Smart tattoo generates electricity from sweat, could power future wearable computers Smart tattoos are the hottest thing since mood rings. When they become commonplace, they will be a great way to eavesdrop on both vital signs and not-so-vital signs. The only thing that seems to be holding them back, is getting power to them. Joseph Wang, a researchers from UCSD, has now come up with a way to generate power for these devices without using any external equipment. The secret, is to harness electrons from lactate acid secreted in sweat. 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.
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.
World’s First Perpetual Motion Machine? Can this machine operate forever? Since at least the 12th century, man has sought to create a perpetual motion machine; a device that would continue working indefinitely without any external source of energy. A large scientific contingent thinks such a device would violate the laws of thermodynamics, and is thus impossible. Could it be that as a race, we don’t fully understand the laws of physics and such a device may indeed be possible? What would the ramifications be if we could actually build a perpetually moving device? Norwegian artist and mathematician Reidar Finsrud is an outside the box thinker that has devised a machine that he believes achieves true perpetual motion.
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.
New 3D Modeling Technique – Will it make 3D scanners obsolete? What happens when you want to take a tangible object and replicate it through the process of 3D printing? If you are like most, you will either try and find a CAD file for that object somewhere on the internet, which will probably end up leaving you empty handed, or you will use the most common method currently available — 3D scanning. 3D scanners, however, are quite pricey and unless you are using a really high quality device, you probably will need to modify the virtual version of the object quite a bit, once scanned into your computer. Researchers at the Centro de Investigaciones en Optca (CIO) in Mexico, appear to have come up with a better solution; a solution that could be quite a bit more affordable, yet even more reliable than current 3D scanning technology. The process which is referred to as “Co-phased 360-degree profilometry” involves 5 things: A camera, 2 light projectors, the subject (positioned and able to be rotated 360 degrees), and a computer.
New connection between stacked solar cells can handle energy of 70,000 suns (Phys.org) —North Carolina State University researchers have come up with a new technique for improving the connections between stacked solar cells, which should improve the overall efficiency of solar energy devices and reduce the cost of solar energy production. The new connections can allow these cells to operate at solar concentrations of 70,000 suns worth of energy without losing much voltage as "wasted energy" or heat. Stacked solar cells consist of several solar cells that are stacked on top of one another. Stacked cells are currently the most efficient cells on the market, converting up to 45 percent of the solar energy they absorb into electricity. But to be effective, solar cell designers need to ensure the connecting junctions between these stacked cells do not absorb any of the solar energy and do not siphon off the voltage the cells produce—effectively wasting that energy as heat. Explore further: Concentrator solar cell with world's highest conversion efficiency of 44.4%
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.