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Wrinkled surfaces could have widespread applications

August 1, 2012 4:30 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

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.

Photovoltaics from any semiconductor

July 27, 2012 4:29 am | News | Comments

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.

Physicists create the world’s smallest semiconductor laser

July 26, 2012 11:13 am | News | Comments

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.


Lithography project could produce pliable cell phone

July 25, 2012 10:40 am | by Herb Booth | News | Comments

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.

Scalable device for quantum information processing

July 24, 2012 5:11 am | News | Comments

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.

Carbon-based transistors to ramp up speed, memory in mobile devices

July 16, 2012 10:06 am | News | Comments

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.

Graphene-silicon photonic circuits establish ultralow-power standard

July 15, 2012 3:18 pm | News | Comments

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.

Technique self-assembles quantum dots with world’s highest density

July 13, 2012 8:51 am | News | Comments

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.


Analysis of micro samples using the standalone FT-IR microscope LUMOS

July 12, 2012 4:39 am | White Papers

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, Silian enter agreement on gallium nitride template wafers

July 9, 2012 9:43 am | News | Comments

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.

IBM, TEL NEXX collaborate to advance 3D semiconductor packaging

July 9, 2012 7:05 am | News | Comments

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.

Molecule changes magnetism and conductance

July 5, 2012 7:35 am | News | Comments

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.

Micron Technology buying Elpida for about $750M

July 2, 2012 6:42 am | News | Comments

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 considered for bio-friendly electronics

June 27, 2012 5:13 am | News | Comments

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.

Sony, Panasonic tying up in advanced TV displays

June 26, 2012 11:21 am | by Yuri Kageyama AP Business Writer | News | Comments

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.

Printing technology may cut cost of micro- and nanomanufacturing

June 26, 2012 7:24 am | by Marie Androv | News | Comments

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.

Scientists synthesize first genetically evolved semiconductor material

June 14, 2012 5:41 am | News | Comments

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.

Spin currents found in topological insulators

June 13, 2012 5:14 am | News | Comments

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.

“Dirt cheap” magnetic field sensor made from “plastic paint”

June 13, 2012 5:08 am | News | Comments

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.

DARPA technology to cool chips from within

June 10, 2012 12:42 pm | News | Comments

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.

New nanomaterials method answers tough challenges

June 8, 2012 9:42 am | News | Comments

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.

Oxidation reaction is first-ever with well-defined alignment, spin

May 25, 2012 8:18 am | News | Comments

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.

Reaction uses carbon dioxide to make carbon-based semiconductor

May 21, 2012 7:12 am | News | Comments

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.

Return of the vacuum tube

May 18, 2012 8:39 am | News | Comments

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.

Researcher achieves voltage control in plastic transistor

May 17, 2012 4:44 am | News | Comments

A year after a researcher at Linköping University in Sweden built a fully functional field-effect transistor from plastic, another scientist at the same institution has shown that it is possible to control these transistors with great precision, allowing the device to function as a logic circuit.

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