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Electronics

The OSU microreactor (left) uses microlamination architecture to produce nanoparticles mor...

Nanotechnology products could become much more commercially practical, thanks to work being performed by engineers at Oregon State University (OSU). Using a new fabrication method, they have been able to increase the production rate of nanoparticles by 500 times, while simultaneously reducing the amount of environmentally-harmful byproducts involved. It’s definitely big news – or really tiny news, depending on how you look at it.  Read More

FlexUPD paper-thin, flexible AMOLED display technology has been announced as the gold winn...

The paper-thin, flexible AMOLED display developed by Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has taken gold in the Wall Street Journal's Technology Innovation Award. Catering for two-sided surface visibility, FlexUPD could see its way into rollable mobile phones or e-Readers, or incorporated into clothing to provide information about the wearer – for medical purposes, for instance.  Read More

Dr. Heike Riel, who leads the nanoscale electronics group at IBM Research-Zurich, is part ...

It has been estimated that in the European Union, about ten percent of the electricity used in homes and offices goes to power computers and other electronic devices that are in standby mode. By 2020, that amount could constitute 49 terawatt hours per year, which is almost equivalent to the combined annual electrical consumption of Austria, the Czech Republic and Portugal. The European Union’s just-announced Steeper research initiative squarely addresses such concerns. Its aim is to develop electronics that operate on less than half a volt when in standby, and that are up to ten times more energy-efficient when active.  Read More

The handheld TATP detector prototype (Photo: Kenneth Suslick)

Much as we might hate having to take our shoes off when going through airport security, it’s become necessary ever since a terrorist managed to get a shoe bomb aboard an American Airlines flight in December of 2001. Unfortunately, the X-raying of shoes is not enough to detect triacetone triperoxide (TATP). This easily-made explosive has been used in several bombing attempts, and is very difficult to detect in an airport environment. It doesn't fluoresce, absorb ultraviolet light or readily ionize, and can only be detected with large, expensive equipment and extensive sample preparation. Now, chemists from the University of Illinois have announced a simple new way of detecting even minute concentrations of TATP, using a piece of plastic and a digital camera.  Read More

Fraunhofer's self-monitoring polymer-metal composite

When engineers want to know how much stress mechanical components such as wind turbine blades or machine parts are subjected to, they usually do so via a series of sensors. These sensors are typically either built into components, or are glued onto them. A new polymer-metal composite material developed at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Applied Material Research (IFAM), however, may be about to change that – components made from the material are reportedly able to act as their own sensors.  Read More

The new triple-mode, single transistor amplifier could replace many traditional transistor...

Graphene has already brought us the world’s smallest transistortwice – and now the one atom thick form of carbon that recently won its discoverers the Nobel Prize has been used to create a triple-mode, single-transistor amplifier. The new transistor has the potential to replace many traditional transistors in a typical integrated circuit and its developers say the device could become a key component in future electronic circuits.  Read More

The SafePlug 1200-P3 pay-per-use electrical outlet, for electronic device users who need t...

A U.S. company is developing a solution for people who unexpectedly find themselves with low batteries in their laptops, cell phones or e-bikes. Installed into an existing AC outlet, the 2D2C’s SafePlug 1200-P3 pay-per-use system allows users to gain access with a prepaid plastic card or key fob, then plug their depleted electronic device into it. Not only would the owner of the business in which the outlet was located make money off of electricity sales, but they would also end up with potential shoppers who would be stuck in their store for at least 20 minutes.  Read More

A new planar sodium-nickel chloride battery could deliver 30 percent more power at lower t...

In the continuing search for ever more efficient and cheaper batteries, researchers at the Department of Energy’s (DoE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have managed to increase the performance of sodium-nickel chloride batteries in an interesting way – flattening them. No, not running them down until they’re out of juice, but rather replacing their typical cylindrical shape with a flat disc design. The redesign allows the battery to deliver 30 percent more power at lower temperatures, making them a viable alternative to lithium-ion batteries.  Read More

The piezoelectric CNF-PZT Cantilever device

Piezoelectric generators that harness otherwise wasted energy from vibrations has been proposed for capturing energy in everything from shoes to roads. Now a new device made out of piezoelectric material by researchers at Louisiana Tech University could allow a wide range of electronic devices to harvest their own wasted operational energy, resulting in devices that are much more energy efficient. It even offers the potential to perpetually power micro and nano devices, such as biomedical devices or remotely located sensors and communication nodes.  Read More

The Gorillatorch Blade hangin' around

Joby’s Gorillatorch line has been removing the torches from DIYer’s mouths and underarms for a while now with its original 65-lumens Gorillatorch, which was joined earlier this year by the more powerful 100-lumens Gorillatorch Flare. For the latest addition to the line Joby has again upped the light intensity with the new Gorillatorch Blade. The Blade features the instantly recognizable flexible legs that are found on all Gorillapod tripods, along with a long-lasting CREE XLamp XP-C LED producing up to 130 lumens of light output, which can be adjusted from spot to flood.  Read More

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