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Zinc Battery Breakthrough Could Mean Safer, Lighter Cars and Smartphones

Zinc Battery Breakthrough Could Mean Safer, Lighter Cars and Smartphones

Rechargeable zinc-based batteries could hit the market for electric vehicles by 2019 Image: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Rechargeable zinc-based batteries could not only store as much energy as lithium-ion batteries but also be safer, cheaper, smaller and lighter, new research finds. The results suggest zinc batteries could find use in mild hybrids (microhybrids), electric vehicles, electric bicycles,(…)

Trump’s Plans Could Scuttle New Hybrid Car Tech in U.S.

Trump’s Plans Could Scuttle New Hybrid Car Tech in U.S.

Global standards drove fuel-saving “mild hybrid” technology, but weakened EPA rules could stall U.S. deployment Photo: Eaton Photo: Eaton Mild Yet Electric: Eaton’s Electrically Assisted Variable Speed supercharger uses braking energy and engine exhaust to power a mild-hybrid system. Global policy efforts to boost fuel economy are progressively electrifying the automobile and expanding technology options(…)

Graphene Photodetector Could Make Sharper Images With Fewer Pixels

Graphene Photodetector Could Make Sharper Images With Fewer Pixels

A graphene photodetector can pinpoint the position of light that falls far from it Photo: iStockphoto Silicon carbide is the key to a graphene photodetector While inventors of digital electronic applications are still wrestling with graphene’s lack of a band gap, in optoelectronics the wonder material is more popular than ever. This is no more(…)

Keeping Block Copolymers in Line Could Lead to Smaller Microchips

Keeping Block Copolymers in Line Could Lead to Smaller Microchips

Scientists use directed self-assembly to make tinier microchip features Image: Provided by researchers After directed self-assembly, the resulting pitch dimension is one quarter the size of the original pitch. In an effort to keep Moore’s Law going, a team of engineers from MIT, the University of Chicago, and the Argonne National Laboratory has developed a technique(…)

Combining Twisted Light and Plasmons Could Supercharge Data Storage

Combining Twisted Light and Plasmons Could Supercharge Data Storage

Creating and observing the orbital angular momentum of plasmons could open up a new data-storage system mage: Sven Hein/University of Stuttgart Research that started out with the humble aim of growing an atomically flat, single crystalline gold surface, ultimately morphed into a team of German and Israeli scientists using the gold surface they came up with(…)

In Hospital ICUs, AI Could Predict Which Patients Are Likely to Die

In Hospital ICUs, AI Could Predict Which Patients Are Likely to Die

These three artificial intelligence systems could smarten up intensive care units Photo: iStockphoto In the data-rich environment of the ICU, artificial intelligence systems could provide life-and-death insights. Hospitals have an understandable goal for their intensive care units: to reduce “dead in bed” events.   With streams of data coming from equipment that monitors patients’ vital(…)

At-Home Electric Headband for Depression Could Go Mainstream

At-Home Electric Headband for Depression Could Go Mainstream

A consumer-friendly gadget could help tDCS treatment catch on Photo: Ybrain Photos: Ybrain Band of Aid: Ybrain’s transcranial direct-current stimulation headband [top] is designed for home use.  A doctor programs prescriptions, including amperage and duration of treatment, into the device’s processing modules [bottom].    A doctor’s prescription for clinicaldepression could one day sound like this: In(…)

A Low-Power Artificial Synapse Could One Day Interface with the Brain

A Low-Power Artificial Synapse Could One Day Interface with the Brain

Battery technology inspires a flexible, organic nonvolatile device for neuromorphic circuits that needs only millivolts to change state Photo: Stanford University A team based at Stanford University and at Sandia National Laboratories, in Livermore, Calif., have created a new form of “artificial synapse” that may one day be used to create flexible circuitry that could directly interface(…)

Graphene Could Buttress Next-Gen Computer Chip Wiring

Graphene Could Buttress Next-Gen Computer Chip Wiring

Current can literally blow copper interconnects away, but graphene could keep them intact Image: Stanford University Images: Stanford University Death By Electromigration: Copper interconnects are now so narrow that current can cause a break by knocking atoms out of place. Most of the hand-wringing over the fate of Moore’s Law focuses on the ever-shrinking silicon(…)