Electronic Components
3D-Printed Contact Lens Combines Plastics and Electronics
Posted in Electronic Components, Electronics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, News, MDB on Thursday, 18 December 2014
An interdisciplinary team of engineers at Princeton University has embedded tiny light-emitting diodes (LEDs) into a standard contact lens, allowing the device to project beams of colored light. While the lens is not designed for actual use, especially since it requires an external power supply, the team created the device to demonstrate its ability to 3D print electronics into complex shapes and materials.
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Wireless Brain Sensing Untethers Subjects
Posted in Electronic Components, Electronics, Sensors, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Diagnostics, News, MDB on Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Scientists at Brown University, Providence, RI, say that a new wireless brain-sensing system will allow them to acquire high-fidelity neural data to advance neuroscience that cannot be accomplished with current sensors that tie subjects to cabled computer connections for analysis. Their results show that the technology transmitted data-rich, neuroscientifically meaningful signals from animal models as they slept, woke, and exercised.
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Developing a Sonar-Assisted Device for the Blind
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Wireless, News, MDB on Thursday, 11 December 2014
At Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, a biology professor researching echolocation in bats teamed up with an associate professor of computer science and an interdisciplinary team of students to develop a device that can help the visually impaired navigate better. Their research focused on developing a device that could be worn like a watch by a visually-impaired person as a supplement to other aids like a cane or guide dog.
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Harvesting Energy for Medical Implants
Posted in Electronic Components, Power Supplies, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, News, MDB on Monday, 01 December 2014
Scientists at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have demonstrated a new technique for harvesting energy from mechanical vibrations of the environment and converting it into electricity. They explain that energy harvesters are needed, for example, in wireless self-powered sensors and medical implants, such as pacemakers, where they could ultimately replace batteries.
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New System Could Prolong Power in Mobile Devices
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Power Management, PCs/Portable Computers, Semiconductors & ICs, News on Monday, 27 October 2014
Researchers from The University of Texas at Dallas have created technology that could be the first step toward wearable computers with self-contained power sources or, more immediately, a smartphone that doesn’t die after a few hours of heavy use. The technology taps into the power of a single electron to control energy consumption inside transistors, which are at the core of most modern electronic systems.
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Researchers Develop Thinnest Electric Generator
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Power Management, Materials, Metals, Sensors, Semiconductors & ICs, News on Friday, 17 October 2014
Researchers from Columbia Engineering and the Georgia Institute of Technology made the first experimental observation of piezoelectricity and the piezotronic effect in an atomically thin material, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), resulting in a unique electric generator and mechanosensation devices that are optically transparent, extremely light, and very bendable and stretchable.

“This material—just a single layer of atoms—could be made as a wearable device, perhaps integrated into clothing, to convert energy from your body movement to electricity and power wearable sensors or medical devices, or perhaps supply enough energy to charge your cell phone in your pocket,” says James Hone, professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia and co-leader of the research.

Hone’s team placed thin flakes of MoS2 on flexible plastic substrates and determined how their crystal lattices were oriented using optical techniques. They then patterned metal electrodes onto the flakes. In research done at Georgia Tech, a group led by Zhong Lin Wang, Regents’ Professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, installed measurement electrodes on the samples provided by Hone’s group, then measured current flows as the samples were mechanically deformed. They monitored the conversion of mechanical to electrical energy, and observed voltage and current outputs.

Ultimately, Zhong Lin Wang notes, the research could lead to complete atomic-thick nanosystems that are self-powered by harvesting mechanical energy from the environment. This study also reveals the piezotronic effect in two-dimensional materials for the first time, which greatly expands the application of layered materials for human-machine interfacing, robotics, MEMS, and active flexible electronics.

Source Also: Learn more about a Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Transducer System.
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Ferroelectric Materials Could Revolutionize Data-Driven Devices
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics, Power Management, Computers, Materials, Metals, Test & Measurement, Measuring Instruments, News on Friday, 17 October 2014
Electronic devices with unprecedented efficiency and data storage may someday run on ferroelectrics — remarkable materials that use built-in electric polarizations to read and write digital information, outperforming the magnets that are inside most popular data-driven technology. But ferroelectrics must first overcome a few key stumbling blocks, including a curious habit of "forgetting" stored data. Now, however, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have discovered nanoscale asymmetries and charge preferences hidden within ferroelectrics that may explain their operational limits.
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