Holographic micro battery is 10 micrometers thick

holographic microbattery

holographic microbattery

Researchers and companies alike have been scrambling to come up with a next-generation battery, but one of the more unlikely places we’d expect to hear about it is from the study of holography. Recently, a team of engineers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign demonstrated that porous, three-dimensional electrodes can boost a lithium-ion micro battery’s power output by three orders of magnitude, as first reported in Chemical & Engineering News. But now the team has gone a step further, and has optimized the electrode structure with holograms, the three-dimensional interference patterns of multiple laser beams, in order to generate porous blocks that could used as a sort of scaffolding for building electrodes.

The result: a holographic micro battery that’s only 2mm wide and 10 micrometers thick, with an area of 4mm squared, and 12% capacity fade. The researchers said it’s compatible with existing fabrication techniques, and ideal for large-scale on-chip integration with all kinds of microelectronic devices, including medical implants, sensors, and radio transmitters. To get an idea of scale, the photo above shows the battery’s electrodes in a 2mm by 2mm square on a glass substrate. Batteries like this could power implants small enough to track certain aspects of someone’s health in real time, and without the comparatively vast bulk of existing blood glucose and cardiac monitors, just to cite one example.

“This 3D micro battery has exceptional performance and scalability, and we think it will be of importance for many applications,” said Paul Braun, a professor of materials science and engineering at Illinois, in a statement. “Micro-scale devices typically utilize power supplied off-chip because of difficulties in miniaturizing energy storage technologies.”

Braun said that a supercapacitor-like, on-chip battery of this diminutive size would be ideal for autonomous microscale actuators, distributed wireless sensors and transmitters, monitors, and portable and implantable medical devices. To fabricate the batteries, controlling the interfering optical beams for building 3D holographic lithography isn’t trivial. But “recent advances have significantly simplified the required optics, enabling creation of structures via a single incident beam and standard photoresist processing,” said professor John Rogers, who assisted Braun and his team to develop the technology.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen such tiny micro batteries developed. Back in 2013, researchers 3D-printed a battery that’s just 1mm wide, and in 2014, we saw a graphene-based microbattery that could also power implants. But it’s arguably the most sophisticated and realistic design yet. On the slightly larger front, last month a team of Stanford researchers developed an aluminum graphite battery that could charge up a smartphone in just 60 seconds. But in the end, it may be no surprise that holograms help us engineer better batteries — after all, we could be living inside a hologram all this time.


Source:  extremetech.com


Bone marrow created on a chip

Scientists create “bone marrow on a chip”:


Scientists create "bone marrow on a chip"

Scientists create “bone marrow on a chip”

The trend of growing organs and tissues in a lab is picking up speed. The newest lab-grown breakthrough is Harvard’s “bone-marrow-on-a-chip.” The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard recently published their experiment news in the journal Nature Methods.

The researchers said the invention will enable scientists to analyze the effects of drugs and certain agents on whole bone marrow without animal testing. It also allows scientists to determine how radiation hurts bone marrow and other alternatives that could help. Initial testing showed bone marrow withers under radiation unless a drug that specifically fights off radiation poisoning is involved. The chip could also serve as a temporary “home” for a cancer patient’s bone marrow while they undergo radiation treatment. Bone marrow produces all blood cell types, and the Harvard chips allow the bone marrow to perform these essential functions while “in vitro.”

This chip is one of many that the Wyss Institute team has developed, alongside lung, heart, kidney, and gut chips. To build it, the team put dried bone powder into an open circular mold the size of a coin battery. This mold was then implanted under the skin on the back of a mouse. Eight weeks later, scientists removed the mold and examined it under a microscope to find a honeycomb structure filled in the middle of the mold, looking just like natural trabecular bone. The marrow of this looked identical to normal marrow as well. It was filled with red blood cells, mimicking the marrow of the mouse. When sorting and organizing the different bone marrow blood cells, the team found the types and numbers were the same as that in a mouse thighbone. The engineered bone marrow was then placed in a microfluidic device and received a steady supply of nutrients and waste removal to imitate circulation the tissue would normally be exposed to in the body. The marrow-on-a-chip lasted in the lab for one week, long enough to test it with radiation.

