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Thread: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    All these tech information are way over my head, but thank you very much for sharing. This forum is awesome.

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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    Quote Posted by fifi (here)
    All these tech information are way over my head, but thank you very much for sharing. This forum is awesome.
    anything you have questions on or need explanation of I am more than willing to help break down to a level of understanding
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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    Quote Posted by TargeT (here)
    California firm unveils gigantic amphibious airship which could revolutionize air travel as we know it
    The Aeroscraft can take off and land without an airstrip meaning it can operate even in war zones and disaster areas



    Quote Zeppelins were once considered the future of air transport - but after the horror of the Hindenburg disaster, they disappeared from the skies for more than 75 years.
    Now a pioneering aviation firm hopes to bring back the airships in a bid to revolutionise the global market in transporting freight.
    The Aeroscraft is built using innovative technology which allows it to control its flight better than previous airships, so it should avoid the problems experienced by the first generation of zeppelins.
    It requires only a third as much fuel as an aeroplane carrying cargo, and it can take off and land anywhere even without a formal airstrip - including on water - making it well suited to war zones and disaster areas.
    The aircraft has been designed thanks to a $3million grant from the U.S. government, and it will soon be ready for its first test flight, according to Business Insider.
    The Aeroscraft is designed by Worldwide Aeros Corp., who predict that it will change the way that goods are moved around the world by providing a mode of transport which is cheaper than planes but faster than ships.
    The key technological breakthrough came when the firm's founder Igor Pasternak came up with a way to compress helium, which allows the airship to control its weight.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2eXeneM5j
    These have also been suggested to be used to transport OIL out of remote wells across Africa. Such will become the "norm" to increase the oil company's bottom line cost effectively.

    The division of Lockheed Martin who worked on Gravity gradiometers (sensors able to look for diamonds for DeBeers, and oil wells for Exxon-Mobil) has also felt that the lighter than air craft are the solution to exploration over jungles. These majors will increase finds, while releasing less energy to maintain 100-200 $ a barrel oil.

    Despite the lighter than air-craft being used to find more OIL, there will be improvements in FUEL CELLS that will work on Natural Gas. There will be a bit of a scuffle as there are world wide surpluses of Natural Gas (a very clean energy source and used in FUEL CELLS, the output is ELECTRICITY, some pure water, and heat). Electric vehicles are possible if the politics can be solved.

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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    Bloom Energy Server 60 minutes Segment Part 1



    This will change every thing

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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    Future factories let workers build a car from home
    Quote Machines that can be controlled over the internet open up the possibility of factory workers joining the home-working revolution

    THE factories of the future will look very different from those today, with not a person in sight. Instead, workers will log into robot-assisted manufacturing "cells" to make what they want from the comfort of their own home. You won't even need to be employed by the factory: people on online social networks will be able to log in and set laser cutters and 3D printers to work, bashing out gadgets to order.
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...from-home.html
    Last edited by apokalypse; 14th September 2013 at 00:59.

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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    Quote Posted by apokalypse (here)
    Quote Machines that can be controlled over the internet open up the possibility of factory workers joining the home-working revolution

    THE factories of the future will look very different from those today, with not a person in sight. Instead, workers will log into robot-assisted manufacturing "cells" to make what they want from the comfort of their own home. You won't even need to be employed by the factory: people on online social networks will be able to log in and set laser cutters and 3D printers to work, bashing out gadgets to order.
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...from-home.html
    This is interesting - with 3D printers now starting to get into the main-stream, between being able to print in plastics (of hard and soft plastics) - even replacement Tracheae (windpipes), I would suspect different body parts will be able to be synthesized. Also the 3D printers have successfully printed PROTEINS. (not quite like printing a pizza, but it's coming).

    3D printers are printing complex structures in metal, such as a spring inside of a cavity where the holes are smaller than the spring. You can see the spring inside and wonder how it got in there. I saw this printed at a manufacturer's office as one of the model's his company produces, complex metal shapes, fully functional.




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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    Harvesting electricity from microwaves... With the advent of modern wireless, there is an abundance of microwaves just waiting to be caught and converted to electricity. The technology has made some large leaps in efficiency that are equivalent to solar. The nice part is you can add cells to the array very easily to increase output. Could be used in remote areas and in areas that don't get much sun.

