward smaller and more precisely defined semiconductors has prompted researchers at Argonne National Laboratory to develop a new technique that can dramatically improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of preparing different classes of semiconducting materials.
An important chemical species, molecular oxygen is linear, has an anisotropic shape, and spins from two unpaired electrons. However, until now, we didn’t know how these properties influenced important oxidation reactions. Researchers in Japan have now reported development of the world's first molecular oxygen beam that can designate the alignment of the molecular axis and spin direction.
A materials scientist at Michigan Technological University has discovered a chemical reaction that not only eats up the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, it also creates something useful. And, by the way, it releases energy.
With the advent of the solid-state transistor and semi-conductor-based flat panel display technology, the vacuum tube has virtually disappeared from consumer electronics. But a team of researchers in Korea and at NASA’s Ames Research Center have combined the best traits of both technologies to create a vacuum channel transistor just 150 nm long.