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Electronics

— Electronics

Energizer's "EcoAdvanced" batteries are partially made from recycled cells

By - February 4, 2015 1 Picture
Energizer has announced a new line of high-performance AA and AAA alkaline batteries that are in part made by recycling old cells, in what's claimed to be an industry first. Although currently only four percent of the battery comes from recovered materials, the plan for the company is to grow that percentage tenfold over the next 10 years and eventually use recycled materials in all its future cells. Read More
— Electronics

Skin-applied foil could give people a sense of "magnetoception"

By - February 3, 2015 4 Pictures
How would you like to be able to sense magnetic fields? It could come in handy, given that some animals navigate and maintain their spatial orientation by doing so. Well, we've now come one step closer to humans having that ability, too. Scientists from Germany's Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research, along with colleagues from the University of Tokyo and Osaka University, have developed a thin, flexible magnetoresistive sensory foil that can be applied to a person's own natural skin. Read More
— Electronics

New technique could produce the ideal light-absorbing material for solar cells

By - February 3, 2015 1 Picture
Solar cell efficiency has made significant strides in recent times, but cells are still far from their maximum theoretical efficiency, and part of the reason is that the semiconductors we use to build them don’t have ideal electrical properties. Researchers at Northwestern University have now found a way to tweak an important electrical feature of transition metal oxides, compounds commonly used as semiconductors, to build the optimal light-absorbing material for solar cells, lasers and photoelectrochemical cells. Read More
— Electronics

Flexible graphene-based LED clears the way for flexible displays

By - February 2, 2015 2 Pictures
Researchers from the University of Manchester and University of Sheffield have developed a new prototype semi-transparent, graphene-based LED device that could form the basis of flexible screens for use in the next-generation of mobile phones, tablets and televisions. The incredibly thin display was created using sandwiched "heterostructures", is only 10-40 atoms thick and emits a sheet of light across its entire surface. Read More
— Electronics

Self-repairing, reconfigurable electronic circuits take a step closer to reality

By - January 31, 2015 1 Picture
If electronic circuits could automatically reconfigure their internal conductive pathways as required, microchips could function as many different circuits on the one device. If many of these devices were then incorporated into larger pieces of equipment, such as robots, it is possible that self-sufficient, self-sustaining machines could change to suit their environment or even reconfigure broken or damaged pathways to repair themselves. Promising applications like these – and more – could one day be made possible if technology resulting from recent research into atomic manipulation at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) comes to fruition. Read More
— Electronics

kraftwerk aims to put a power plant in your pocket

By - January 27, 2015 5 Pictures
Battery packs like the iCruiser are handy for recharging mobile devices off-the-grid, but they soon run out of juice, which isn't ideal if you'll be away from mains power for an extended period of time. You could go solar with a device like the Waka Waka, but then there's the worry of getting enough rays. Another option may be on the way in the form of kraftwerk: a prototype fuel cell power pack for USB-powered devices that runs from gas canisters and promises to charge an iPhone up to 11 times before needing a refill. Read More
— Electronics

First germanium-tin semiconductor laser directly compatible with silicon chips

By - January 22, 2015 2 Pictures
Swiss scientists have created the first semiconductor laser consisting solely of elements of main group IV (the carbon group) on the periodic table. Simply, this means that the new device is directly compatible with other elements in that group – such as silicon, carbon, and lead – and so can be directly incorporated in a silicon chip as it is manufactured. This presents new possibilities for transmitting data around computer chips using light, which could result in potential transfer speeds exponentially faster than possible with copper wire and using only a fraction of the energy of today’s integrated circuits. Read More

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