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July 2016
University of Tokyo

Ultrathin Organic Material Enhances E-skin Display 

From University of Tokyo (Japan), April 18, 2016: 
"University of Tokyo researchers have developed an ultrathin, ultraflexible, protective layer and demonstrated its use by creating an air-stable, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display. This technology will enable creation of electronic skin (e-skin) displays of blood oxygen level, e-skin heart rate sensors for athletes and many other applications.

The research group at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Engineering has developed a high-quality protective film less than two micrometers thick that enables the production of ultrathin, ultraflexible, high performance wearable electronic displays and other devices. The group developed the protective film by alternating layers of inorganic (Silicon Oxynitride) and organic (Parylene) material. The protective film prevented passage of oxygen and water vapor in the air, extending device lifetimes from the few hours seen in prior research to several days. In addition, the research group was able to attach transparent indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes to an ultrathin substrate without damaging it, making the e-skin display possible."
Source: University of Tokyo
Image: University of Tokyo
Penn State University

Self-Healing, Flexible Electronic Material Restores Functions After Many Breaks

From Penn State University,
May 16, 2016, by Liam Jackson:
"Electronic materials have been a major stumbling block for the advance of flexible electronics because existing materials do not function well after breaking and healing. A new electronic material created by an international team, however, can heal all its functions automatically even after breaking multiple times. This material could improve the durability of wearable electronics.

The material that the Penn State team created restores all properties needed for use as a dielectric in wearable electronics - mechanical strength, breakdown strength to protect against surges, electrical resistivity, thermal conductivity and dielectric, or insulating, properties. Most self-healable materials are soft or "gum-like" but the material researchers created is very tough in comparison."

Source: Penn State University
Image: Penn State University / Qing Wang


Multifunctional Core-Shell and Nano-Channel Design for Nano-Sized Thermosensor

From NASA Tech Briefs,
March 31, 2016, by Defense Treat Reduction Agency (Ft. Belvoir, VA):
"Effective temperature sensing is important for many military-related activities, including environmental sensing in a highly explosive event. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Texas State University are developing novel nano-sized thermal sensors based on a multifunctional core/shell and nano-channel design that can be used to measure temperature and retaining thermal history of the biological agents experienced during the testing of agent-defeat weapons.

Au-based nanostructure in thin film geometry was explored as potential nano-sized dynamic thermal sensors. The Au ultrathin films with different thicknesses varying from 1 to 5 nm were prepared by thermal vaporation on silica substrates."

Source: NASA Tech Briefs
Image: NASA TechBriefs


Thin-Film Solar Cells: How Defects Appear and Disappear in CIGSe-Cells

From Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (Germany), April 21, 2016:
"Copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGSe) solar cells have the highest efficiency of polycrystalline thin-film solar cells. The four elements comprising CIGSe are vapour-deposited onto a substrate together to form a very thin layer of tiny chalcopyrite crystals. It is an exceedingly complex process controlled by many variables. This is why CIGSe modules in standard industrial formats have not yet attained the record efficiency already demonstrated at laboratory scale. One possible cause: defects that reduce the efficiency level can form during the course of fabrication.

A collaboration of German, Israeli, and British teams at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin has now conducted detailed studies of how different fabrication techniques influence the microstructure. They were able for the first time to observe the defects as these formed during deposition and under what conditions they self-healed by using in-situ X-ray diffraction and fluorescence analysis capabilities at the BESSY II X-ray source."

Source: Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin
Image: Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin


All-Transparent Photoelectric Devices Using Metal Oxides

From SPIE Newsroom,
April 20, 2016, by Joondong Kim
et al. 
(DOI: 10.1117/2.1201604.006406):
"Researchers at Incheon National University (Republic of Korea) have developed a highly transparent nickel oxide/zinc oxide (NiO/ZnO) functional device for UV detection, which has around 90% transparency and strong protection against UV exposure. Moreover, the wide bandgap material combination actively absorbs UV, making the material a strong candidate for UV photodetection in flame detection or missile defense strategies.

