First inkjet-printed graphene computer circuit is transparent, flexible You can add another crazy characteristic to graphene’s ever-expanding list of “wonder material” properties: It can now be used to create flexible, transparent thin-film transistors… using an inkjet printer. The discovery comes from researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, who were trying to ameliorate the lackluster performance of existing inkjet-printed electronics. As we covered last month, it’s possible to print standard CMOS transistors using different ferroelectric polymer inks, but the resultant circuit is so slow that it can’t actually function as a computer. If graphene could replace or augment the interconnects or transistors, these circuits would be a lot faster — and that’s what these Cambridge engineers have done. The actual meat of the discovery is that graphene has been successfully chipped off a block of graphite using a chemical solvent. Read more at arXiv.org and Technology Review, or check out our rather extensive graphene-related coverage
Metaio announces AR processing unit for phones (Phys.org)—Metaio this week announced its AREngine, an augmented reality chip that closes in on the future of smartphones as AR devices for daily use. The hardware chipset being introduced is a jump up for Metaio which has in the past focused on AR software. The AREngine is being promoted as a move to make "all-day AR possible" for mobile device users, a feature that will be easily appreciated by tourists, not to mention developers eager to gain from a riper ecosystem. The company announced it has struck a deal with Geneva-based ST-Ericsson, which supplies wireless platforms and semiconductors to device makers. ST-Ericsson is to integrate the AREngine into ST-Ericsson mobile platforms. What is referred to as Metaio's "proprietary hardware acceleration technology" will go into ST-Ericsson smartphone chipsets. According to the Metaio press release, the Metaio AREngine drastically reduces power consumption, which can make all-day AR experiences possible.
Graphene supercapacitor breaks storage record Researchers in the US have made a graphene-based supercapacitor that can store as much energy per unit mass as nickel metal hydride batteries – but unlike batteries, it can be charged or discharged in just minutes or even seconds. The new device has a specific energy density of 85.6 Wh/kg at room temperature and 136 Wh/kg at 80 °C. These are the highest ever values for "electric double layer" supercapacitors based on carbon nanomaterials. Supercapacitors, more accurately known as electric double-layer capacitors or electrochemical capacitors, can store much more charge than conventional capacitors. The new device was made by Bor Jang of US-based Nanotek Instruments and colleagues. The researchers coat the resulting slurry onto the surface of a current collector and assemble coin-sized capacitors in a glove box. Fast charging We believe that this is truly a breakthrough in energy technology Bor Jang, Nanotek Instruments The work was reported in Nano Letters.
Stretchy battery drawn to three times its size 26 February 2013Last updated at 11:39 ET By Jason Palmer Science and technology reporter, BBC News The team tested their battery by stretching it 300% while it powered an LED lamp Researchers have demonstrated a flat, "stretchy" battery that can be pulled to three times its size without a loss in performance. While flexible and stretchable electronics have been on the rise, powering them with equally stretchy energy sources has been problematic. The new idea in Nature Communications uses small "islands" of energy-storing materials dotted on a stretchy polymer. The study also suggests the batteries can be recharged wirelessly. In a sense, the battery is a latecomer to the push toward flexible, stretchable electronics. But consumer products that fit the bendy, stretchy description are still very few - in part, because there have been no equally stretchy, rechargeable power sources for them. S for stretch The new work hinges on "self-similar", serpentine wires between the battery elements
Graphene Antennas Would Enable Terabit Wireless Downloads Want to wirelessly upload hundreds of movies to a mobile device in a few seconds? Researchers at Georgia Tech have drawn up blueprints for a wireless antenna made from atom-thin sheets of carbon, or graphene, that could allow terabit-per-second transfer speeds at short ranges. “It’s a gigantic volume of bandwidth. A terabit per second could be done at a range of about one meter using a graphene antenna, which would make it possible to obtain 10 high-definition movies by waving your phone past another device for one second. Graphene is a sheet of carbon just one atom thick, in a honeycomb structure, and it has many desirable electronic properties. To make an antenna, the group says, graphene could be shaped into narrow strips of between 10 and 100 nanometers wide and one micrometer long, allowing it to transmit and receive at the terahertz frequency, which roughly corresponds to those size scales. Of course, myriad challenges lie ahead.
Graphene Aerogel Is The World's New Lightest Material The world has a new lightest solid material. Graphene aerogel weighs just 0.16 milligrams per cubic centimetre, making it just twice as dense as hydrogen gas. Created by researchers at Zhejiang university in Hangzhou, China, a large block of the material can be balanced on top of a flower without coming close to crushing the petals. It is made of freeze-dried carbon and graphene oxide, based on Nobel prize-winning research by professors at Manchester University, who first came up with graphene when playing with Scotch tape. Professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov found that by pulling at graphite with sticky tape they could remove ever-thinner layers of material and transfer them to silicon. Pure graphene itself is a two-dimensional crystal of carbon in a hexagonal pattern. Recently a graphene antenna was proposed which is capable of terabit-per-second internet downloads. Among its possible uses graphene aerogel can apparently mop up 900 times its own weight in oil.
Nanowires grown on graphene have surprising structure (Phys.org) —When a team of University of Illinois engineers set out to grow nanowires of a compound semiconductor on top of a sheet of graphene, they did not expect to discover a new paradigm of epitaxy. The self-assembled wires have a core of one composition and an outer layer of another, a desired trait for many advanced electronics applications. Led by professor Xiuling Li, in collaboration with professors Eric Pop and Joseph Lyding, all professors of electrical and computer engineering, the team published its findings in the journal Nano Letters. Nanowires, tiny strings of semiconductor material, have great potential for applications in transistors, solar cells, lasers, sensors and more. "Nanowires are really the major building blocks of future nano-devices," said postdoctoral researcher Parsian Mohseni, first author of the study. Li's group uses a method called van der Waals epitaxy to grow nanowires from the bottom up on a flat substrate of semiconductor materials, such as silicon.
Tiles Harvest Marathon Runners' Energy Participants will charge through the Boston Marathon today, tracing the route of the world’s oldest annual marathon competition. One day all that athletic energy could be tapped to power multimedia for the event itself. Run! Top 5 Fastest Robots to the Rescue Recently the Paris Marathon showed that such a feat is possible. Race organizers laid out an 82-foot span of rubber tiles along the route made by the London-based company Pavegen Systems from recycled truck tires. The tiles generated up to 8 watts with each step, Bloomberg’s Alex Morales reported. Although the final numbers haven’t come out yet, Schneider Electric, which sponsored the race, promised to donate nearly $13,000 to charity if energy generation reached 7 kilowatt hours. We have seen this type of thing before — remember those dance floors? NEWS: Tiles Harvest Energy of Your Footsteps (Or Dance Moves) Photo: Pavegen’s tiles at the Paris Marathon powered screens.