Future electronic skin and bio-batteries could be etched onto surfaces with inkjet printers, conducting electricity while looking for all the world like spongy biological tissue. A new electrically conductive hydrogel, developed at Stanford University, can be printed or sprayed as a liquid and turned into a gel once it’s in place.
Over the weekend, faced with the dreaded Yellow Light of Death, I ripped apart a PlayStation 3 and blasted it with a 500-degree heat gun to re-flow the GPU and CPU. It was pretty fun and it worked, much to the delight of the member of my household who was this close to finishing “Batman: Arkham City.” Next time, this new self-healing circuit compound could make our work unnecessary.
Giving cardiac patients a heart of gold nanowires could ensure engineered tissue works like it should, pulsing in unison to make the heart beat. First growing nanowires and then growing heart cells, engineers from MIT and Harvard University say their new muscle-machine blended heart patch improves on existing cardiac patches, which have trouble reaching a consistent level of conductivity.
Polymers are generally put to work as insulators, but a team of researchers at MIT has devised a way to turn polyethylene -- the most commonly used polymer -- into a conductor that transfers heat better than many pure metals. But the conversion of insulator to conductor is only half of the breakthrough; by coaxing all the polymer molecules into precise alignment, the researchers have created a polyethylene that conducts heat in only one direction.
Georgia Tech researchers are working on a new novel material for cooling high-powered military radar gear up to 100 times better than current conductive heat-dissipation technology.
Developed in conjunction with Raytheon and DARPA, the material is a composite of copper and diamond, two of the most effective heat-conducting materials. The composite would serve as part of a sandwich of cooling materials called a Thermal Ground Plane, which, combined with a liquid cooling setup, would surround the transmit/receive module in a radar system.
Bismuth Telluride Valley doesn't quite have the same ring to it, but a new discovery may mean the end of silicon chips. After decades of using Bi2Te3 for its thermoelectric properties, researchers have discovered new properties of the material that paves the way for bismuth telluride chips constructed to power quantum computers.