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The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest

Photonics: Golden atoms

Similarities between the electronic states of molecules and the optical properties of gold nanostructures aid the development of new photonic devices.

Posted: Sep 28th, 2011

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NIST polishes method for creating tiny diamond machines

Diamonds may be best known as a symbol of long-lasting love. But semiconductor makers are also hoping they'll pan out as key components of long-lasting micromachines if a new method developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for carving these tough, capable crystals proves its worth.

Posted: Sep 27th, 2011

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Carbon nanotubes make solar cells affordable, flexible

Researchers from Northwestern University have developed a carbon-based material that could revolutionize the way solar power is harvested. The new solar cell material - a transparent conductor made of carbon nanotubes - provides an alternative to current technology, which is mechanically brittle and reliant on a relatively rare mineral.

Posted: Sep 27th, 2011

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100 trillion graphene wall field-effect transistors could fit on a single chip

A new paper by collaborators at Rice University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University demonstrates the possibility that tiny strips of graphene can stand tall on a substrate with a little support. This leads to the possibility that arrays of graphene walls could become ultrahigh density components of electronic or spintronic devices.

Posted: Sep 27th, 2011

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New 'FeTRAM' is promising computer memory technology

Researchers are developing a new type of computer memory that could be faster than the existing commercial memory and use far less power than flash memory devices. The technology combines silicon nanowires with a "ferroelectric" polymer, a material that switches polarity when electric fields are applied, making possible a new type of ferroelectric transistor.

Posted: Sep 27th, 2011

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Two UCSB faculty members will receive US presidential science awards

President Obama today named two UC Santa Barbara faculty members as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The award is the highest honor the nation can bestow on a scientist or engineer at the beginning of his or her career. Benjamin Mazin, assistant professor in the Department of Physics, and Sumita Pennathur, assistant professor in the department of mechanical engineering, are among 94 individuals across the country to receive the early career awards.

Posted: Sep 27th, 2011

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A faster, cheaper method for making transistors and chips (w/videos)

It may soon be possible manufacture the miniscule structures that make up transistors and silicon chips rapidly and inexpensively. EPFL scientists are currently investigating the use of dynamic stencil lithography, a recent but not yet perfected method, for creating nanostructures.

Posted: Sep 26th, 2011

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Cheap and efficient solar cell made possible by linked nanoparticles

Researchers of the Chemical Engineering department and the Kavli institute of the TU DElft have demonstrated that electrons can move freely in layers of linked semiconductor nanoparticles under the influence of light. This new knowledge will be very useful for the development of cheap and efficient quantum dot solar cells.

Posted: Sep 26th, 2011

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E-textiles get fashion upgrade with memory-storing fiber

Researchers have developed a new flexible memory fabric woven together from interlocking strands of copper and copper-oxide wires. At each juncture, or stitch along the fabric, a nanoscale dab of platinum is placed between the fibers.

Posted: Sep 26th, 2011

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