    I wonder if could help those that report brain washing and microwave assault by acting like a microwave sink...

    http://www.gizmag.com/power-harveste...signals/29710/

    Quote oining the ranks of devices designed to harvest energy from ambient electromagnetic radiation comes an electrical circuit from researchers at Duke University that can be tuned to capture microwave energy from various sources, including satellite, sound or Wi-Fi signals. The researchers say the device converts otherwise lost energy into direct current voltage with efficiencies similar to that of current solar cells.

    Duke University students Allen Hawkes and Alexander Katko, working with lead investigator and Duke professor of electrical and computer engineering Steven Cummer, built the device using five fiberglass and copper energy conductors wired up to a circuit board to form a five-cell metamaterial array. The team says the resulting electrical circuit is able to harvest microwaves and convert them into 7.3 V of electrical energy. They compare this to USB chargers for mobile devices that provide around 5 V of power.
    Duke engineering students Alexander Katko (left) and Allen Hawkes show a waveguide contain...

    “We were aiming for the highest energy efficiency we could achieve,” says Hawkes. “We had been getting energy efficiency around six to 10 percent, but with this design we were able to dramatically improve energy conversion to 37 percent, which is comparable to what is achieved in solar cells.”

    In addition to microwaves, the researchers say the metamaterial array could be tuned to harvest power from a range of frequencies, as well as vibrations and sound waves.

    “Until now, a lot of work with metamaterials has been theoretical,"says Katko. "We are showing that with a little work, these materials can be useful for consumer applications. The properties of metamaterials allow for design flexibility not possible with ordinary devices like antennas. When traditional antennas are close to each other in space they talk to each other and interfere with each other’s operation. The design process used to create our metamaterial array takes these effects into account, allowing the cells to work together.”

    Katko also suggests that a metamaterial coating could be applied to the ceiling of a room to harvest Wi-Fi signals or recover otherwise lost power from home appliances to improve their energy efficiency. But one of the most attractive potential uses would be to embed the energy-harvesting metamaterial in a mobile phone. The researchers say this could be accomplished with some modifications to the technology and provide people in remote locations with the ability to harvest energy from a mobile phone tower.

    “Our work demonstrates a simple and inexpensive approach to electromagnetic power harvesting,” says Cummer. “The beauty of the design is that the basic building blocks are self-contained and additive. One can simply assemble more blocks to increase the scavenged power.”

    In this way, a series of blocks could be set up to harvest energy from satellites passing overhead. Although this wouldn't yield a large amount of power, the researchers say it could be enough to a remote sensor network used for infrequent data collection in remote locations.

    The team's power-harvesting device is detailed in a paper in the journal Applied Physics Letters.
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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    advances in battery technology will change the world drastically, currently this is one of the biggest "hold ups" that we are experiencing in technology.


    Quote Organic battery hailed as cheap renewable energy solution
    Harvard team uses material similar to molecules in rhubarb to store energy

    A cheap rechargeable battery that harnesses energy by using the electrochemistry of organic molecules rather than metals is being touted by Harvard researchers as a breakthrough for renewable energy.

    The Harvard team reports that the battery, which they say can be applied on a power-grid scale, uses naturally abundant and small organic compounds called quinones rather than electrocatalysts from costly precious metals such as platinum.

    Quinones would be inexpensive to obtain and can be found in green plants or synthesized from crude oil. The battery designed by Harvard scientists and engineers used a quinone molecule that's almost identical to one that's found in rhubarb.

    The technology is outlined in the Jan. 9 edition of the journal Nature.

    Unlike solid-electrode batteries, flow batteries are recharged by two chemical components dissolved in fluids that are kept in separate tanks.

    The quinones in the Harvard team's battery are dissolved in water, which also prevents them from catching fire. These hydroquinones would perform a similar function to metal electrocatalysts such as platinum, because the molecules can store electrical energy efficiently.

    10,000 quinone molecules screened

    Flow batteries are well suited to storing large amounts of energy, but a major drawback to metal-based flow cells has been cost.

    According to MIT Technology review, a conventional metal-reliant flow battery costs an estimated $700 per kilowatt-hour of storage capacity, whereas the Harvard team's metal-free technology would bring those costs down to $27 per kilowatt-hour.

    Roy G. Gordon, one of the researchers who helped screen more than 10,000 quinone molecules to find the best candidate for the novel battery, said the introduction of the quinones to flow batteries could be a renewable-energy game-changer.

    "The whole world of electricity storage has been using metal ions in various charge states, but there is a limited number that you can put into solution and use to store energy, and none of them can economically store massive amounts of renewable energy," Gordon said.

