Apr 23

Nanoelectronic circuits reach speeds of 245 THz

nanoelectronic-circuitsLink:  Ten thousands times faster than contemporary microprocessors.

Researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have designed and manufactured circuits that can reach speeds of up to 245 THz, tens of thousands of times faster than contemporary microprocessors. The results open up possible new design routes for plasmonic-electronics, that combine nano-electronics with the fast operating speed of optics.When light interacts with some metals, it can be captured in the form of collective, extremely fast oscillations of electrons called plasmons. If harnessed, the interaction of photons and electrons could be used to build ultra-fast computers (among other things). But these phenomena occur at a scale so small that we don’t yet have the tools to investigate them, let alone harness them.

Apr 23

rinity portable wind turbine takes a breezy approach to charging-on-the-go

trinityLink:  Portable wind charge

There are already plenty of solar-powered phone chargers out there, but they won’t do you much good at night, when it’s cloudy, or even if you live too far north. Chances are, however, that in any one of those situations, there will be at least a slight breeze … and that’s where the Trinity portable wind turbine comes into play.The plastic-bodied Trinity is carried as a 12-inch (30.5-cm) cylinder when not in use. When you want to juice it up, you pull out the turbine’s three aluminum legs, and prop it up to catch the wind. The legs can be laid flat to form a pedestal, or partially extended to form a tripod base. And yes, it iswaterproof (rated to IPX6), should the wind be accompanied by rain.

Apr 16

Shiny quantum dots brighten future of solar cells

shinyquantumLink:  Quantum dots are ultra-small bits of semiconductor

Matter that can be synthesized with nearly atomic precision via modern methods of colloidal chemistry. Their emission color can be tuned by simply varying their dimensions. Color tunability is combined with high emission efficiencies approaching 100 percent. These properties have recently become the basis of a new technology – quantum dot displays – employed, for example, in the newest generation of the Kindle Fire e-reader.that doubles as a solar panel could be on the horizon, thanks to recent quantum-dot work by Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers in collaboration with scientists from University of Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB), Italy. Their project demonstrates that superior light-emitting properties of quantum dots can be applied in solar energy by helping more efficiently harvest sunlight.

Apr 16

Scientists gain new insight into mysterious electronic phenomenon

1-scientistsgaLink:  High temperature superconductors

For more than a quarter of a century, high-temperature superconductors – materials that can transmit electric current without any resistance – have perplexed scientists who seek to understand the physical phenomena responsible for their unique properties.Despite their name, high-temperature superconductors are actually quite cold – roughly 250 degrees to 350 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Conventional superconductors, like those used in MRI machines or particle accelerators, are even colder. Even though they are still quite cold, high-temperature superconductors are of special interest to researchers because, at least in theory, they are much easier to keep sufficiently cold and are thus potentially more useful.

Apr 16

Micro-macro entangled ‘cat states’ could one day test quantum gravity

micromacroenLink:  A cat’s quantum state becomes entangled with the quantum 

In Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment, a cat’s quantum state becomes entangled with the quantum state of a decaying nucleus, resulting in the odd situation that the cat is both alive and dead at the same time. The thought experiment was originally intended to convey the absurdity of applying quantum mechanics to macroscopic objects, but recently physicists have been questioning whether “quantum” effects such as entanglement and superposition may apply on all scales.

Apr 14

Novel way to make ethanol without corn or other plants

yuhvbkjnkLink:  Ethanol from CO2

Two years ago, Kanan and Li created a novel electrode made of a material they called oxide-derived copper. They used the term “oxide-derived” because the metallic electrode was produced from copper oxide.”Conventional copper electrodes consist of individual nanoparticles that just sit on top of each other,” Kanan said. “Oxide-derived copper, on the other hand, is made of copper nanocrystals that are all linked together in a continuous network with well-defined grain boundaries. The process of transforming  into metallic copper creates the network of nanocrystals.”

Apr 14

New breakthrough could lead to body-powered wearables

imgresLink:  Skin temperature a source of electricity

A team of researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) may have overcome one of the biggest hurdles facing wearable tech devices if they are to go mainstream — poor battery life. Even the biggest fans of Google Glass complain that the headset can only go roughly eight hours before the battery dies, and if the camera and video are in use, then that time falls drastically to one-to-two hours at best. Likewise, the first generation of Samsung smartwatches came in for criticism for having a useful life of less than a full day.

 

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