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Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories
  • Thin films of a lead-free piezoelectric finally match the performance of the lead-bearing standard
    An advance in fabrication technology has greatly improved the material quality and performance of thin films of a lead-free 'piezoelectric' material. This development by A*STAR researchers promises to unlock a lead-free alternative to the lead–zircon–titanate (PZT) standard.
  • Optically tunable microwave antennas for 5G applications
    Multiband tunable antennas are a critical part of many communication and radar systems. New research by engineers at the University of Bristol has shown significant advances in antennas by using optically induced plasmas in silicon to tune both radiation patterns and operation frequency.
  • Amorphous metallic glass for high-sensitivity MEMS microphones
    Advanced microphones using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are capable of supporting new user interactions with "smart" devices, like chatting with Apple's Siri, or Amazon's Alexa. The key to achieving the high sensitivity desired for these microphones, you might be surprised to learn, is tied to the "admittance" or "compliance" of its membrane components.
  • Piezoelectrics stretch their potential with a method for flexible sticking
    Piezoelectric materials are used for applications ranging from the spark igniter in barbeque grills to the transducers needed by medical ultrasound imaging. Thin-film piezoelectrics, with dimensions on the scale of micrometers or smaller, offer potential for new applications where smaller dimensions or a lower voltage operation are required.
  • Researchers fabricate 3-D silicon structures with a focused infrared laser
    Physicist Richard Feynman once gave a lecture titled "There is plenty of room at the bottom." This lecture is often quoted to highlight the successes of modern micro- and nano-fabrication techniques, and the value of available space that comes with advances in miniaturization. In this respect, silicon, the bedrock of modern computers, mobile communications, and photonic devices, has proven to be extremely capable. These advances are usually described in terms of Moore's law. However, modern processors are essentially stacks of planar structures. In this sense, silicon microelectronics and photonics are still 2-D.
  • Good vibrations for the future of computing
    Vibrating mechanical switches that can be cascaded to perform complex computational operations could take computing significantly further than today's technologies. KAUST researchers have demonstrated an alternative technology based on mechanical vibrations.
  • Small scale energy harvesters show large scale impact
    The production of nano-scale devices has drastically increased with the rise in technological applications, yet a major drawback to the functionality of nano-sized systems is the need for an equally small energy resource.
  • New CubeSat propulsion system uses water as propellant
    A new type of micropropulsion system for miniature satellites called CubeSats uses an innovative design of tiny nozzles that release precise bursts of water vapor to maneuver the spacecraft.

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Solid State Technology
  • The world’s 1st “7-axis” motion tracking devices: tiner package & better response time
    Accelerometers and gyroscopes are fueling the robotic revolution, especially the drones’ market segment. However, these MEMS devices are not the only ones on the market place anymore, with environmental sensors penetrating this industry too.
  • Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
    Researchers at Aalto University have developed a biosensor that enables creating a range of new easy-to-use health tests similar to home pregnancy tests. The plasmonic biosensor can detect diseased exosomes even by the naked eye. A rapid analysis by biosensors helps recognize inflammatory bowel diseases, cancer and other diseases rapidly and start relevant treatments in time. In addition to using discovery in biomedicine, industry may use advanced applications in energy.
  • USC Viterbi faculty design thermal ‘skin’ to maintain temperature of satellites
    VO2 coated silicon material designed in collaboration with Northrop Grumman performs 20 times better than current semiconductors.
  • Industry enters the age of WOW
    The semiconductor industry has been there before, with large increases in investments followed by dramatic downturns. While the most dramatic downturns, 2001 and 2009, were due to, in a large part, acro-economic factors, the industry has typically observed one to two years of increased investment spending followed by a down period. This time around, the industry will achieve a “WOW” with three consecutive years of fab investment growth, a pattern not observed since the mid-1990s.
  • 4Q DRAM sales put exclamation point on an amazing year of growth
    Forecast for record quarterly DRAM sales of $21.1 billion, with 74% annual growth expected.
  • aveni extends copper interconnects to 5nm and below for BEOL integration
    aveni S.A., developer and manufacturer of market-disrupting wet deposition technologies and chemistries for 2D interconnects and 3D through silicon via packaging, today announced it has obtained results that strongly support the continued use of copper in the back end of line (BEOL) for advanced interconnects, at and beyond the 5nm technology node.
  • New silicon structure opens the gate to quantum computers
    In a major step toward making a quantum computer using everyday materials, a team led by researchers at Princeton University has constructed a key piece of silicon hardware capable of controlling quantum behavior between two electrons with extremely high precision.
  • ProPlus and MPI Corporation establish strategic partnership
    ProPlus Design Solutions Inc. and MPI Corporation today announced a strategic partnership agreement and immediate availability of a characterization and modeling solution that integrates ProPlus' SPICE modeling and noise characterization solution with MPI's advanced probing technologies.