They have produced a new class of all-metal oxide transparent photoelectric devices (T-PEDs) from the NiO/ZnO junction. The team developed nickel oxide for the p-type transparent layer, and zinc oxide for the n-type layer. They formed this heterojunction p-NiO/n-ZnO using widely available large-scale sputtering. Their device has no opaque metal electrode, enabling full transparency (visible light permission >80%)."

Image: SPIE

Naval Research Laboratory

NRL Reveals Novel Uniform Coating Process for p-ALD

From US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), April 20, 2016: 
"Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have devised a clever combination of materials - when used during the thin-film growth process - to reveal that particle atomic layer deposition, or p-ALD, deposits a uniform nanometer-thick shell on core particles regardless of core size, a discovery having significant impacts for many applications since most large scale powder production techniques form powder batches that are made up of a range of particles sizes.

The work suggests that water, a reactant in the ALD process, is reason for the same rate of growth on different particles. This uniformity of thickness on different particle sizes in a particular batch is determined to be due to the difficulty of removing residual water molecules from the powder during the purging cycle of the ALD process."

Source: US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)
Image: US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)

Aalto University Finland

Clearing the Way for Real-World Applications of Superhydrophobic Surfaces

From Aalto University (Finland), April 8, 2016: 
"Researchers at Aalto University call for standardized testing of superhydrophobic materials. Agreeing on a unified testing method is needed to allow community-wide comparison between published results. This would significantly progress development of superhydrophobic materials and their transfer to commercial products in, for instance, self-cleaning and anti-icing applications.

Currently, research groups around the world use many different kinds of tests to evaluate the durability and wear of superhydrophobic materials. For example, researchers have used linear abrasion, circular abrasion, sandblasting and water jets in testing the surfaces. However, the results obtained through different methods are not comparable, which makes it hard to find the best materials for applications."

Source: Aalto University
Image: Aalto University / Mika Latikka

Columbia University

A Flexible Camera: A Radically Different Approach to Imaging

From Columbia University, April 13, 2016, 
by Holly Evarts:
"A team at Columbia University, Engineering, has developed a novel sheet camera that can be wrapped around everyday objects to capture images that cannot be taken with one or more conventional cameras. The new "flex-cam" requires two technologies-a flexible detector array and a thin optical system that can project a high quality image on the array. They designed and fabricated a flexible lens array that adapts its optical properties when the sheet camera is bent."

Source: Columbia University
Image: Columbia University / Computer Vision Laboratory

Lawrence Berkeley National Labs

Massive Trove of Battery and Molecule Data Released to Public

From Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, June 8, 2016,
by Julie Chao:
"The Materials Project, a Google-like database of material properties aimed at accelerating innovation, has released an enormous trove of data to the public, giving scientists working on fuel cells, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, and a host of other advanced materials a powerful tool to explore new research avenues. But it has become a particularly important resource for researchers working on batteries. Co-founded and directed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientist Kristin Persson, the Materials Project uses supercomputers to calculate the properties of materials based on first-principles quantum-mechanical frameworks. It was launched in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science.

Two sets of data were released last month: nearly 1,500 compounds investigated for multivalent intercalation electrodes and more than 21,000 organic molecules relevant for batteries and liquid electrolytes as well as a host of other research applications. The recent release includes two new web apps-the Molecules Explorer and the Redox Flow Battery Dashboard-plus an add-on to the Battery Explorer web app enabling researchers to work with other ions in addition to lithium."

Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Image: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Massachusetts Technology Collaborative

$3 Million Awarded to Northeastern University to Drive Development of Smart Sensors and Materials

From Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, April 19, 2016: 
"A $3 million grant has been awarded to Northeastern University to establish the Advanced Nanomanufacturing Cluster for Smart Sensors and Materials ("ANSSeM"), a consortium of private manufacturing companies and tier-one research universities working on new methods to create smart sensors and other revolutionary materials using 'nanoscale' printing processes. The five-year grant award is made by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Research and Development Matching Grant Program, a program supporting large-scale, long-term research projects that have high potential to spur innovation, cluster development and job growth in the Commonwealth.

