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Electronics

Electronic material self-heals and functions even after being cut in half

If you've ever bent a piece of wire or plastic back and forth until it broke, you understand one of the problems inherent in flexible electronics. The more circuits and connectors flex, the higher the likelihood they'll break. While we've seen self-healing chips, gels and microcapsules before, a new material out of Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) brings auto-repair to dielectrics – the materials that insulate electric currents.Read More

New lantern packs big light and features into sandwich-sized package

If you're a camper, chances are good you've heard of BioLite. It's the company that created a portable wood-burning stove that generates enough electricity to fuel your devices when you're off-grid. The firm has also made some pretty impressive camp lights – everything from small hanging pendants that can be daisy-chained together to a mini rectangular number that can clip on a shirt pocket. Now BioLite is seeking funding on Kickstarter for a new source of light called BaseLantern, which not only provides Bluetooth-controlled light, but also packs in some other handy features.Read More

Simple MIDI synth squeezed into a USB plug

A few months after creating what was claimed to be the world's smallest MIDI synthesizer, which was smaller than the capsule at the end of a 5-pin DIN cable, a self-confessed MIDI lover and prolific electronics tinkerer has managed to cram a tone generating circuit into the black plastic frame inside a USB plug.Read More

Disposable laser produced with inkjet printing tech

Most of the lasers used in items such as DVD players or optical mice are inorganic. They last much longer than organic lasers (which utilize carbon-based materials to amplify light), but they're also comparatively expensive and complex to make, plus their range of wavelengths is limited. Developing more durable organic lasers would be one way of addressing the situation, but a European research team has come up with another – just make them really cheap and easily-replaceable.Read More

High performance transistors created on flexible plastic sheets

Using a technique known as nanoimprint lithography, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and partners have created a breakthrough method to allow the simple manufacture of inexpensive, high-performance, wireless-capable, flexible Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors that overcome many of the operation problems encountered in devices manufactured using standard techniques. Created on large rolls of pliable plastic, these MOSFETs could be used to make a host of devices ranging from wearable electronics to bendable sensors.
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