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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.

You can't play nano-billiards on a bumpy table

May 14, 2012 5:15 am | by Bob Beale | News | Comments

There's nothing worse than a shonky pool table with an unseen groove or bump that sends your shot off course. A new study has found that the same goes at the nano-scale, where the "billiard balls" are tiny electrons moving across a "table" made of the semiconductor gallium arsenide.

Spin spirals could help miniaturization of computers

May 10, 2012 6:42 am | News | Comments

After studies involving advanced simulations of nanoscale magnetic and materials phenomena, a team of scientists in Germany have proposed making use of magnetic moments in chains of iron atoms to allow information to be transported on the nanoscale in a fast and energy-efficient manner. The scheme, demonstrated in experiments, would work over a wide temperature range, remaining largely unaffected by external magnetic fields.


Not your grandma’s quilt

May 9, 2012 5:54 am | by Sean Nealon | News | Comments

Gallium nitride, a semiconductor material found in bright lights since the 1990s, is used in wireless applications because of its high efficiency and high voltage operation. However, it’s difficult to remove heat from GaN electronics, which limits applications and markets. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have made a material from graphene that does the job, and it looks a lot like a patterned quilt.

Quantum dots brighten, whiten the future of lighting

May 9, 2012 5:45 am | by David Salisbury | News | Comments

White-light quantum dots made from cadmium selenide can convert blue light produced by a light-emitting diode into a warm white light similar to that generated by an incandescent bulb. But their performance has been poor until recent development breakthroughs have improved efficiency from just 3% originally to as high as 45%.

Phase-change breakthrough could transform memory media

May 3, 2012 12:00 pm | News | Comments

By using diamond-tipped tools to apply pressure, a team led by Johns Hopkins engineers has discovered some previously unknown electrical properties of a common memory material, a mix of germanium, antimony, and tellurium called GST. The discovery should make GST more useful for electronics developers by allowing memory formats that retain data more quickly, last longer, and allow far more capacity.

New method IDs nanomaterials that can cause oxidative damage to cells

May 2, 2012 5:39 am | News | Comments

University of California, Los Angeles researchers and their colleagues have developed a novel screening technology that allows large batches of metal-oxide nanomaterials to be assessed quickly, based on their ability to trigger certain biological responses in cells as a result of their semiconductor properties.

Composite collaboration leads to faster plastic electronics

May 2, 2012 3:44 am | News | Comments

Scientists from Imperial College London have collaborated with colleagues at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia to produce organic thin-film transistors that consistently achieve record-breaking carrier mobility through careful solution-processing of a blend of two organic semiconductors.


Researchers discover new graphene-based material

April 16, 2012 12:15 pm | by Laura L. Hunt | News | Comments

While investigating the behavior of a hybrid nanomaterial made from carbon nanotubes and tin oxide nanoparticles, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee scientists synthesized an entirely new graphene-based material they are calling graphene monoxide. The notable feature of the material, which does not exist in nature, is its ordered, semiconducting properties.

Micromechanical mirror performs under pressure of light

April 10, 2012 2:22 pm | News | Comments

In optomechanics studies, most researchers use a moving mirror made up of 16 to 40 layers of dielectric film with different indices of refraction, culminating in a stack structure a few micrometers thick. With this they measure the force of light on mechanical features. A team of scientists in Germany, however, have designed and tested a device that is both smaller and two orders of magnitude more effective.

Honeycombs of nanomagnets could lead to new type of computer processing

April 2, 2012 5:09 am | News | Comments

Researchers in the U.K. have demonstrated that a honeycomb pattern of nano-sized magnets, in a material known as spin ice, introduces competition between neighboring magnets, and reduces the problems caused by these interactions by two-thirds. Large arrays of these nano-magnets, they say, can store computable information.

Chemist reveals transparent, flexible memory

March 28, 2012 7:23 am | News | Comments

At this week’s American Chemical Society meeting in San Diego, Rice University chemist James Tour revealed a new device his laboratory has invented. Using silicon oxide as the active component, his team has made a transparent, flexible memory technology that could be combined with other see-through components such as integrated circuits and batteries.

Integrated silicon laser offers big efficiency jump

March 28, 2012 7:16 am | News | Comments

Previous efforts to integrated lasers in silicon chips have relied on and air-and-semiconductor interface, but this has resulted in poor emission efficiency. Researchers in Singapore have invented a solution called a micro-loop mirror that acts as a waveguide to improve operation to 98% light reflection efficiency.

More energy-efficient transistors through quantum tunneling

March 26, 2012 11:31 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame and Pennsylvania State University have announced breakthroughs in the development of tunneling field effect transistors (TFETs), a semiconductor technology that takes advantage of the quirky behavior of electrons at the quantum level.

Qubits generated in semiconductors for the first time

March 22, 2012 4:53 am | News | Comments

So far, quantum bits have only existed in relatively large vacuum chambers. A research team in Germany, with help from colleagues in Japan and France, has now generated them in a high-quality gallium arsenide crystal.

Researchers invent material that could transform flat screen TV

March 21, 2012 11:19 am | News | Comments

Researchers at CRANN, a nanoscience institute based in Trinity College Dublin, have discovered a new material could fill a previously missing component in display electronics—a good quality p-type transparent conducting oxide.

Diamond brightens the performance of electronic devices

March 13, 2012 4:13 am | News | Comments

While diamonds may be a girl's best friend, they're also well loved by scientists working to enhance the performance of electronic devices. Two new studies performed at Argonne National Laboratory have revealed a new pathway for materials scientists to use previously unexplored properties of nanocrystalline-diamond thin films.

MRAM invention could give spintronics a boost

March 7, 2012 10:29 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Helmholtz Center in Germany have developed a magnetic valve that could be an enabling technology for spintronics. The new structure allows for data to remain stored even after electric current has been cut, and memory in the valve can be re-written indefinitely.

Transistors promise more powerful logic, more logical power

March 7, 2012 3:01 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Broadly speaking, the two major areas of research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Microsystems Technology Laboratory are electronics—transistors in particular—and microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS—tiny mechanical devices with moving parts. Both strains of research could have significant implications for manufacturing in the United States, but at least for the moment, the market for transistor innovation is far larger.

The fickleness of the silicon-drift detector

March 2, 2012 7:06 am | News | Comments

Although the tiny device measures no more than 8 x 8 mm it takes eight weeks to produce a silicon drift detector (SDD), or silicon drift diode, which is a basic spectroscopic component of instruments like medical X-ray systems and detectors at CERN. Scientists in Norway represent one of just three worldwide suppliers of these exceedingly sensitive and difficult-to-produce devices.

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