Electronics
Nano-Pixels Promise Flexible, High-Res Displays
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics, Imaging, Displays/Monitors/HMIs, Materials, Semiconductors & ICs, Nanotechnology, News on Friday, 11 July 2014
A new discovery will make it possible to create pixels just a few hundred nanometers across. The "nano-pixels" could pave the way for extremely high-resolution and low-energy thin, flexible displays for applications such as 'smart' glasses, synthetic retinas, and foldable screens.

Oxford University scientists explored the link between the electrical and optical properties of phase change materials (materials that can change from an amorphous to a crystalline state). By sandwiching a seven=nanometer-thick layer of a phase change material (GST) between two layers of a transparent electrode, the team found that they could use a tiny current to 'draw' images within the sandwich "stack."

Initially still images were created using an atomic force microscope, but the researchers went on to demonstrate that such tiny "stacks" can be turned into prototype pixel-like devices. These 'nano-pixels' – just 300 by 300 nanometers in size – can be electrically switched 'on and off' at will, creating the colored dots that would form the building blocks of an extremely high-resolution display technology.

Source

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Shrinking the Gap in Nanowire Technology
Posted in Electronics, Materials, Metals, Plastics, Medical, Nanotechnology, News, MDB on Wednesday, 09 July 2014
A team of engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using Shrinky Dinks material, a polystyrene that shrinks under high heat, to close the gap between nanowires in an array to make them useful for high-performance electronics applications. The group published its technique in the journal, Nano Letters.
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'Sensing Skin' Detects Damage in Concrete Structures
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Materials, Sensors, Detectors, Test & Measurement, Communications, Semiconductors & ICs, News on Tuesday, 24 June 2014
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Eastern Finland have developed new “sensing skin” technology designed to serve as an early warning system for concrete structures, allowing authorities to respond quickly to damage in everything from nuclear facilities to bridges.

“The sensing skin could be used for a wide range of structures, but the impetus for the work was to help ensure the integrity of critical infrastructure such as nuclear waste storage facilities,” says Dr. Mohammad Pour-Ghaz, an assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the work.

The skin is an electrically conductive coat of paint that can be applied to new or existing structures. The paint can incorporate any number of conductive materials, such as copper, making it relatively inexpensive.

Electrodes are applied around the perimeter of a structure. The sensing skin is then painted onto the structure, over the electrodes. A computer program then runs a small current between two of the electrodes at a time, cycling through a number of possible electrode combinations.

Every time the current runs between two electrodes, a computer monitors and records the electrical potential at all of the electrodes on the structure. This data is then used to calculate the sensing skin’s spatially distributed electrical conductivity. If the skin’s conductivity decreases, that means the structure has cracked or been otherwise damaged.

The researchers have developed a suite of algorithms that allow them to both register damage and to determine where the damage has taken place.

Source

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Treating PTSD with Removable Brain Implant
Posted in Electronic Components, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, News on Monday, 23 June 2014
Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) recently received $5.6 million from the Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop an implantable neural interface that can record and stimulate neurons within the brain to treat neuropsychiatric disorders. The technology will help doctors to better understand and treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, and other conditions.
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Printing Electronic Circuits and Sensors Directly onto 3D Surfaces
Posted in Electronic Components, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics, Medical, News, MDB on Tuesday, 17 June 2014
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.
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Students Design Defibrillator Vest
Posted in Electronics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Diagnostics, News, MDB on Tuesday, 10 June 2014
A team of biomedical engineering students at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, designed a lightweight, easy-to-conceal shirt-like garment to deliver life-saving shocks to patients experiencing serious heart problems. The students say their design improves upon a wearable defibrillator system that is already in use. 
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Implantable Electronic Gripping Devices
Posted in Electronic Components, Electronics, Materials, Composites, Plastics, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, News, MDB on Wednesday, 04 June 2014
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.
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