    "With organic molecules, we introduce a vast new set of possibilities. Some of them will be terrible and some will be really good. With these quinones we have the first ones that look really good."

    The metal vanadium is used in most commercially advanced flow batteries. The Harvard battery performs just as well, the team said.

    Could reduce reliance on fossil fuels

    Lead researcher Michael J. Aziz said the storage of intermittent forms of renewable energy such as wind or solar power could be more economical if organic flow batteries were used to provide back-up power when the wind stops blowing and the sun isn't shining.

    "The intermittent renewables storage problem is the biggest barrier to getting most of our power from the sun and the wind," Aziz said.

    "A safe and economical flow battery could play a huge role in our transition off fossil fuels to renewable electricity. I'm excited that we have a good shot at it."

    A 2011 review from the American Chemical Society states that globally, the total electricity from wind power reached 74.3 gigawatts in 2006 and 94 gigawatts in 2007. By 2020, the World Energy Council predicts worldwide wind capacity could reach 474 gigawatts.

    The U.S. target is to generate 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2020.

    The researchers are working with a Connecticut-based company called Sustainable Innovations to create a portable, organic flow battery inside a unit about the size of a horse trailer.

    The flow battery would be hooked to solar panels on the roof of a commercial building. The energy stored in the battery could power the building or be used whenever there's a need for it.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/or...tion-1.2489300
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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    Quote Long-range smart rifles now come in semi-automatic
    "From difficult firing positions, such as kneeling, standing or even lying beneath an automobile," novice shooters can hit targets 500 yards away with Tracking Point's computerized semi-automatic rifles.



    What type of computerized rifle could make it even easier for novice shooters to hit targets several football fields away? A semi-automatic rifle that does the same thing.
    Texas-based startup Tracking Point debuted its newest series of rifles this week and these guns are capable of shooting high-velocity rounds at distances of up to 500 yards, or five football fields. Dubbed the 500 Series ARs, these weapons are offered in 7.62, .300 BLK, and 5.56 calibers. They come with a high-powered digital scope with LCD display, laser range finder, and Wi-Fi.
    What's different about these guns from typical semi-automatic rifles is they come with built-in computers that help shooters hit targets at long distances. This ease of shooting is possible through technology like a guided trigger and "Networked Tracking Scope" that can lock onto and track moving targets. Once the user pulls the trigger, the gun decides when to fire the round based on ballistics data like distance to the target, barometric pressure, wind, and more.
    "With stabilized target selection, target tracking and guided firing the 500 Series semi-automatic AR products enable anyone to be an expert marksman out to the 500 yard effective range of the firearm, even from difficult firing positions, such as kneeling, standing or even lying beneath an automobile," Tracking Point said in a statement.
    Last year, the company came out with its top-of-the-line series of "smart rifles" called the "XactSystem" that have the capability of hitting bull's-eyes up to 1,200 yards away. The 500 Series semi-automatic rifles start at $9,950 -- far cheaper than the XactSystem series, which starts at $22,500. Delivery for the 500 Series is expected to start in October 2014.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57...emi-automatic/
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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    A "3d" Graphene-like material, a room temperature super conductor; materials science is a very exciting field currently.

    Quote Material like '3D graphene' promises new electronics


    The discovery of a material that has a similar electronic structure to graphene but can exist in three dimensions, instead of a flat sheet like graphene, could lead to faster transistors and more compact hard drives.

    An international team, led by scientists from Oxford University, Diamond Light Source, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Stanford University, and Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source, has discovered that sodium bismuthate can exist as a form of quantum matter called a three-dimensional topological Dirac semi-metal (3DTDS).

    Scientists have long been searching for a natural 3D counterpart to 2D graphene (a one atom thick layer of carbon that is prized for its electronic properties). Whilst 3DTDS states had been predicted by theorists this is the first experimental confirmation that such a type of material exists and could lead to the discovery of many more exotic materials.

    A report of the research is published in Science.

    'The 3DTDS we have found has a lot in common with graphene and is likely to be as good or even better in terms of electron mobility – a measure of both how fast and how efficiently an electron can move through a material,' said Dr Yulin Chen of Oxford University's Department of Physics, lead author of the report.

    'You can think of the electronic structure of the 3DTDS as being rather like that of the graphene – the so called ''Dirac cone'' where electrons collectively act as if they forget their mass – but instead of flowing masslessly within a single sheet of atoms, the electrons in a 3DTDS flow masslessly along all directions in the bulk.'

