graphene Engineering Technology 

Moth Eyes Inspire Graphene-Based Smart Tech

Look into the eyes of moths and see the future. The future of smart gadgets, that is. Moths’ eyes are the latest inspiration for thin solar material. Researchers from the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute say that new, ultra-thin, patterned graphene sheets will be essential in designing “smart wallpaper” and other future technologies. Graphene is traditionally an excellent electronic material, as the graphene-based microphone demonstrates, but it is inefficient for optical applications. It usually absorbs only 2 or 3 percent of the light that lands on it. That’s not…

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conductive concrete Engineering Physics 

Conductive Concrete May End Flight Delays

By Emily Rhode @riseandsci Every year, thousands of flights are delayed and thousands of car accidents happen due to snowstorms and icy road conditions. Millions of dollars are spent each year plowing and de-icing runways, tarmacs, roadways, and bridges. Salt and plowing cause damage to roadways and waterways, and shoveling heavy snow causes injuries and deaths. Flight Delays (and Snow Days) Could be Things of the Past, Thanks to Science The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is very interested in a special type of conductive concrete made by researchers at the…

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liquid graphene, liquid metal Physics Technology 

Liquid Graphene: Metal Behaves Like Water

By Jonathan Trinastic @jptrinastic The Liquid Electrons of Graphene Graphene has always been a material full of promise, and now researchers from Harvard University have found one more reason to wonder at this deceptively simple, two-dimensional sheet of carbon atoms. Electrons moving across one graphene layer have been observed to act like a fluid for the first time, showing a collective motion rarely seen in other metals. Potential applications of this new behavior range from electronic devices converting heat into electricity to a better understanding of black holes. A Sheet…

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graphene microphone Technology 

New Graphene Microphone Outperforms Nickel

By Kate Stone Scientists have developed a graphene microphone that is nearly 32 times more sensitive than ordinary microphones made from nickel. Using graphene, the research team at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, created a vibrating membrane – the part of a microphone that converts the sound to a current.  At frequencies up to 11 kHz, the microphone was able to achieve 15 dB higher sensitivity compared to a commercial microphone. “We wanted to show that graphene, although a relatively new material, has potential for real world applications,” explains Marko…

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Clean Hydrogen: Stanford graduate student Haotian Wang and colleagues have developed a novel water splitter that produces clean-burning hydrogen from water 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (Photo Courtesy of L.A. Cicero/Stanford News Service) Engineering Technology 

Clean Hydrogen Production for 200 Hours

By Kate S. Scientists at Stanford University have just built a low-cost water splitter that uses a single catalyst to produce both hydrogen and oxygen gas. This is an invention that could pave the way for a boom in production of clean-burning cars. The scientists say that their device, which can run nonstop for an unprecedented period of time, could provide a renewable source of clean-burning hydrogen fuel for transportation and industry. The team used lithium-ion battery technology to create one low-cost catalyst that is capable of driving the entire…

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Startup founders and joiners: Henry Sauermann, associate professor in the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Photo by Gary Meek) Technology 

Startup Founders Need Joiners for Success

By Kate S. Tech startup founders often take great risks to launch new ventures, which earns them a lot of attention. But what about the people who join forces with these founders to develop and commercialize innovative new products and services? Being a founder is not the only way to get involved in entrepreneurship, and founders need so-called joiners to be successful. A new research project is taking a closer look at these ‘joiners’, and the findings show that, while they resemble founders in their willingness to take risks and…

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Frosted Smart Windows: Window tinting can turn milky for privacy while still allowing 90 percent or more of sunlight to enter (Courtesy of Tim Zarki, University of Cincinnati) Engineering Technology 

Stay Tuned for Low-cost, Smart Windows

By Kate S. Today, the University of Cincinnati announced that, together with industry partners, they’ve invented new ‘smart window’ shade technology that could improve upon existing windows and blinds. The researchers say that this patent-pending research will lead to low-cost window tinting that dynamically adapts for brightness, color, and opacity. The new tech is designed to provide privacy while allowing light in. A collaboration between the University of Cincinnati, Hewlett Packard, and EMD/Merck Research Labs has resulted in a patent-pending product that the team is calling ‘tunable’ window tinting. The…

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An array of objects decorated using Columbia Engineering Professor Changxi Zheng's new method -- computational hydrographic printing -- that physically aligns a surface color texture onto a 3D printed surface with a precision never before attained. (Changxi Zheng, Columbia Engineering) Engineering Technology 

3D Printing, Now with Surface Decorations

By Kate S. Science and art go together beautifully. It just got a lot easier and cheaper to add complex surface art to your 3D printing creations. Researchers at Columbia Engineering and Zhejiang University in China have developed a technique that enables more precise 3D printing than ever before. 3D Printing Meets Hydrographic Printing Engineers often find ways to make our lives healthier, safer, and easier to clean. Sometimes, they make things easier to view, or in this case, more visually appealing. The new technique is based on hydrographic printing,…

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Mobile battery life (Patrisyu via freedigitalphotos.net) Citizen Science Engineering Technology 

How to Extend Your Mobile Battery Life

Have you ever frantically searched for an outlet to charge your phone? You are not alone. Mobile devices have a large number of different adjustable system settings, but the energy impact of those settings can be difficult to understand for average users, and even for experts. Now, a team of computer scientists from the University of Helsinki, Finland, have measured how long Android phone batteries last with different combinations of settings and environmental conditions. And yes, we are going to tell you how to get the most out of your…

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Brain-like computer: Artwork courtesy of CoolDesign via freedigitalphotos.net Engineering Physics Technology 

Brain-like Computers from Optical Fibers

Computers that function like a human brain could soon become a reality thanks to new research using optical fibers made of speciality glass. This research has the potential to allow a faster and smarter brain-like computer that can learn and adapt. Researchers from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton, UK, and Centre for Disruptive Photonic Technologies (CDPT) at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, have demonstrated how neural networks and synapses in the brain can be reproduced with optical pulses as information carriers, using special fibers…

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