Graphene’s Role as a Superconductor Just Got Better

Graphene is an amazing conductor. The transport of electrons through graphene nanoribbons has even surpassed what scientists thought were the theoretical limits for the material—so much so that electrons moving through it seem to behave almost like photons. Graphene’s amazing properties as a conductor has inspired some researchers to explore whether the single-atom-thick sheets of carbon could also be made into superconductors. Last year, an international research team from Canada and Germany was able to demonstrate that graphene can be made to behave that way when it’s doped with lithium atoms. [Read More…]

Metallic Mesh Becomes Invisible to Antenna Signals

Most of modern science’s attempts to recreate the invisibility cloaks found in TV’s Star Trek and the wizarding world of Harry Potter have focused on bending light waves around the object meant to be hidden. A team of U.S. and Chinese researchers have taken a very different direction by creating the first practical “invisible” material that allows certain electromagnetic signals to pass unimpeded as they would through air. [Read More…]

Injectable Radios to Broadcast From Inside the Body

Implantable medical devices usually have to trade smarts for size. Pacemakers and other active devices with processors on board are typically about a cubic centimeter in size, and must be implanted surgically. Smaller implantable electronics tend to be passive, lacking computing smarts and the ability to actively broadcast signals, says David Blaauw, a professor of electrical engineer and computer science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. [Read More…]

Nanotube-Based Tunneling Field Effect Transistor Offers Semiconductor-Free Switching

Researchers at Michigan Technological University (MTU) have developed a method for producing a tunneling field effect transistor (TFET) that overcomes a key obstacle to their adoption: the need to be operated at cryogenic temperatures. Eliminating semiconductor materials in the design of their nanotube-based TFET has allowed the MTU researchers to fabricate a device that can operate at room temperatures and offers the added feature of flexibility. [Read More…]

Smart Wearable Sensor Takes Sweat-Monitoring To Next Level

Sweat might not be pleasant but it contains dozens of chemical compounds whose concentrations change in real time, compounds that could reveal your body’s response to disease, drugs, diet, injury, and stress, among other things. To tap into that treasure-trove of information, researchers have built a wearable sensor that measures levels of specific molecules in sweat and then wirelessly relays the data to a smartphone via a Bluetooth module. [Read More…]

Paper Skin Mimics the Real Thing

Human skin’s natural ability to feel sensations such as touch and temperature difference is not easily replicated with artificial materials in the research lab. That challenge did not stop a Saudi Arabian research team from using cheap household items to make a “paper skin” that mimics many sensory functions of human skin. [Read More…]