    Moreover, unlike in graphene, electrons on the surface of the 3DTDS remember their 'spin' – a quantum property akin to the orientation of a tiny magnet that can be used to store and read data – so that the magnet information can be directly transferred by the electric current, which could enable faster and more efficient spintronic devices.

    'An important property of this new type of material is its magnetoresistance – how its electrical resistance changes when a magnetic field is applied,' said Dr Chen. 'In typical Giant Magnetoresistance Materials (GMR) the resistance changes by a few tens of percent and then saturate but with 3DTDS it changes 100s or 1000s of percent without showing saturation with the external magnetic field. With this much larger effect we could make a hard drive that is higher intensity, higher speed, and lower energy consumption – for example turning a 1 terabyte hard drive into a drive that can store 10 terabytes within the same volume.'

    Whilst sodium bismuthate is too unstable to be used in devices without proper packaging the discovery is likely to start a rush to find many other materials that can exist in the same quantum state.

    Dr Chen said: 'Now that we have proved that this kind of material exists, and that such compounds can have one of the highest electron mobilities of any material so far discovered, the race is on to find more such materials and their applications, as well as other materials with unusual topology in their electronic structure.'
    http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2014/130120.html
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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    Quote Designer hailed as next Dyson for compressor blade discovery
    A British invention can cut energy costs by up to 20%, reports Rebecca Burn-Callander
    The internal combustion engine has seen little innovation since Felix Wankel’s contentious rotary effort back in the 1950s. That is not for want of trying. According to Google’s patent library, which indexes data from the European Patent Office, the World Intellectual Property Organization and patent agencies in China, Germany, Canada, there are as many as 10m piston and compressor-related patents on record.
    After more than half a century of stagnation, however, the engine is getting a makeover. Entrepreneur and technologist Steve Lindsey has spent the past 10 years testing a new invention that aims to make engines up to 20pc more efficient. “Most industries try to optimise for a 1pc to 2pc increase in efficiency – 20pc is unheard of,” he says.
    His Blade Compressor replaces the old “up and down” piston technology with a circular widget that compresses the air – or gas – in front and induces the air behind in continuous motion, minimising wastage. The technology can be applied to any kind of engine, from the compressor in your fridge to a car engine, potentially revolutionising everything from coffee machines to battleships.
    “Every compressor out there gets something wrong,” says Mr Lindsey. “Either the air is wasted, or it’s not compressed properly. But the beauty of this design is that it is so simple. There’s no magic in terms of material. If the Victorians had thought of it, they could have made it.”


    http://www.lontra.co.uk/technologies...compressor.htm

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...discovery.html
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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    We're going to be using blimps to protect major cities from cruise missile attacks.....so very interesting.

    http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=39441&cpage=1

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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    This is pretty awesome, now actually useful parts can be created, things as strong as aluminum, but lighter; very good step in the direction of distributed manufacturing.
    Quote New 3D printer can print in carbon fiber

    Gregory Mark co-owns Aeromotions, which builds computer-controlled racecar wings. To make those wings both strong and lightweight, they use carbon fiber. No surprise there—it's the material of choice for many advanced motorsports parts. The problem is that making custom racecar parts out of carbon fiber is daunting. The only real method available is the expensive and difficult process of laying up carbon fiber pieces by hand.

    To improve the process, Mark looked to 3D printing. But nothing on the market could print the material, and no available materials could print pieces strong enough for his purposes. So Mark devised his own solution: the MarkForged Mark One, the world's first carbon fiber 3D printer.

    Mark debuted his Boston area-based startup MarkForged at SolidWorks World 2014 in San Diego with a working prototype. The Mark One can print in carbon fiber, fiberglass, nylon and PLA (a thermoplastic).

    "We took the idea of 3D printing, that process of laying things down strand by strand, and we used it as a manufacturing process to make composite parts," he told PopMech. "We say it's like regular 3D printers do the form. We do form and function."

    What you notice first about MarkForged's printer is its amazing simplicity. With an anodized aluminum unibody and a translucent printing bed, it looks like the Mac of 3D printing. The Mark One employs kinematic coupling for consistent bed leveling, meaning you won't need to worry about making sure the bed is leveled correctly after each print. It's also compact, measuring 22.6 inches wide, 14.2 inches tall, and 12.7 inches deep—a good desktop size.



