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Sol Voltaics claims solar cell efficiency breakthrough with nanowires

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Photovoltaic (PV) module efficiencies of 27% for solar energy generation is the claim of Swedish advanced materials start-up Sol Voltaics using its nanowire technology. Solar power system developers have looked at using nanowires to improve conversion efficiency, but they are notoriously difficult to align due to their high aspect ratios and material characteristics. What Sol Voltaics has done is to ...

US researchers make ‘smallest’ diode from DNA molecules

Binquin Xu

Researchers at the University of Georgia and at Ben-Gurion University in Israel claim to have demonstrated how nanoscale electronic components can be made from single DNA molecules. According to the study’s lead author, Bingqian Xu, an associate professor in the UGA College of Engineering: “For 50 years, we have been able to place more and more computing power onto smaller ...

Russian scientists claim breakthrough in ferroelectric ‘universal’ memory

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Scientists from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) have succeeded in growing ultra-thin (2.5-nanometre) ferroelectric films based on hafnium oxide that could potentially be used to develop non-volatile memory elements called ferroelectric tunnel junctions. As demand for data storage increases researchers are trying to develop faster and more compact storage devices. The ideal would be a “universal” memory ...

Graphene-based sensor could detect sick buildings

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Researchers at the University of Southampton claim to have developed a graphene-based sensor that can detect harmful air pollution in the home with very low power consumption. The sensor, which is the result of a collaboration with the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), detects individual CO2 molecules and volatile organic compound (VOC) gas molecules found in buildings ...

Leti 3D chip technology gets big push from Qualcomm

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A 3D chip technology, which stacks active layers of transistors without the need for through-silicon vias (TSVs) has been developed by Leti and is the focus of a collaboration with Qualcomm. Dubbed CoolCube, the  French research centre has developed a device scale-stacking technology for complex system-on-chips such as mobile processors which is why Qualcomm is collaborating with Leti. The technology ...

LETI diagnoses NEMS performance problems

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Leti and the University of Grenoble-Alps have developed a technique to diagnose performance problems of nanoresonators, nanosensors used in industry, research and medical diagnosis. Nano-electrical-mechanical systems (NEMS) have never been able to operate at full capacity. The discrepancy between the theoretical limit of detection and the degraded practical limit has not been explained until now. Nanoresonators are composed of a cantilever ...

US firm patents flexible organic thin-film for smartphone displays

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A US-based thin-film technology developer says it has been granted a US patent for technology invented by Ashok Chaudhari and based on the work of the late Dr. Praveen Chaudhari, winner of the 1995 US Medal of Technology. The company Solar-Tectic LLC has developed the hybrid organic/inorganic thin-film which can be grown on inexpensive substrates, such as flexible and ordinary ...

CEA-Leti believes FD-SOI chips work better under pressure

Maud Vinet

French research centre CEA-Leti believes it has developed a semiconductor process technology technique which will produce faster ICs using FD-SOI (fully-depleted silicon on insulator) processes. The Grenoble-based centre has developed two techniques to induce local strain in FD-SOI processes and it believes the result will be faster chips with no power penalty. The techniques apply compressive strain to silicon germanium (SiGe) ...

Workshop will present research into quantum computing

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Oxford Instruments is running a one day workshop on ‘Processing for Quantum Computing’, in Delft, the Netherlands on 11th November 2015. The workshop, which is free, will present recent progress in quantum computing, plus future trends in its development and application. Dr Frank Dirne, managing director of tquantumhe Kavli Nanolab Delft comments: “As the exciting area of quantum research develops into ...

Cardiff gets new multi-million pound semiconductor centre

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The UK is bidding to be a world-leading centre for research and production of compound semiconductors which are used in optoelectronics and power systems. IQE, the semiconductor wafer foundry, is creating a joint venture with Cardiff University for the development and commercialisation of compound semiconductor technologies. The JV will work closely with Cardiff University’s Institute of Compound Semiconductors (ICS), which ...