Electronic Components

Transient Electronics Dissolve When Triggered

An Iowa State research team led by Reza Montazami is developing "transient materials" and "transient electronics" that can quickly and completely melt away when a trigger is activated. The development could mean that one day you might be able to send out a signal to destroy a lost credit card.To demonstrate that potential, Montazami played a video showing a blue light-emitting diode mounted on a clear polymer composite base with the electrical leads embedded inside. After a drop of water, the base and wiring began to melt away. As the technology develops, Montazami sees more and more potential for the commercial application of transient materials. A medical device, once its job is done, could harmlessly melt away inside a person’s body. A military device could collect and send its data and then disappear, leaving no trace of an intelligence mission. An environmental sensor could collect climate information, then wash away in the rain. SourceAlso: Read other Electronics & Computers tech briefs.

Posted in: News, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Environmental Monitoring, Green Design & Manufacturing, LEDs, Lighting, Composites, Materials, Plastics, Medical, Semiconductors & ICs
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Wireless Device Senses Chemical Vapors

A research team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has developed a small electronic sensing device that can alert users wirelessly to the presence of chemical vapors in the atmosphere. The technology, which could be manufactured using familiar aerosol-jet printing techniques, is aimed at myriad applications in military, commercial, environmental, and healthcare areas.The current design integrates nanotechnology and radio-frequency identification (RFID) capabilities into a small working prototype. An array of sensors uses carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials to detect specific chemicals, while an RFID integrated circuit informs users about the presence and concentrations of those vapors at a safe distance wirelessly.Because it is based on programmable digital technology, the RFID component can provide greater security, reliability and range – and much smaller size – than earlier sensor designs based on non-programmable analog technology. The present GTRI prototype is 10 centimeters square, but further designs are expected to squeeze a multiple-sensor array and an RFID chip into a one-millimeter-square device printable on paper or on flexible, durable substrates such as liquid crystal polymer.SourceAlso: Learn about Extended-Range Passive RFID and Sensor Tags.

Posted in: News, Communications, Wireless, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Environmental Monitoring, Green Design & Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Medical, Nanotechnology, RF & Microwave Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs, Detectors, Sensors
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Bending Light with a Tiny Chip

Imagine that you are in a meeting with coworkers or at a gathering of friends. You pull out your cell phone to show a presentation or a video on YouTube. But you don't use the tiny screen; your phone projects a bright, clear image onto a wall or a big screen. Such a technology may be on its way, thanks to a new light-bending silicon chip developed by researchers at Caltech.

Posted in: News, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics, Semiconductors & ICs
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Scientists Demonstrate Electrical Properties of Topological Insulators

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have demonstrated for the first time that one can electrically access the remarkable properties predicted for a topological insulator (TI). They used a ferromagnetic metal/tunnel barrier contact as a voltage probe to detect the spin polarization created in the topologically protected surface states when an unpolarized bias current is applied. This accomplishment identifies a successful electrical approach that provides direct access to the TI surface state spin system, significantly advances our fundamental understanding of this new quantum state, and enables utilization of the remarkable properties these materials offer for future technological applications.

Posted in: News, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Semiconductors & ICs
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Heart Pump with Behind-the-Ear Power Connector

One-third of patients with heart pumps develop infection at abdominal connection.

Cardiac surgeons and cardiologists at the University of Maryland Heart Center are part of a multi-center clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of powering heart pumps through a skull-based connector behind the ear. The pumps, called left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), support the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle. LVADs are implanted in the chest and powered with external batteries. Typically, these devices, which are used for patients with severe heart failure, are powered through an electrical cord connected at the abdomen, where potentially deadly infections can develop.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Electronic Components, Electronics, Power Management, Power Supplies, Fluid Handling, Drug Delivery, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Power Transmission, Connectors and terminals, Cardiovascular system, Medical equipment and supplies
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Key Considerations for Integrating Wireless Technology in Medical Devices

Significant opportunities exist to incorporate wireless technology into medical devices.

Wireless technology increases the effectiveness of countless every day functions. While some simply are about the convenience factor, like being able to quickly transmit patient records from one hospital to another via email, others have the power to be lifesaving. Medical device manufacturers know that there is significant opportunity to incorporate wireless technology into medical devices. However, design engineers who are extremely knowledgeable about the design of medical devices face a number of challenges in marrying off-the-shelf wireless chipsets with proprietary medical devices in development.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Electronic Components, Electronics, Medical, Wireless communication systems, Medical equipment and supplies, Safety regulations and standards
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Self-Charging Power Cell for Small Devices

A hybrid power cell uses a new technique for electrical charge conversion and storage.

Scientists at Georgia Tech say that they have developed a new self-charging power cell technology that directly converts mechanical energy to chemical energy. Then, the power is stored until it is needed to generate electricity. This hybrid generator- storage cell utilizes mechanical energy more efficiently than systems using separate generators and batteries, they say.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Batteries, Electronic Components, Electronics, Power Supplies, Medical, Energy storage systems, Medical equipment and supplies, Lithium
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Ultra-Sensitive Biosensor for Medical Diagnostics

This device may enable miniaturization and new point-of-care applications in doctors' offices.

Researchers have created an ultrasensitive biosensor that could open up new opportunities for early detection of cancer and “personalized medicine” tailored to the specific biochemistry of individual patients. The device, which could be several hundred times more sensitive than other biosensors, combines the attributes of two distinctly different types of sensors, said Muhammad A. Alam, a Purdue Uni versity professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Electronic Components, Diagnostics, Medical, Sensors, Sensors and actuators, Biological sciences, Diagnosis, Medical equipment and supplies
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Coaxial Nanocable Could Aid in Energy Storage

Researchers at Rice University have created a coaxial cable that is about a thousand times smaller than a human hair and has higher capacitance than previously reported microcapacitors. The nanocable was produced with techniques pioneered in the burgeoning graphene research field and could be used to build next-generation energy-storage systems.

Posted in: News, News, Batteries, Electronic Components, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage
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Functional Electrical Stimulation Technique May Improve Neural Implants

Researchers improve the efficiency of devices that stimulate damaged nerves, reducing potential side effects.

Electrical implants that shut down excessive activity in brain cells hold great potential for treating epilepsy and chronic pain. Likewise, devices that enhance neurons’ activity may help restore function to people with nerve damage.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Electronic Components, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Diseases, Nervous system, Prostheses and implants
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