    The main advantage of the Mark One: It can print parts 20 times stiffer and five times stronger than ABS, according to the company. It even has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than CNC-machined aluminum. The racecar wing supports, for example, are printed with a nylon outershell and honeycomb structure, with a carbon fiber reinforced core. Mark says that he imagines this machine is for anybody who wants to print in a material as strong as aluminum. Beyond racecars, it could be useful to industries like prosthetics.

    "There are a bunch of people who are interested in the prosthetics side," he says. "There's a whole fit component. It has to fit on your body. That's something that's more art than science, you want to print out a whole bunch of different versions and test them out," Mark says. "But then when you have your final version, you want to make exactly that, but really strong. [With] this printer‚ once you want to make it strong, you print it in composites."

    The Mark One isn't limited to commercial use. With a price $5000, Mark wants to make sure printing in carbon fiber is available to consumers as well.

    "It's a material that everybody knows, but probably most people haven't used. So we made the price low and you can start using it. We wanted to make it really easy for people to start printing with it, so they can explore prosthetics, custom bones, tools, and fixtures."

    It's potentially a huge step for 3D printing, which has been limited mainly to plastics, limiting its real-world applications. The MarkForged also could help the prototyping phase for companies producing aluminum and carbon fiber products by providing an even more precise model.

    The MarkForged Mark One will be available for pre-order starting in February. You can sign up for notifications at the company's website. Units will start shipping in the second half of 2014.
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/tech...lick=pm_latest
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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    Quote Posted by Bobd (here)
    (not quite like printing a pizza, but it's coming).
    It's actually already here!

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles...lates-to-pizza

    http://life.nationalpost.com/2014/01...ers-to-pizzas/

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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    multiple toppings, hold the anchovies..

    There are metal printers now too, using the same injector head, instead of sintering metal (solidifying) in a bed of dust.

    Resolution issues still have to be dealt with, and in printing high temperature materials, will the parts warp or stress.

    The methods to take it fully to low level molecular printing, weaving and layering nano-building blocks, printing protein sequences will really be exciting !

    "would you like pepperoni, and olives with your printed pizza?

    Thanks TargeT

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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    First graphene based technology I know of:

    Quote IBM's speedy graphene chip could lead to super-efficient mobile devices


    Chips with graphene inside are theoretically quicker than plain silicon designs, but they've been slow in practice; the manufacturing process often damages the graphene, stripping away its speed advantage. That won't be a big problem with IBM's prototype radio receiver, though. The company inserted graphene transistors into the new chip only after it finished assembling the mostly silicon design, keeping the more exotic material intact. The resulting integrated circuit is about 10,000 times more powerful than previous parts, IBM claims. The test unit hasn't done more than send a text message so far, but it could lead to future wireless radios that are both faster and consume less power. If you eventually get a graphene-powered smartphone with great data speeds and a long battery life, you'll know who to thank.
    http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/30/s...graphene-chip/
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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    As I understand it, skyrmions aren't really a particle in the same sense an electron, proton, or neutron are particles, but some weird quantum superposition of baryons in a resonant state. The result though is kind of a magnetic vortex that is highly stable but much smaller than magnetic structures used to store information in hard drives today.

    Here is an article that explains it a bit.

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    Virgin Islands Avalon Member TargeT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    Interesting advance, Looks like Moore's law will hold true after all.

    Quote New form of graphene allows electrons to behave like photons

    This is a conceptual drawing of an electronic circuit comprised of interconnected graphene nanoribbons (black atoms) that are epitaxially grown on steps etched in silicon carbide (yellow atoms). Electrons (blue) travel ballistically along the ribbon and then from one ribbon to the next via the metal contacts. Electron flow is modulated by electrostatic gates. (Credit: John Hankinson)

    Using electrons more like photons could provide the foundation for a new type of electronic device that would capitalize on the ability of graphene to carry electrons with almost no resistance even at room temperature — a property known as ballistic transport.

    Research reported this week in the journal Nature shows that electrical resistance in nanoribbons of epitaxial graphene changes in discrete steps following quantum mechanical principles. The research shows that the graphene nanoribbons act more like optical waveguides or quantum dots, allowing electrons to flow smoothly along the edges of the material.

    In ordinary conductors such as copper, resistance increases in proportion to the length as electrons encounter more and more impurities while moving through the conductor.

