Electronic Components
New Chemistry Enables Longer-Lived Batteries
Posted in News, Batteries, Electronic Components, Electronics, Power Supplies, Patient Monitoring on Wednesday, 07 May 2014
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee say they have developed a new type of battery chemistry aimed at producing batteries that last longer than previously thought possible.
Scientist Creates Three-Atom-Wide Nanowire
Posted in News, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Metals on Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Junhao Lin, a Vanderbilt University Ph.D. student and visiting scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), has found a way to use a finely focused beam of electrons to create some of the smallest wires ever made. The flexible metallic wires are only three atoms wide: One thousandth the width of the microscopic wires used to connect the transistors in today’s integrated circuits.

The technique represents an exciting new way to manipulate matter at the nanoscale and should give a boost to efforts to create electronic circuits out of atomic monolayers, the thinnest possible form factor for solid objects.

“This will likely stimulate a huge research interest in monolayer circuit design,” Lin said. “Because this technique uses electron irradiation, it can in principle be applicable to any kind of electron-based instrument, such as electron-beam lithography.”

One of the intriguing properties of monolayer circuitry is its toughness and flexibility.

“If you let your imagination go, you can envision tablets and television displays that are as thin as a sheet of paper that you can roll up and stuff in your pocket or purse,” said University Distinguished Professor of Physics and Engineering at Vanderbilt University, Sokrates Pantelides.


Also: Learn about a Zinc Oxide Nanowire Interphase.
Pacemaker Powered by Beating Heart
Posted in News, Electronic Components, Electronics, Power Supplies, Implants & Prosthetics on Monday, 14 April 2014
An interdisciplinary research team from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Arizona, Tucson, has developed a flexible medical implant that harvests energy from the beating heart, which, they say, could be used to power pacemakers, defibrillators, and heart-rate monitors naturally and reliably and reduce or eliminate the need for batteries.
Stretchable Antenna for Wearable Health Monitoring
Posted in News, Electronic Components, Electronics, Patient Monitoring, Sensors on Friday, 11 April 2014
Researchers at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, say that they have developed a new, stretchable antenna that can be incorporated into wearable technologies, such as health monitoring devices.
Energy Generator Powered by Saliva
Posted in News, Electronic Components, Electronics, Power Supplies, Implants & Prosthetics, Patient Monitoring on Wednesday, 09 April 2014
An international team of engineers from Penn state University, University Park, PA, and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, have discovered that saliva-powered micro-sized microbial fuel cells can produce minute amounts of energy—enough to run on-chip applications, they say. This technology may be enough to fuel glucose monitoring for diabetics.
Transient Electronics Dissolve When Triggered
Posted in News, Electronic Components, Electronics, Environmental Monitoring, LEDs, Composites, Plastics on Friday, 04 April 2014
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.


Also: Read other Electronics & Computers tech briefs.
Wireless Device Senses Chemical Vapors
Posted in News, Wireless, Electronic Components, Electronics, Environmental Monitoring, Detectors, Sensors on Friday, 04 April 2014
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.


Also: Learn about Extended-Range Passive RFID and Sensor Tags.