A research team has recently discovered that silicon carbide, a commonly used semiconductor, contains crystal imperfections that can be controlled at a quantum mechanical level. This level of fine-tuning might allow developers to exploit quantum physics in this material at the nanoscale.
A new conformal coating technique developed at Cornell University has allowed researchers to apply gold nanoparticles and conductive polymer layers to the irregular topography of cotton fibers, creating a flexible, cotton-based transistor that is fully tunable.
Just as a corset improves the appearance of its wearer by keeping everything tightly together, new rigidly constraining insulating materials invented at Duke University helps prevent the inevitable microscopic breakdown of the “soft” polymers often used in their construction.
Researchers from North Carolina State University and Purdue University have shown that the semiconductor material gallium nitride (GaN) is non-toxic and is compatible with human cells—opening the door to the material's use in a variety of biomedical implant technologies.
Recent breakthroughs have enabled scientists from the Northwestern University's Center for Quantum Devices to build cameras that can see more than one optical waveband or "color" in the dark. The semiconducting material used in the cameras—called type-II superlattices—can be tuned to absorb a wide range of infrared wavelengths, and now, a number of distinct infrared bands at the same time.
Sometimes a change in surroundings makes all the difference. That's the approach a group of researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory has used to improve the electricity output of a semiconductor material used in polymer-based solar cells.
Samsung and a team of researchers in Korea have modified resistance-change random access memory to withstand 1012 switching cycles, which is about 100 times greater than previously demonstrated RRAM technologies and 1,000,000 times better than commercial flash memory.
Scientists from UCLA, led by Xiangfeng Duan, have built a graphene transistor that can perform on par with the speediest transistors, including those made with gallium arsenide and indium phosphide.
Researchers in the UK have recently demonstrated what future electronic circuits made from graphene will probably look like. By sandwiching two sheets of graphene with another two-dimensional material, boron nitrate, the team created a graphene “Big Mac”.
A nearly $2 million grant at the University of California, Riverside is being put to use in making silicon-based electronics obsolete. The new approach will depend on the development of a magnetologic gate, a transistor replacement that is built with graphene.
Rice University physicists have created a tiny "electron superhighway" that could one day be useful for building a quantum computer. The physicists described a new method for making a tiny device called a "quantum spin Hall topological insulator", which is one of the building blocks needed to create quantum particles that store and manipulate data.
Researchers led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Daniel Nocera have produced something they're calling an "artificial leaf". Like living leaves, the device can turn the energy of sunlight directly into a chemical fuel that can be stored and used later as an energy source.
Researchers from the University of Toronto, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, and Pennsylvania State University have created the most efficient colloidal quantum dot (CQD) solar cell ever.
By heating metal to make graphene, Rice University researchers may warm the hearts of high-tech electronics manufacturers. The lab of Rice chemist James Tour published two papers that advance the science of making high-quality, bilayer graphene. They show how to grow it on a functional substrate by first having it diffuse into a layer of nickel.
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute developed a new method for creating a layer of gold nanoparticles that measures only billionths of a meter thick. These self-assembling gold coatings with features measuring less than 10 nm could hold important implications for nanoelectronics manufacturing.
Northwestern University scientists have developed new materials that can detect hard radiation, a very difficult thing to do. The method could lead to a handheld device for detecting nuclear weapons and materials, such as a "nuclear bomb in a suitcase" scenario.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers at the Molecular Foundry have unveiled a semiconductor nanocrystal coating material capable of controlling heat from the sun while remaining transparent. This system, the first to selectively control the amount of near infrared radiation transmitted, could add a critical energy-saving dimension to "smart window" coatings.
3M and IBM announced that the two companies plan to jointly develop the first adhesives that can be used to package semiconductors into densely stacked silicon "towers." The companies are aiming to create a new class of materials, which will make it possible to build, for the first time, commercial microprocessors composed of layers of up to 100 separate chips.
University of Florida researchers may help resolve the public debate over America's future light source of choice: Edison's incandescent bulb or the more energy efficient compact fluorescent lamp. It could be neither. Instead, America's future lighting needs may be supplied by a new breed of light-emitting diode, or LED, that conjures light from the invisible world of quantum dots.
Fiber optic technology is well-established for long-distance data transmission, but efforts to use photons in microcircuits have been hampered the tendency for materials defects to deflect the signal. A new type of circuit component now allows photons to find their around these defects.
A net of fine lines surrounding tiny silica microspheres confined in thin liquid crystal layers is now a test bed for creating any kind of microscopic knot. The finding by researchers in Germany and Slovenia could have important implications because the knotting of DNA molecules is crucial to the way genes function.
Hewlett-Packard plans to spin off its personal computer division into a separate business, according to unnamed sources in major news outlets. It marks a reversal from HP's previous stance, in March, when it denied this rumor.
A team led by researchers at Stanford and Harvard universities has not only created a new material for high-speed organic semiconductors, it has come up with a new approach that can take months, even years, off the development timeline.
A team of researchers Argonne National Laboratory has built a multi-thousand-layer lens that focuses high-energy x-rays so tightly it can detect objects as small as 15 nm in size and is in principle capable of focusing to well below 10 nm.
The editors of R&D Magazine have opened the nominations for the 2012 R&D 100 Awards competition, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the awards. If your organization introduced a new product this year, or is planning to, you can begin the entry process now.