Electronics

Video of the week – Two approaches to cloaking

By / January 21, 2009

Several research teams are actively pursuing cloaking/invisibility concepts. One of the prominent groups is at Duke University and the other is at University of California, Berkeley. The Berkeley team uses a crafted nano-prism of metamaterial atoms that has a negative refractive index for light of near-infrared wavelengths. The Duke team is also uses metamaterials, but…

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Ceramics as alternative to conventional laser generation

By / January 15, 2009

Kudos to Akio Ikesue and Yan Lin Aung for their recent article in Nature Photonics. Ikesue (bias confession: he is an ACerS member) and Yan report on recent developments in the field. From their summary: The opaque and translucent cement and clay often used in tableware are not appropriate for optical applications because of the…

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Creating alternating current with piezoelectrics

By / January 8, 2009

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a micro-scale “flexible charge pump” that produces alternating current by utilizing the piezoelectric properties of cyclically stretched and released zinc oxide wires. “The flexible charge pump offers yet another option for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy,” says project leader Zhong-Lin Wang, director of GIT’s Center…

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Top ceramic videos countdown of 2008

By / January 2, 2009

Everyone else is doing their “tops” list for last year, so who are we to go against the herd? #5 – Aerogel – Solid smoke! — #4 – Nanotube Audio Speakers – what stretches, is nearly invisible and can be worn? — #3 – Chu, scientist and Nobel laureate, tapped for DOE head – Chu’s…

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Last two days for ICACC’10 early-registration discount

By / December 30, 2008

Dec. 31 is the final day to save $100 on the registration fee for the 33rd International Conference and Exposition on Advanced Ceramics and Composites. The meeting is slated for Jan. 18-23, 2009, at the Hilton Daytona Beach Resort & Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, FL USA. This is one of the top ceramics meetings in…

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Leibniz Prize honors three for materials research

By / December 30, 2008

Three of Germany’s top materials scientists, Jürgen Rödel, Jürgen Eckert and Holger Braunschweig, have all been awarded that nation’s highest research prize. The Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft presents the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize annually to 10 (actually 11 in 2009!) outstanding scientists and academicians, with the aim that the laureates use the funds – worth up to…

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Good vibrations lead to ‘smart’ roads and energy

By / December 27, 2008

Some people think the road to tomorrow’s most practical alternative energy source will be embedded with piezoelectric crystals capable of converting the mechanical strain of on-road vehicles into electrical current or voltage. Haim Abramovich, an associate professor of aerospace engineering at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, is one of these thinkers. Testing piezoelectrics in…

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Energy harvesting radio-based detection system unveiled

By / December 19, 2008

Kansas State University and Peregrine Semiconductors are demonstrating a battery-free technology that could improve embedded multi-sensor systems such as those that might be used to detect deterioration in busy bridge. “This type of radio technology may exist in your house, for instance if you have a temperature sensor outside that radios data to a display…

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Coming soon: self-powered cellphones, PDAs and more

By / December 15, 2008

Cellphones charged by voice sound waves. Drug delivery systems enabled by minute body movements. Military equipment powered by the motion of soldiers walking? Self-powered devices like these are now one step closer to reality thanks to a Texas A&M professor’s discovery that when certain piezoelectric materials are produced at the nanoscale – specifically at about…

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‘Hospital on a chip’ promises fewer battlefield deaths

By / December 9, 2008

Fewer soldiers will die on the battlefield if two U.S. researchers succeed in developing a project called “field hospital on a chip.” The project entails creation of a minimally-invasive sensor troops will wear into battle. Able to monitor, detect, diagnose and administer medication, the sensor will deliver life-saving treatment to soldiers long before medics can ever reach them, the researchers claim. “Since the majority of…

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