    Over ten times more conductive

    The ballistic transport properties, similar to those observed in cylindrical carbon nanotubes, exceed theoretical conductance predictions for graphene by a factor of 10. The properties were measured in graphene nanoribbons approximately 40 nanometers wide that had been grown on the edges of three-dimensional structures etched into silicon carbide wafers.

    “This work shows that we can control graphene electrons in very different ways because the properties are really exceptional,” said Walt de Heer, a Regent’s professor in the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “This could result in a new class of coherent electronic devices based on room temperature ballistic transport in graphene. Such devices would be very different from what we make today in silicon.”

    The research, which was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the W.M. Keck Foundation, was done through a collaboration of scientists from Georgia Tech in the U.S., Leibniz Universität Hannover in Germany, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in France, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the U.S.

    Ultra-fast computing with graphene

    For nearly a decade, researchers have been trying to use the unique properties of graphene to create electronic devices that operate much like existing silicon semiconductor chips. But those efforts have met with limited success because graphene cannot be easily given the electronic bandgap that such devices need to operate.

    De Heer argues that researchers should stop trying to use graphene like silicon, and instead use its unique electron transport properties to design new types of electronic devices that could allow ultra-fast computing — based on a new approach to switching. Electrons in the graphene nanoribbons can move tens or hundreds of microns without scattering.

    “This constant resistance is related to one of the fundamental constants of physics, the conductance quantum,” de Heer said. “The resistance of this channel does not depend on temperature, and it does not depend on the amount of current you are putting through it.”

    Nanoribbons of epitaxial graphene

    Schematic showing well-aligned, single-crystal monolayer graphene sheets (all black) that form spontaneously on steps etched onto the surface of silicon carbide (SiC) wafers heated above 1,000 degrees C (credit: Jens Baringhaus et al./Nature)

    The nanoribbons are grown epitaxially on silicon carbide (SiC) wafers into which patterns have been etched using standard microelectronics fabrication techniques.

    When the wafers are heated to approximately 1,000 degrees Celsius, silicon is preferentially driven off along the edges, forming graphene nanoribbons whose structure is determined by the pattern of the three-dimensional surface.

    Once grown, the nanoribbons require no further processing.

    The advantage of fabricating graphene nanoribbons this way is that it produces edges that are perfectly smooth, annealed by the fabrication process.

    Electrons that behave like photons

    The smooth edges allow electrons to flow through the nanoribbons without disruption. (If traditional etching techniques are used to cut nanoribbons from graphene sheets, the resulting edges are too rough to allow ballistic transport.)

    “It seems that the current is primarily flowing on the edges,” de Heer said. “There are other electrons in the bulk portion of the nanoribbons, but they do not interact with the electrons flowing at the edges.”

    The electrons on the edge flow more like photons in optical fiber, helping them avoid scattering. “These electrons are really behaving more like light,” he said. “It is like light going through an optical fiber. Because of the way the fiber is made, the light transmits without scattering.”

    The researchers measured ballistic conductance in the graphene nanoribbons for up to 16 microns. Electron mobility measurements surpassing one million correspond to a sheet resistance of one ohm per square that is two orders of magnitude lower than what is observed in two-dimensional graphene — and ten times smaller than the best theoretical predictions for graphene.A new type of graphene-based electronics

    “This should enable a new way of doing electronics,” de Heer said. “We are already able to steer these electrons and we can switch them using rudimentary means. We can put a roadblock, and then open it up again. New kinds of switches for this material are now on the horizon.”

    Theoretical explanations for what the researchers have measured are incomplete. De Heer speculates that the graphene nanoribbons may be producing a new type of electronic transport similar to what is observed in superconductors.

    “There is a lot of fundamental physics that needs to be done to understand what we are seeing,” he added. “We believe this shows that there is a real possibility for a new type of graphene-based electronics.”

    Georgia Tech researchers have pioneered graphene-based electronics since 2001, for which they hold a patent, filed in 2003. The technique involves etching patterns into electronics-grade silicon carbide wafers, then heating the wafers to drive off silicon, leaving patterns of graphene.

    This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at Georgia Tech; the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR); the Scientific User Facilities Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy, and the Partner University Fund from the Embassy of France.

