Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of February 5, 2021

01. Quantum tunneling in graphene advances the age of terahertz wireless communications 02. Researchers create origami-inspired satellite antennas that can self-fold 03. Researchers create novel photonic chip 04. Researchers demonstrate the potential of a new quantum material for creating two spintronic technologies 05. Researchers design next-generation photodetector 06. Researchers from NUS create ‘whirling’ nano-structures in anti-ferromagnets 07. Terahertz accelerates beyond 5G towards 6G 08. Batteries that can be assembled in ambient air 09. Direct coherent multi-ink printing of fabric supercapacitors 10. Experts ‘scan horizon’ to help prepare governments for next major biosecurity threat And others… AI Predicts Asymptomatic Carriers of […]

AI Predicts Asymptomatic Carriers of COVID-19

IEEE Spectrum  February 2, 2021 An international team of researchers (Germany, USA – industry) has developed a machine learning algorithm to determine the likelihood of asymptomatic carriers of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by using interaction-based continuous learning and inference of individual probability (CLIIP) for contagious ranking. It is based on multi-layer bidirectional path tracking and inference searching. The individual directed graph is determined by the appearance timeline and spatial data that can adapt over time, taking into account the incubation period and several features that can represent real-world circumstances, such as the number of asymptomatic carriers present. The model collects the […]

Batteries that can be assembled in ambient air

EurekAlert  February 1, 2021 Lithium batteries are typically assembled in a dry room that controls moisture because lithium salts in the electrolytes are highly reactive with moisture, which has a significant effect on the battery performance. Researchers in South Korea fabricated impurity scavenging separator membrane (ISM) using a powerful H2O and HF scavenging material. The material was synthesized by a urethane reaction between porous silica (p-SiO2) and (3-isocynatopropyl) triethoxysilane (ICPTES). The p-SiO2 reaction with ICPTES suppressed the acidification of the electrolyte with water and resulted in maintaining the shape of the SiO2 particles. The multifunctional separator exhibited high capacity retention […]

Direct coherent multi-ink printing of fabric supercapacitors  January 29, 2021 Fiber-shaped supercapacitors are a desirable high-performance energy storage technology for wearable electronics. The traditional method for device fabrication is based on a multistep approach to construct energy devices, which can present challenges during fabrication, scalability, and durability. An international team of researchers (China, USA – University of Colorado, Carnegie Mellon University, Singapore) has developed an all-in-one coaxial fiber-shaped asymmetric supercapacitor (FASC) device using direct coherent multi-ink writing, 3-D printing technology by designing the internal structure of the coaxial needles and regulating the rheological property and feed rates of the multi-ink. The device delivered a superior areal […]

Experts ‘scan horizon’ to help prepare governments for next major biosecurity threat

EurekAlert  February 3, 2021 A group of 41 academics and figures from industry and government from across the globe submitted 450 questions which were then debated, voted on and ranked to define the 80 most urgent key questions facing the UK government when it comes to biological security. They were subdivided into six categories: bioengineering; communication and behaviour; disease threats (including pandemics); governance and policy; invasive alien species; and securing biological materials and securing against misuse. The questions offer a research agenda for biological security in the UK that can assist the targeting of research resources and inform the implementation […]

The first steps toward a quantum brain

EurekAlert  February 1, 2021 The quest to implement machine learning algorithms in hardware has focused on combining various materials to create device functionality. This approach limits functionality, efficiency, complicates scaling and on-chip learning. Researchers in the Netherlands created an atomic spin system that emulates a Boltzmann machine directly in the orbital dynamics of one well-defined material system. They fabricated the prerequisite tunable multi-well energy landscape by gating patterned atomic ensembles using scanning tunneling microscopy. The anisotropic behaviour of black phosphorus, provided plasticity with multi-valued and interlinking synapses that led to tunable probability distributions. They observed an autonomous reorganization of the […]

Quantum tunneling in graphene advances the age of terahertz wireless communications

EurekAlert  February 3, 2021 As the radiation frequency is raised to the sub-terahertz (THz) domain, ac-to-dc conversion by conventional electronics becomes challenging and requires alternative rectification protocols. An international team of researchers (Russia, UK) address this challenge by tunnel field-effect transistors made of bilayer graphene (BLG). Taking advantage of BLG’s electrically tunable band structure, they created a lateral tunnel junction and couple it to an antenna exposed to THz radiation. The incoming radiation was then down-converted by the tunnel junction nonlinearity, resulting in high responsivity and low-noise detection. They demonstrated how switching from intraband Ohmic to interband tunneling regime can […]

Research could dramatically lower cost of electron sources  February 1, 2021 An international team of researchers (USA – Los Alamos National Laboratory, Rice University, Northwestern University, France) has discovered efficient, regenerative, and low-cost electron sources based on solution-processed halide perovskites thin films when they are excited with light with energy equal to or above their bandgap. They measured a quantum efficiency up to 2.2% and a lifetime of more than 25 h. Importantly, even after degradation, the electron emission could be completely regenerated to its maximum efficiency by deposition of a monolayer of alkali antimonide and tellurides (Cs2Te, K2CsSb, Cs3Sb). The electron emission from halide perovskites can be […]

Researchers create origami-inspired satellite antennas that can self-fold

TechXplore  February 4, 2021 Satellites and space vehicles will need to pack more cargo for the long haul. However, certain items, like dish antennas used for wireless communication, pose a challenge since they cannot be very densely packed for flight because of their signature bowl shape. A team of researchers in the US (Texas A&M University, Pennsylvania State University, UC Irvine) has designed, fabricated, and characterized a self-foldable Active Origami Reflector Antenna (AORA) of parabolic form. They used shape memory polymer (SMP) composites and applied origami principles for smooth folds to determine the shape and fold pattern of a planar […]

Researchers create novel photonic chip  February 2, 2021 Photonic Digital‐to‐analog converters (DAC) enable a seamless signal conversion with respect to both energy efficiency and short signal delay. Using a silicon photonic chip platform, a team of researchers (Washington University, UCLA) has developed a coherent parallel photonic DAC concept along with a 4‐bit prototype capable of performing as DAC without optic–electric–optic domain crossing. This guarantees a linear intensity weighting among bits when operating at high sampling rates (50 GHz), featuring an exceptional sampling efficiency (> 100 GS −1 ) and small footprint (≈1 mm2) in an 8‐bit implementation. The photonic DAC enables seamless interfaces of next‐generation data processing hardware […]