From the charging unit for a smartphone to the power supply of a laptop or washing machine to LED lights or the charging station for an electric car...

INSIDER: Electronics & Computers
A New Electrolyte for Lithium-Metal Batteries

Improvements to a class of battery electrolyte first introduced in 2017 — liquefied gas electrolytes — could pave the way to a high-impact and long-sought advance for rechargeable...

Two industry experts respond to a Tech Briefs reader question.
White Papers: Medical
Advanced Polymers: Get to Know Grilamid TR

Healthcare environments impose a wide range of challenges on product developers, who must select materials that are strong, stable, resistant, and easy to manufacture. See how one advanced polymer...

Stanford Professor Eric Pop learned a valuable electronics lesson from his early days as a radio DJ.
Question of the Week: Energy
Does Snow Have Power Potential?

A 2019 Tech Briefs story demonstrated a plastic-like, flexible nanongenerator that creates electricity from falling snow.

White Papers: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The Additive and Traditional Parts Manufacturing Capabilities of 3D Systems on Demand

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is fast becoming an essential part of the modern manufacturing toolkit because of the powerful advantages it...

A new NASA challenge asks university teams to find new ways to drill down to the ice on the Moon and Mars.
How do thermoplastic composites compare to the thermoset composites already in use for several decades? A Tech Briefs reader asks.

A novel imaging technique that uses a synthesized form of scorpion venom to light up brain tumors has shown promise in a clinical trial. The imaging system enables...

Question of the Week: Robotics, Automation & Control
Have You Considered Using Collaborative Robots?

Collaborative robots are part of Ford Motor Company’s assembly line. One cobot performs the greasing of the camshaft followers, another fills the engine oil, and a third uses a camera and UV light to check for leaks.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create images of organs and tissues in the human body, helping doctors diagnose potential problems or diseases. Doctors use MRI to...

Different instruments are needed to study the interaction of contact surfaces at different length scales. Tribometers measure the coefficient of friction but they...

Your new industrial electronic product has been designed and the board components specified. It has been prototyped, either on a development board to check...

Semi-Liquid Metal Anode for Next-Generation Batteries

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a semi-liquid lithium metal-based anode. Lithium batteries made using this new...

At the scale of bridges or buildings, the most important force that engineered structures need to deal with is gravity. But at the scale of microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS) — devices like...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Low-Cost Thermoelectric Material Works at Room Temperature

The widespread adoption of thermoelectric devices that can directly convert electricity into thermal energy for cooling and heating has been hindered, in part, by the lack of materials that are both inexpensive and highly efficient at room temperature. A new material was developed that...

Robotics has traditionally focused on industrial applications in which robots require strength and precision to carry out repetitive tasks. These robots flourish in highly...

Landing is stressful on a rocket’s legs because they must handle the force from the impact with the landing pad. One way to combat this is to build legs out of materials that absorb some of...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Organic Carbon-Nitride Semiconductor

Some organic materials cannot be utilized similarly to silicon semiconductors in optoelectronics. Whether in solar cells, light-emitting diodes, or in transistors, what is important is the bandgap, i.e....

Recently discovered two-dimensional (2D) materials with superlative properties have the potential to advance semiconductors but creating 2D devices with both good electrical contacts and...

Briefs: Imaging
Multi- and Wide-Band Single-Feed Patch Antenna

A novel patch antenna technology was developed that provides significant benefits to NASA satellite communication applications, offering a unique wide-band/multi-band operating capability. For other non-space applications, the antenna design also offers broadband capability with high gain for...

Unlike water, liquid refrigerants and other fluids that have a low surface tension spread quickly into a sheet when they come into contact with a surface. For many industrial...

While different approaches have been used to create artificial muscles — including hydraulic systems, servomotors, shape-memory metals, and polymers that respond to stimuli — they all have limitations such...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Virtual MIL-STD-1553B Remote Terminals

For complex boards with multiple FPGAs, each FPGA can implement its own remote terminal (RT) core and present itself logically to the bus as a remote terminal while sharing the RT’s hardware. This simplifies the design since commands and telemetry do not have to be distributed and collected by user logic;...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Antenna Near-Field Probe Station Scanner

Antenna characterization techniques are often expensive and time-consuming. NASA’s Glenn Research Center developed a highly versatile and automated system to perform characterization of single or multiple small circuit antennas, printed on-wafer or on other substrates, by measuring the antenna’s...

Briefs: Communications
Self-Configurable Radio Receiver System and Method

A self-configurable radio receiver system was developed for relaying communication signals from multiple deep space assets. Most conventional radio receivers are hardwired to receive a specific type of signal and are incapable of receiving other types of signals without preconfiguration...

A soft and conformable health monitor can broadcast electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, respiratory rate, and motion activity data as much as 15 meters to a portable recording...

The Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robotic System (AEODRS) features a modular open systems architecture that enables the robot to be self-righting after a fall. The self-righting...

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