Electronic Components

Researchers Develop Flexible, Energy-Efficient Hybrid Circuit

Researchers from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have developed a flexible, energy-efficient hybrid circuit combining carbon nanotube thin film transistors with other thin film transistors. The hybrid could take the place of silicon as the traditional transistor material used in electronic chips, since carbon nanotubes are more transparent, flexible, and can be processed at a lower cost.The hybridization of carbon nanotube thin films and IGZO (indium, gallium and zinc oxide) thin films was achieved by combining their types, p-type and n-type, respectively, to create circuits that can operate complimentarily, reducing power loss and increasing efficiency. The inclusion of IGZO thin film transistors provided power efficiency to increase battery life. The potential applications for the integrated circuitry are numerous, including Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs), digital circuits, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, sensors, wearable electronics, and flash memory devices. Even heads-up displays on vehicle dashboards could soon be a reality.The new technology also has major medical implications. Currently, memory used in computers and phones is made with silicon substrates, the surface on which memory chips are built. To obtain medical information from a patient such as heart rate or brainwave data, stiff electrode objects are placed on several fixed locations on the patient’s body. With the new hybridized circuit, however, electrodes could be placed all over the patient’s body with just a single large but flexible object.SourceAlso: Learn about an Integral Battery Power Limiting Circuit for Intrinsically Safe Applications.

Posted in: News, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Lighting, OLEDs, Medical, Patient Monitoring, RF & Microwave Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs, Sensors

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Printing Electronic Circuits and Sensors Directly onto 3D Surfaces

Digital printing technologies play an important role in microelectronics, microsystems engineering, and sensor systems. Recently, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Bremen, Germany, have discovered that they can use various printing methods to produce electronic components and sensors. The tiny resistors, transistors, circuit paths, and capacitors are first designed on screen and then printed directly onto 2Dand 3D substrates. Instead of paper inks, they are using “functional inks,” electronic materials in liquid or paste form.

Posted in: MDB, News, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Electronics, Medical

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Thin Films Self-Assemble in One Minute

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have devised a technique whereby self-assembling nanoparticle arrays can form a highly ordered thin film over macroscopic distances in one minute.

Posted in: News, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Composites, Materials, Nanotechnology, Optics, Photonics

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New Supercapacitor Could Make Structural Energy Storage A Reality

Imagine a future in which our electrical gadgets are no longer limited by plugs and external power sources. This intriguing prospect is one of the reasons for the current interest in building the capacity to store electrical energy directly into a wide range of products, such as a laptop whose casing serves as its battery, or an electric car powered by energy stored in its chassis, or a home where the dry wall and siding store the electricity that runs the lights and appliances. It also makes the small, dull grey wafers that graduate student Andrew Westover and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Cary Pint have made in Vanderbilt's Nanomaterials and Energy Devices Laboratory far more important than their nondescript appearance suggests.

Posted in: News, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Energy, Energy Storage, Semiconductors & ICs

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New Way To Make Sheets Of Graphene Discovered

Graphene's promise as a material for new kinds of electronic devices, among other uses, has led researchers around the world to study the material in search of new applications. But one of the biggest limitations to wider use of the strong, lightweight, highly conductive material has been the hurdle of fabrication on an industrial scale.

Posted in: News, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Solar Power, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Semiconductors & ICs

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Implantable Electronic Gripping Devices

A team of scientists from The University of Texas, Dallas, along with colleagues at the University of Tokyo, Japan, have created biologically adaptive transistor devices that have the ability to become soft when implanted inside the body yet can reshape themselves and deploy to grip 3D objects, such as large tissues, nerves, and blood vessels.

Posted in: MDB, News, Electronic Components, Electronics, Composites, Materials, Plastics, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical

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Introducing the Bionic Man

The NIH’s Bionic Man site helps viewers visually explore some of the latest bioengineering creations from research funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. From prosthetics to artificial kidneys, these technologies are changing lives now and in the future.

Posted in: MDB, News, Electronic Components, Electronics, Ceramics, Coatings & Adhesives, Composites, Materials, Metals, Plastics, Diagnostics, Drug Delivery & Fluid Handling, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Orthopedics, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Surgical Robotics/Instruments, Sensors

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