The ANSSeM initiative has five major project tasks: Designing, developing and manufacturing commercial prototypes; Increasing the flexibility of the nanoscale printing technology; Studying advanced materials and product life cycle sustainability; Improving equipment infrastructure; and Creating commercialization programs and workforce development."

Source: Massachusetts Technology Collaborative
Image: Massachusetts Technology Collaborative

Graphene Flagship

Ramp Up Phase Highlights from the Graphene Flagship

From Graphene Flagship, April 20, 2016:
"Here are eight notable achievements from the ramp-up phase of Graphene Flagship (Projects of the EU Commission):
  • Interfacing graphene with neurons is the significant first set towards better deep brain implants.
  • Small robust, highly efficient squeeze film pressure sensor with a graphene membrane significantly increases its responsiveness and lifetime.
  • Superlubricity was observed in graphene nanoribbons sliding on a surface.
  • Graphene incorporated into thermoset polymeric plastic increases the kayak's impact strength and stiffness.
  • Producing large quantities is possible by separating graphite flakes in liquids with a rotating tool.
  • World's first flexible display developed incorporating graphene into its pixel backplane; it can be rolled into your pocket.
  • Fiber-optics data boost with high performance wafer-scale graphene photodetectors
  • Rechargeable Li-ion or Li-oxygen batteries with graphene

Source: Graphene Flagship
Image: Graphene Flagship

University of Geneva

Generation of "Tailored" Magnetic Materials

From University of Geneva (Switzerland),
April 11, 2016:
"Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, in collaboration with French and English teams, have succeeded in manipulating the magnetic properties of two oxides which can be either ferromagnetic or antiferromagnetic; that is, with or without net magnetic moment.

They combined two materials, LaNiO3, a metallic paramagnet (without magnetic order), and LaMnO3, an insulating antiferromagnet, by alternating a layer of the first, then of the second, etc. The properties of the interfaces depended on the number of layers stacked. Measurements of the physical properties revealed that the properties of LaNiO3 are very different when in contact with LaMnO3. From being a metal without magnetic order, it becomes not only magnetic but also insulating. Moreover, the overall properties of the artificial material depend on the individual thickness of the layer of each material and they can also change as a function of the chosen thickness. This research is not limited to magnetic materials, but it is also of interest for materials that are simultaneously magnetic and ferroelectric."

Source: University of Geneva
Image: University of Geneva

Princeton University

Electrons Slide Through the Hourglass on Surface of Bizarre Material

News, written by Catherine Zandonella, provided courtesy of Princeton University Office of Communications, April 13, 2016:
"A team of researchers at Princeton University has predicted the existence of a new state of matter in which current flows only through a set of surface channels that resemble an hourglass. These channels are created through the action of a newly theorized particle, dubbed the "hourglass fermion," which arises due to a special property of the material. The tuning of this property can sequentially create and destroy the hourglass fermions, suggesting a range of potential applications such as efficient transistor switching.

The researchers theorize the existence of these hourglass fermions in crystals made of potassium and mercury combined with antimony, arsenic or bismuth. The crystals are insulators in their interiors and on their top and bottom surfaces, but perfect conductors on two of their sides where the fermions create hourglass-shaped channels that enable electrons to flow."

Source: Princeton University Office of Communications
Image: Laura R. Park and A. Alexandradinata


Graphene's Global Race to Market

From Chemical and Engineering News, April 11, 2016, by Alex Scott:
"Graphene's extraordinary properties quickly gained interest from the electronics and other industries, even amid questions about feasibility and cost. Now a new wave of low-cost manufacturing processes is opening the door for its use across a range of applications. Read further to see which companies and countries are likely to be the winners in the race to commercialize graphene."
Source: Chemical and Engineering News
Image: Chemical and Engineering News

University of Hong Kong

PolyU Develops Perovskite-Silicon Tandem Solar Cells with the World's Highest Power Conversion Efficiency

From Hong Kong Polytechnic University, April 12, 2016
"The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has successfully developed perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells with the world's highest power conversion efficiency of 25.5% recently. The research team in the Department of Electronic and Information Engineering made this world record with innovative method to enhance energy conversion efficiency.

