Tag Archives: silicon

What Could Graphene Mean For Your Future Smartphone?

Graphene is the material of the future, it could even help us to achieve invisibility. So what could it mean for your smartphone?

Scientists, engineers and tech-addicts everywhere are getting very excited about Graphene. It may sound like the stuff you get in your pencils but this newly discovered material could help us enter an entirely new technological age. Work is already underway to make invisibility a possibility – all thanks to the wonders of Graphene.

We’re already living in an exciting age of communication. With superfast, super accessible and super affordable 3G broadband from providers like Mobi-data we now have access to the online world wherever we are and wherever we’re travelling all over the world. Yet Graphene is set to take us into the realms of science fiction – giving smartphones and tablets the power to bend and flex, making annoying charging up a thing of the past and making our gadgets more or less indestructible. (more…)

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Artificial Forest for Solar Water-Splitting

Berkeley Lab Researchers Report First Fully Integrated Artificial Photosynthesis Nanosystem

In the wake of the sobering news that atmospheric carbon dioxide is now at its highest level in at least three million years, an important advance in the race to develop carbon-neutral renewable energy sources has been achieved. Scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have reported the first fully integrated nanosystem for artificial photosynthesis. While “artificial leaf” is the popular term for such a system, the key to this success was an “artificial forest.”

“Similar to the chloroplasts in green plants that carry out photosynthesis, our artificial photosynthetic system is composed of two semiconductor light absorbers, an interfacial layer for charge transport, and spatially separated co-catalysts,” says Peidong Yang, a chemist with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, who led this research. “To facilitate solar water- splitting in our system, we synthesized tree-like nanowire  heterostructures, consisting of silicon trunks and titanium oxide branches. Visually, arrays of these nanostructures very much resemble an artificial forest.” (more…)

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Curiosity Mars Rover Sees Trend in Water Presence

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has seen evidence of water-bearing minerals in rocks near where it had already found clay minerals inside a drilled rock.

Last week, the rover’s science team announced that analysis of powder from a drilled mudstone rock on Mars indicates past environmental conditions that were favorable for microbial life. Additional findings presented on March 18 at a news briefing at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas, suggest those conditions extended beyond the site of the drilling. (more…)

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A Material that Most Liquids Won’t Wet

ANN ARBOR — A nanoscale coating that’s at least 95 percent air repels the broadest range of liquids of any material in its class, causing them to bounce off the treated surface, according to the University of Michigan engineering researchers who developed it.

In addition to super stain-resistant clothes, the coating could lead to breathable garments to protect soldiers and scientists from chemicals, and advanced waterproof paints that dramatically reduce drag on ships. (more…)

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The Supernova That Cried Wolf

A luminous supernova in a galaxy 67 million light years away from us has finally exploded for good, a UA-led team of astronomers has discovered. This event sheds light on how massive stars end their lives.

Astronomers have announced that a massive star, which they have watched repeatedly mimic a supernova since 2009, has finally exploded for real.

The report was presented at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Long Beach, Calif. by Jon Mauerhan of the Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona, in collaboration with Nathan Smith, also of the UA, and Alex Filippenko of the University of California, Berkeley.

The result is of special interest because it provides new critical information on the final death throes of massive stars in the years leading up to their explosion. The work has been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (more…)

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Micro Fuel Cells Made of Glass — Power for Your iPad?

Engineers at Yale University have developed a new breed of micro fuel cell that could serve as a long-lasting, low-cost, and eco-friendly power source for portable electronic devices, such as tablet computers, smart phones, and remote sensors. The researchers describe the novel device in a paper published online in the journal Small.

An alternative to a battery, a fuel cell is an electrochemical device that combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce energy, giving off only water and heat as byproducts. But the materials and methods commonly used for making micro fuel cells are fragile, inefficient, and expensive. (more…)

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Driving Force

UD prof leads photonics revolution to help researchers access high-tech foundry services

Michael Hochberg joined the University of Delaware in the spring of 2012 as an associate professor in electrical and computer engineering.

An industry leader in silicon photonics and large-scale photonic-electronic integration, Hochberg is renowned for establishing Optoelectronic Systems Integration in Silicon (OpSIS), a high-tech foundry service for silicon photonics in which the community shares the cost of fabricating complex chip-scale systems across many projects. (more…)

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Solving a Spintronic Mystery:

*Berkeley Lab Researchers Resolve Controversy Over Gallium Manganese Arsenide that Could Boost Spintronic Performance*

A long-standing controversy regarding the semiconductor gallium manganese arsenide, one of the most promising materials for spintronic technology, looks to have been resolved. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) in collaboration with scientist from University of Notre Dame have determined the origin of the charge-carriers responsible for the ferromagnetic properties that make gallium manganese arsenide such a hot commodity for spintronic devices. Such devices utilize electron spin rather than charge to read and write data, resulting in smaller, faster and much cheaper data storage and processing. (more…)

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