Tech & Electronics: Research

Post-doctoral fellow Svenja Lohner and Professor Alfred Spormann

Stanford scientists use microbes to make 'clean' methane

Most methane comes from natural gas, a fossil fuel. Stanford and Penn State scientists are taking a greener approach using microbes that can convert renewable electricity into carbon-neutral methane.

UCLA researchers develop new technique to scale up production of graphene micro-supercapacitors

While the demand for ever-smaller electronic devices has spurred the miniaturization of a variety of technologies, one area has lagged behind in this downsizing revolution: energy-storage units, such as batteries and capacitors. Read >>

Flexible electronics could transform the way we make and use electronic devices

Flexible electronics open the door to foldaway smartphone displays, solar cells on a roll of plastic and advanced medical devices -- if we can figure out how to make them. Read >>

Redesigned Material Could Lead to Lighter, Faster Electronics

Thin Layer of Germanium May Replace Silicon in Semiconductors Read >>

A new look at high-temperature superconductors

Method allows direct detection of rapid fluctuations that may help to explain how high-temperature superconducting materials work. Read >>

UEA researchers make breakthrough in race to create 'bio-batteries'

Findings published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) show that proteins on the surface of bacteria can produce an electric current by simply touching a mineral surface. Read >>

Small in size, big on power: New microbatteries a boost for electronics

Though they be but little, they are fierce. The most powerful batteries on the planet are only a few millimeters in size, yet they pack such a punch that a driver could use a cellphone powered by these batteries to jump-start a dead car battery – and then recharge the phone in the blink of an eye. Read >>

Stanford researchers synthesize printable, electrically conductive gel

The Jell-O-like material, from the labs of Stanford professors Yi Cui and Zhenan Bao, may have applications in areas as widespread as energy storage, medical sensors and biofuel cells. Read >>

Engineers Show Feasibility of Superfast Materials

‘Organic Topological Insulators’ for Quantum Computing Read >>

Stanford scientists chipping away at graphene's secrets

Single sheets of graphene, a curious material only 1 atom thick, are 100 times more chemically reactive than double or triple sheets, Stanford scientists say in a new paper published online Jan. 17 in ACS Nano. Read >>

Storing data in individual molecules

An international team of researchers demonstrates the possibility of molecular memory near room temperature. Read >>

New nanotech fiber: Robust handling, shocking performance

Rice University’s latest nanotechnology breakthrough was more than 10 years in the making, but it still came with a shock. Scientists from Rice, the Dutch firm Teijin Aramid, the U.S. Air Force and Israel’s Technion Institute this week unveiled a new carbon nanotube (CNT) fiber that looks and acts like textile thread and conducts electricity and heat like a metal wire. Read >>

New qubit control bodes well for future of quantum computing

Yale University scientists have found a way to observe quantum information while preserving its integrity, an achievement that offers researchers greater control in the volatile realm of quantum mechanics and greatly improves the prospects of quantum computing. Read >>

Novel NIST Process Is a Low-Cost Route to Ultrathin Platinum Films

A research group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a relatively simple, fast and effective method of depositing uniform, ultrathin layers of platinum atoms on a surface Read >>

Department of Energy Funds Research in Artificial Photosynthesis

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) has awarded a team of researchers from UMass Lowell, UMass Boston and the University of Wisconsin a three-year, $3 million grant to develop a metal catalyst for converting sunlight, carbon dioxide (CO2) and water into hydrocarbon fuel. Read >>

Researchers demonstrate record-setting p-type transistor

New design for a basic component of all computer chips boasts the highest ‘carrier mobility’ yet measured. Read >>

UCLA engineers develop new energy-efficient computer memory using magnetic materials

MeRAM is up to 1,000 times more energy-efficient than current technologies Read >>

Tiny compound semiconductor transistor could challenge silicon’s dominance

MIT researchers develop the smallest indium gallium arsenide transistor ever built. Read >>

New study paves the way for quantum-enhanced computation

Scientists from the Universities of Southampton and Oxford have worked together to develop the first experimental demonstration of the boson sampling model of computation, which could pave the way to larger devices that could offer the first definitive quantum-enhanced computation. Read >>

CU-Boulder team develops swarm of pingpong ball-sized robots

University of Colorado Boulder Assistant Professor Nikolaus Correll likes to think in multiples. If one robot can accomplish a singular task, think how much more could be accomplished if you had hundreds of them. Read >>

Proving quantum computers feasible

With a new contribution to probability theory, researchers show that relatively simple physical systems could yield powerful quantum computers. Read >>

Study reveals challenge for chip designers of future

Surprising findings could influence material choices in nanoelectronics Read >>

Stanford-SLAC team uses X-ray imaging to observe running batteries in real time

Scientists at Stanford and SLAC are using X-ray technology to observe lithium-sulfur batteries in action. Their findings could lead to improvements in this promising power source for electric vehicles. Read >>

New UCLA Engineering research center to revolutionize nanoscale electromagnetic devices

The NSF-funded multimillion-dollar program, based on a new approach to electronics, could lead to tiny devices once considered fantasy Read >>

New fuel cell keeps going after the hydrogen runs out

Materials scientists demonstrate first SOFC capable of battery-like storage Read >>

'Cloning' Could Make Structurally Pure Nanotubes for Nanoelectronics

Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a technique for growing virtually pure samples of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) with identical structures, a process they liken to "cloning" the nanotubes. Read >>

Princeton/NIST Collaboration Puts Wheels on the Quantum Bus

In yet another step toward the realization of a practical quantum computer, scientists have shown how a major hurdle in transferring information from one quantum bit, or qubit, to another might be overcome. Their so-called quantum bus provides the link that would enable quantum processors to perform complex computations. Read >>

Electromagnetic 'Swamps' Don't Always Bog Electrons Down

Electrons tunnel through energy barriers together, even though the environment of the particles is electrically messy. Read >>

Quantum processor can factor a composite number

Computing prime factors may sound like an elementary math problem, but try it with a large number, say one that contains more than 600 digits, and the task becomes enormously challenging and impossibly time-consuming. Read >>

Discovery of plant gene lays groundwork for improved biofuel processing

Researchers at the BioEnergy Science Center, one of three Department of Energy-funded research centers, have partnered to figure out how to break down plants so that they easily release the simple sugars that can be processed into biofuels. It's a breakthrough that could make biofuels cost competitive with gasoline. Read >>

With Microchip Real Estate at a Premium, Drexel Engineers Look For a Wireless Solution

The engineers recently earned a National Science Foundation grant to develop tiny wireless networks on microchips. Wireless radio frequency antennas would allow information to be transmitted from one part of the chip to another without the use of wired interconnections, the “landlines” of the microchip world. Read >>

New technique allows simulation of noncrystalline materials

Multidisciplinary team develops mathematical approach that could help in simulating materials for solar cells and LEDs. Read >>