PolyU's research team maximized efficiency with three innovative approaches. Firstly, the team discovered a chemical process - low-temperature annealing process in dry oxygen to reduce the impact made by perovskite defects. Secondly, the team fabricated a tri-layer of molybdenum trioxide / gold / molybdenum trioxide with optimized thickness of each layer, making it highly transparent for light to go into the bottom silicon layer under perovskite layer. Finally, by mimicking the surface morphology of the rose petals, a haze film, developed by PolyU Institute of Textiles and Clothing, has been applied as the top layer of the solar panel to trap more light" 


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SEMICON West 2016 - Get answers, get access, get connected! 
July 12-14, 2016, San Francisco, CA 

At SEMICON West 2016, Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA, July 12-14, it's definitely not business as usual. The industry is different and so is SEMICON West - bigger, wider, more in-touch with market-makers. SEMICON West is the one place the new, interconnected supply chain comes together and the reimagined industry comes into focus. Here, not business as usual means new players and demand generators, new programs, and new industry segments - all connecting in one place. Nearly 700 international exhibitors showcasing products and services span across the manufacturing ecosystem - from design to final manufacturing. More than 115 hours of technical and business programs, including in-depth technical sessions. Forums for advanced packaging, test, advanced manufacturing, extended supply chain, sustainable manufacturing, the Silicon Innovation Forum, and the Women in Technology Forum. University students should be there on July 14 for University Day: Future U. - Exploring Careers in Microelectronics. 

SEMICON West pavilions and special exhibit areas showcase companies from around the world and special technology segments that are bringing new products, solutions, and innovations to the global microelectronics industry. Visit pavilions for 3D printing/additive manufacturing, compound semiconductors, secondary equipment, regional pavilions, and the World of IoT Showcase. Explore Innovation Village, a research and start-up showcase. SEMICON West connects the extended supply chain to make sense of the new industry. We can't predict what will happen next, but one thing is certain: if you want to be in a position not just to survive, but to thrive, a trip to the completely new, completely re-engineered SEMICON West is mandatory. 

 Connect to opportunity at SEMICON West 2016 and leave "business as usual" behind. Be there.

2016 Optics Photonics SPIE

Optics + Photonics
August 28 - September 1, 2016
San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA, USA

Plan to attend SPIE Optics + Photonics 2016, the largest international, multidisciplinary optical sciences and technology meeting in North America. The meeting where the latest research in optical engineering and applications, nanotechnology, sustainable energy, and organic photonics is presented.

Online Advance Program now available. Conference Topics Include:
Visit for more information and to register.

PSE 2016

The 15th International Conference on Plasma Surface Engineering will be held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, in September 12 - 16, 2016. The biennial PSE conference series is organized by the European Joint Committee on Plasma and Ion Surface Engineering.

PSE 2016 will feature an SVC Tutorial on September 15, 2016:
C-328 Properties and Applications of Tribological Coatings, 
with Allan Matthews, The University of Manchester, United Kingdom

With a continuously growing interest in the preceding PSE events, with more than 750 participants from all over the world in 2014, PSE is a well-established and leading forum in the field of plasma as well as ion- and particle-beam assisted surface modification and thin film technologies, which is accompanied by a prosperous industrial exhibition.

PSE provides an opportunity to present recent progress in research and development and industrial applications. Its topics span a wide range from fundamentals such as process modelling and simulation of plasmas or thin film physics through experimental studies, which establish the relationships between process parameters and the structural and functional properties of modified surfaces and/or thin films, towards the application in industrial production.

Visit the conference Web Page to learn more: 

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