Other materials stories that may be of interestPublished on January 17th, 2012 | Edited by: Peter Wray
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Although the fracture rate of third-generation alumina-bearing couples is low, we believe that it may not be possible to eliminate the actual risk of alumina head fracture. Patients should be informed about the potential for this complication before receiving an alumina-bearing couple.
Polymer nanocomposites represent a new class of multiphase materials containing dispersion of nano-sized filler materials such as nanoparticles, nanoclays, nanotubes, nanofibers etc. within the polymer matrices. These multifunctional nanocomposites exhibit excellent mechanical properties, but also display an outstanding combination of optical, electrical, thermal, magnetic and other physico-chemical properties. It is believed that the molecular level interactions between the nanoparticles and polymer matrices along with the presence of very high nanoparticle-polymer interfacial area play a major role in influencing the physical and mechanical properties of nanocomposites.
The smallest magnetic-memory bit ever made-an aggregation of just 12 iron atoms created by researchers at IBM-shows the ultimate limits of future data-storage systems. The magnetic memory elements don’t work in the same way that today’s hard drives work, and, in theory, they can be much smaller without becoming unstable. As the semiconductor industry bumps up against the limits of scaling by making memory and computation devices ever smaller, the IBM Almaden research group, led by Andreas Heinrich, is working from the other end, building computing elements atom-by-atom in the lab. Data-storage arrays made from these atomic bits would be about 100 times denser than anything that can be built today.
With bankruptcies an unwanted but increasingly common feature of the photovoltaic landscape, questions abound as to what to expect from 2012. Lux Research’s Matt Feinstein investigates and picks a list of winners from the up and downstream markets. Innovation it seems, and not just when it comes to technology, is the key
Microscopic water droplets jumping between surfaces that repel and attract moisture could hold the key to a wide array of more energy efficient products, ranging from large solar panels to compact laptop computers. Duke University engineers have developed a new way of producing thermal diodes, devices which regulate heat to preferentially flow in a certain direction, effectively creating a thermal conductor in the forward direction and an insulator in the reverse direction.
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