Week in Review: 8/6/17 – 8/12/17

August 11, 2017

New ultrathin semiconductor materials exceed some of silicon’s ‘secret’ powers, Stanford engineers find

The next generation of feature-filled and energy-efficient electronics will require computer chips just a few atoms thick. For all its positive attributes, trusty silicon can’t take us to these ultrathin extremes. Now, electrical engineers at Stanford have identified two semiconductors – hafnium diselenide and zirconium diselenide – that share or even exceed some of silicon’s desirable traits, starting with the fact that all three materials can “rust.”

Linking form with function: AFRL’s flex team drives future tech capabilities for the warfighter

Led by Dr. Benji Maruyama and comprised of a cadre of energetic, innovative, high-performing scientists and engineers, the members of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Flexible Materials and Processing Team take comprehension of soft matter to a new level.

“We take a basic understanding of soft, flexible materials and use this as a foundation to build functional devices,” said Maruyama. “These include flexible batteries, sensors, hybrid electronic devices and more. Much of what we’re working on now the people in the field don’t even know they need yet. We’re building competencies for the future.”

August 7, 2017

Opto-mechanical technique circumvents mechanical losses using the action of light

A research collaboration between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the University of Maryland has revealed a new technique by which scattering of sound waves from disorder in a material can be suppressed on demand. All of this, can be simply achieved by illuminating with the appropriate color of laser light. The result, which is published in Nature Communications, could have a wide-ranging impact on sensors and communication systems.