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    Polymer researchers make super-capacitor breakthrough

    supercapacitors at work

    Researchers in the UK have reported a breakthrough in super-capacitor development with the potential to revolutionize the recharging cycle for battery operated devices. The development, by Augmented Optics Ltd., is based on polymers used to make soft contact lenses. Very high energy density super-capacitors could make it possible to recharge mobile phones, laptops or other mobile devices in just a few seconds.

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      MIT printing technique enables flexible circuit stamping

      Functional features at nanoscale dimensions.

      An alternative to photolithography?

      An alternative to photolithography?

      To create electronic devices like those in today’s mobile phones requires complex chemical and physical processes, not unlike those used to capture and develop images with film-based cameras.

      Smart devices start with a series of etched circuit images projected onto a silicon photolithic surface that is then sucessively submerged in a series of chemical, metal, and acid ‘developer’ baths that take away layers of extraneous metal and silicon – and everything that isn’t, say, a microprocessor.

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        Similar to graphene, new material scales like silicon

        InSe moleculeResearchers in the UK have developed a new ultra-thin material, Indium Selenide (InSe), that has silicon-like semiconductor properties that make it ideal for creating super-fast electronic devices.

        InSe is similar to graphene, consisting of a naturally thin body that allows scaling at nanometre dimensions. Also similar to silicon, InSe has the properties of a semiconductor.

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          Homage to Kickstarter at London Design Museum

          There’s nothing like a visit to the art world to remind us that great design sometimes is kickstarted by mere strokes across space – by a genius.

          Something like that happened in the UK when a young startup asked: 

          What if you could use a box of crayons and brushes instead of a soldering iron to create circuits for components?

          It turns out that you can, and Bare Conductive’s Electric Paint, a company launched on Kickstarter – is showing the way with a curious high-tech pencil box that allows makers and explorers of all ages to get creative building circuits using techniques that swap smoking-flux-and-lead for pens, brushes, and stencils.

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            New cutting-edge materials for designers of the future

            screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-1-48-24-pm

            Materials science advances come from many sources, including research labs like the Multi-Scale Laboratory of the Mechanics of Materials group at Eindhoven University of Technology.

            A new palette of next-generation high-tech materials – coupled with new business concepts – is empowering designers to push the outer limits of the possible in fields like electronics, biomedicine, architecture, consumer products, fashion and a host of other disciplines.

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              Technology, turtle, push limits of space

              With hundreds of millions of dollars in global innovation fund backing, this space pioneer is testing the outer limits of aerospace, high-precision machinery, advanced biomaterials and new-energy vehicle technology – and a turtle – in an upcoming balloon exploration that’s a precursor to human flights 20-100km above the earth.

              Thinking SpaceX, Elon Musk or Richard Branson?

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                Are diamonds destined to be data’s best friend?

                Diamonds

                “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” the song goes. But there’s also a budding relationship between nature’s hardest substance and data storage researchers who are using multicolor optical microscopy and other techniques to explore the charge state and physical properties of diamonds for their potential to write, read, erase, and rewrite computer data. 

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                  Discovery: bending semiconductors generates electricity

                  Discovery: bending  semiconductors generates electricity

                  In 1880 Jacques and Pierre (wife of Marie) Curie discovered that pressure generates electrical charges in some insulating crystals such as quartz and tourmaline, a phenomenon the researchers termed the”piezoelectric effect.” Later they noticed that electrical fields could deform piezoelectric materials. This effect is called the “inverse piezoelectric effect.”

                  Now, in a recent development first reported in the journal Nature, a research team from the Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2) in Barcelona have discovered that semiconductor materials also generate electricity in response to bending, an effect the scientists termed “flexoelectric.” Such materials, they found can generate more charge than insulators, and, like the reverse piezo effect, electrical fields also deform “flexo” materials.