Researchers Print the Unprintable: Kapton

Kapton, a material used in electronics and aerospace applications, has only been available in sheet form. Researchers from Virginia Tech have found a way to 3D-print a polymer with Kapton's structural characteristics.

Posted in: News, News, Aerospace, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials

Nanowire “Inks” for Paper-Based Printable Electronics

Highly conductive films make functional circuits without adding high heat.

Printed electronics must be heated to melt all the nanoparticles together into a single conductive wire, making it impossible to print circuits on inexpensive plastics or paper. A study shows that tweaking the shape of the nanoparticles in the ink could eliminate the need for heat.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

Electrically Conducting Nanoscale Sheets for Reconfigurable Electronics

Almost all aspects of modern life, such as communications and healthcare, depend on microelectronic devices. The demand for more powerful, smaller technology keeps growing, meaning that the tiniest devices are now composed of just a few atoms. One way to solve the problem of making electronic circuits smaller is to make them more flexible so they can serve one purpose and then be completely reconfigured for another purpose.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

3D Chip Combines Computing and Data Storage

Memory cells and carbon nanotubes are built vertically over one another, making a 3D computer architecture with interleaving layers of logic and memory.

Fields ranging from autonomous driving to personalized medicine are generating huge amounts of data. But just as the flood of data is reaching massive proportions, the ability of computer chips to process it into useful information is stalling.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

Shaper Design in CMOS for High Dynamic Range

This circuit design has uses in industrial automation, medical signal processing, and radiation detection for medical and security applications.

Front-end electronics for capacitive sensors typically include a preamplifier followed by a filter. The preamplifier provides low-noise amplification of the signals induced in the sensor electrodes. The filter, by properly limiting the signal bandwidth, maximizes the Signal-to-Noise (S/N) ratio. Additionally, the filter limits the duration of the output signal associated with the measured event and, for those sensors where the induced signal is relatively slow, it maximizes the signal amplitude.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers

Writing with Light: An ‘Etch A Sketch’ Electrical Circuit

Physicists from Washington State University (WSU) have used lasers to draw conductive circuits into a crystal. The achievement demonstrates a new kind of transparent, three-dimensional electronics: circuits that can be erased and reconfigured, like the drawings of an Etch A Sketch.

Posted in: News, Board-Level Electronics, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics

'Smart' Transformer Supports Power Grid of Tomorrow

Imagine a system that handles electricity flow not just from the power company to our homes, but also back from our homes to the power company. North Carolina State University researchers say an existing technology – the solid-state transformer — could make the conceptual "smart grid" a reality.

Posted in: News, Power Management, Power Supplies, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy

Recovering Metals from Electronic Waste

This process dissolves the major metals found in electronics, including materials that have been shredded, magnetically separated, or milled to a particle size less than one millimeter.

End-of-life electronic devices such as smartphones, computers, televisions, and other electronics contain significant amounts of valuable metals including base metals (zinc, tin, lead, nickel, and copper), precious metals (silver, gold, and palladium), and rare earth magnets (neodymium, yttrium, samarium). Some electronic scrap is currently landfilled or incinerated, and there is a need to develop more effective processes to capture these valuable metals along with keeping them out of the environment.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Electronic equipment, Recycling, Metals, Waste materials

Solder Bond Packaging for High-Voltage Pulsed Power Devices

This invention is a superior switching component for pulsed power applications.

The huge demand for switching components exceeding silicon's (Si) current density limitation of 200 A/cm2 has pushed the enhancement of alternative semiconductor materials such as silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride, and diamond. The enhanced material properties of SiC, such as high thermal conductivity, large critical field, wide bandgap, large elastic modulus, and high saturation velocity, make it a viable candidate for pulsed power systems. Using SiC would increase both current and power densities, improve dI/dt and dV/dt capabilities, reduce recovery time, and minimize switching losses in various power electronic systems. Furthermore, a significant reduction in the volume and weight of pulsed power systems can be realized by implementing SiC SGTOs, reducing the thermal management requirements of the pulsed power system.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Power electronics, Switches, Power electronics, Switches, Welding, Semiconductors

Chip-Sized Terahertz Modulator for Faster Data Transmission

This modulator is suitable for THz transmitters/receivers on a single chip.

Tufts University engineers have invented a chip-sized, high-speed modulator that operates at terahertz (THz) frequencies at room temperature and at low voltages without consuming DC power. The discovery could transmit data at significantly higher speeds than currently possible.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Wireless communication systems, Electronic equipment, Wireless communication systems, Energy consumption, Product development

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