As transistor dimensions within integrated circuits continue to shrink, smooth metallic lines are required to interconnect these devices. If the surfaces of these tiny metal lines aren't smooth enough, it substantially reduces their ability to conduct electrical and thermal energy -- decreasing functionality. Engineers report an advance in modeling results that establish electrical surface treatment of conducting thin films as a physical processing method for reducing surface roughness.
The bubbles that form on a heated surface create a tiny recoil when they leave it, like the kick from a gun firing blanks. Now researchers have shown how this miniscule force can be harnessed to mix liquid coolant around high-power microelectronics -- in space or on Earth.
Satellite-powering technology that was abandoned decades ago has been reinvented to potentially work with traditional power stations to help them convert heat to electricity more efficiently, meaning we would need less fossil fuel to burn for power. A new study presents a prototype energy converter, which uses graphene instead of metal, making it almost seven times more efficient.
Using solar energy, researchers have developed a new method for safely and efficiently producing hydrogen in a centralized manner, miles away from the solar farm. It could greatly reduce the cost of producing hydrogen and shipping it to customers.
Researchers have developed the next step in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with the first micro-scale self-sustaining cell, which generated power for 13 straight days through symbiotic interactions of two types of bacteria.
Solar cells and photodetectors could soon be made from new types of materials based on semiconductor quantum dots, thanks to new insights based on ultrafast measurements capturing real-time photoconversion processes.
A team of engineers has developed the nanotechnology and wireless electronics for a new type of retinal prosthesis that brings research a step closer to restoring the ability of neurons in the retina to respond to light. The researchers demonstrated this response to light in a rat retina interfacing with a prototype of the device in vitro.
Demand and the need for cooling are growing as the effects of climate change intensify. An emission-free, solar-powered chiller has now been developed by scientists. The potential market is world-wide, particularly in warm countries.
In just a few years, researchers have achieved remarkable power conversion efficiency with materials with perovskite crystal structure, comparable with the best photovoltaic materials available. Now, researchers have revealed the physics for how an important component of a perovskite solar cell works -- a finding that could lead to improved solar cells or even newer and better materials.
The European Union activated its Galileo satellite navigation system in December 2016. The EU is dedicated to setting this system apart from other navigation systems such as GPS -- the US counterpart of Galileo. Researchers in Belgium have now risen to this challenge as well: they designed authentication features that will make it even more difficult to send out false Galileo signals.
Thanks to the discovery of a new material, a cooking pan could generate enough electricity to charge a cellphone in just a few hours. The team found that a combination of the chemical elements calcium, cobalt and terbium can create an efficient, inexpensive and bio-friendly material that can generate electricity through a thermoelectric process involving heat and cold air.
It has been known in biology for a long time that the excited oxygen molecule singlet oxygen is the main cause of aging in cells. To counter this, nature uses an enzyme called superoxide dismutase to eliminate superoxide as a free radical. Superoxide also occurs in cell respiration for energy production and is the preliminary stage and thus source of singlet oxygen. A study has now stumbled upon astonishing parallels of oxygen chemistry in battery systems.
By carefully controlling the size of the quantum dots, researchers can 'tune' the frequency, or color, of the emitted light to any desired value. The ability to produce a laser of any desired frequency from a single material would give a boost to scientists looking to study diseases at the level of tissues or individual cells by offering new tools to probe biochemical reactions. They could also enable laser display projectors that would be brighter and more energy efficient than current LCD technology.