Researchers are hoping this will eventually lead to growing human bone marrow in mice, as well as using the blood cells produced on these chips to help other organs grown on chips in the lab.


Source:  healthcentral.com

New chip incorporating ultra-low consumption

New chip consumes 50 million times less than a conventional light bulb:

New chip consumes 50 million times less than a conventional light bulb:

New chip consumes 50 million times less than a conventional light bulb:



Low consumption means the device can be powered by reducing energy collected from the environment ( light, vibrations , temperature variations , etc. . ) Thus, energy independence is achieved , as no batteries are required for operation .

The research , authored by Antonio López- Martín and Iñigo Cenoz -Villanueva , was awarded the prize for the best presentation at the 7th International Conference on Sensor Technology (ICTS ) . This is a major international forum in the field of sensor technology and applications; 188 works from 38 countries were submitted in this latest edition.

The winning paper was the result of the thesis project of telecommunication engineering student Cenoz – Iñigo Villanueva. His project was supervised by Antonio Lopez – Martin, Professor, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Deputy Director of the School of Industrial Engineering and Telecommunications .

Wireless sensor networks are the main application of the developed device. These networks are composed of two main elements: the sensor nodes that detect the parameters of the individual or the surroundings (temperature , humidity , heart rate , presence, etc. ) , and the actuators that trigger actions ( to switch devices on or outside , through the generation of neurological stimuli, etc. . ) Sensors and actuators communicate with each other and with other networks such as the Internet via radio waves without wires. It is the technology that in recent years it has boomed because of its many applications .

This research group Communications and Microwave Signal NUP / UPNA ‘ s was recognized again in 2012 to mark the 12th Talgo Award for Technological Innovation . On that occasion the winning project was aimed at providing an ecosystem of railroad with intelligence through wireless sensor networks for ultra low power consumption whenever possible driven by the available environmental energy in railway wagons themselves.

One trillion bit-per-second optical chip

IBM’s prototype 5.2 x 5 .8 mm Holey Optochip:

IBM unveils one trillion bit-per-second optical chip

IBM unveils one trillion bit-per-second optical chip

Last Thursday at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference in Los Angeles, a team from IBM presented research on their wonderfully-named “Holey Optochip.” The prototype chipset is the first parallel optical transceiver that is able to transfer one trillion bits (or one terabit) of information per second. To put that in perspective, IBM states that 500 high-def movies could be downloaded in one second at that speed, while the entire U.S. Library of Congress web archive could be downloaded in an hour. Stated another way, the Optochip is eight times faster than any other parallel optical components currently available, with a speed that’s equivalent to the bandwidth consumed by 100,000 users, if they were using regular 10 Mb/s high-speed internet. One of the unique features of parallel optic chips is the fact that they can simultaneously send and receive data. The Holey Optochip capitalizes on that feature, for its record-setting performance. The “Holey” in the name comes from the fact that the team started with a standard silicon CMOS chip, but bored 48 holes into it. These allow optical access to its inside back surface, where 24 separate receiver and transmitter channels are located – for a total of 48 channels. Each of those channels has its own dedicated VCSEL (vertical cavity surface emitting laser) and photodetector, which are used respectively for sending and receiving data. The chip is designed to be coupled to a multimode fiber array, via a microlens optical system.

The back of the IBM Holey Optochip, with lasers and photodectors visible through substrate...

The back of the IBM Holey Optochip, with lasers and photodectors visible through substrate holes All parts of the Optochip are made from commercially-available components, which should keep costs down on a production model. Also, the chip consumes less than five watts when operating – 20 of the devices could run on the power consumed by one 100-watt light bulb. “We have been actively pursuing higher levels of integration, power efficiency and performance for all the optical components through packaging and circuit innovations,” said IBM Researcher Clint Schow. “We aim to improve on the technology for commercialization in the next decade with the collaboration of manufacturing partners.”