    Abstract of Nature paper

    Graphene nanoribbons will be essential components in future graphene nanoelectronics. However, in typical nanoribbons produced from lithographically patterned exfoliated graphene, the charge carriers travel only about ten nanometres between scattering events, resulting in minimum sheet resistances of about one kilohm per square. Here we show that 40-nanometre-wide graphene nanoribbons epitaxially grown on silicon carbide are single-channel room-temperature ballistic conductors on a length scale greater than ten micrometres, which is similar to the performance of metallic carbon nanotubes. This is equivalent to sheet resistances below 1 ohm per square, surpassing theoretical predictions for perfect graphene by at least an order of magnitude. In neutral graphene ribbons, we show that transport is dominated by two modes. One is ballistic and temperature independent; the other is thermally activated. Transport is protected from back-scattering, possibly reflecting ground-state properties of neutral graphene. At room temperature, the resistance of both modes is found to increase abruptly at a particular length—the ballistic mode at 16 micrometres and the other at 160 nanometres. Our epitaxial graphene nanoribbons will be important not only in fundamental science, but also – because they can be readily produced in thousands – in advanced nanoelectronics, which can make use of their room-temperature ballistic transport properties.
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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    I didn't think China would be the first to do this... I see this as the endstate for 3d printing, or at least close to it.

    Quote China’s Huge 3D Printers, Soon Able to Print Automobile Sized Metal Objects

    One of the biggest possible economic impacts of 3D printing to the U.S. economy is the fact that it may eventually allow corporations to bring jobs back onshore from China. The United States outsources a large number of jobs over to Asia as a way to cut labor costs. 3D printing and robotics promises to change some of this, as companies can utilize industrial scale 3D printers and automation to manufacture parts for their products, cheaper than even the labor force in China can produce them. That’s if, of course China lags behind in their adoption of these technologies.

    It appears, however that China is investing heavily in 3D printing, just like those in the U.S. and Europe. Their corporate and government leaders clearly can identify an emerging technology and its possible economic impact on the future of China. In fact, back in June, China announced a gigantic 3D printer, which they claimed was the world’s largest at the time, with a 1.8 m build diameter. Basically the thing could print out a nice sized bathroom vanity if you wanted it to.

    This isn’t where it ends though. 1.8 meters is nothing compared to what China has done since, and plans to do within the next month or so. Southern Fan Co. (As Translated from Chinese), a company also located in China, put out a press release in November of last year, indicating their plans to develop what would turn out to be, by far the largest 3D printer yet. The printer, once The printer, once complete, sometime this month, according to past releases large 3d printerby the company, will be able to print out metal objects approximately 6 meters, or 18 feet in diameter. Yes, if the printer works as it’s supposed to, the company will be able to print out the entire frame of just about any four wheeled automobile on Earth.

    The implications for such a development would be huge for the company, but also for China, who in the last 12 months has really made it a priority to develop their laser sintering technologies. There are already several large scale industrial 3D printers in China, including the one in the image above, in which a team at Beihang University has been able to print out several complex titanium alloy structures. This includes parts used in satellites, rockets, and nuclear power plants. These are actual parts, and not prototypes for parts. Also larger parts such as titanium alloy landing gear for jets, as well as large main force bearing frames of air crafts have been, and continue to be produce by this printer.
    http://3dprint.com/chinas-huge-3d-pr...metal-objects/
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    Default Re: Technological advances that will directly affect you in the next 2 years

    Brilliant thread TargeT !!

    Quote and its possible economic impact on the future
    the 'possible' bit made me laugh !!

    IMNSHO if you are not old enough to really appreciate the truly enormous impact the technology known as "Personal computing' has had on the world ie you missed out on building your own 4004 or learning to program a bleeding edge 8080 or 6502 only to be left behind due to rate of change, then you actually have such an opportunity right now...

    3D printing, to mind, will be come the next truly must have ubiquitous commodity. Watch for it's impact on the present manufacturing powerhouses no matter what country they are in as it will having a shattering impact on 'old skool thinkin' in that arena. There will be fortunes to be made and lost but NOW is the time to jump on the bandwagon.

    When I first saw one of these I thought aha, it's 'sort of' like a reverse CNC milling machine which cuts out the injection molding process and goes straight to finished product. Given Moores law is still in full swing, it seems to me that it won't be very long at all (wink wink, nudge nudge to the universe in 'The Secret' thinking style') before some form of imaging scanner is parked at the front end of one of these thus producing almost instant replication of any shape or object required a la' photocopying style.

    I have also ordered from the Universe spiritually aware entrepreneurial types who will figure out a way to use hemp as the input product as I'd dearly love a replica of Henry Fords car not only made of hemp, so stronger and lighter than steel, but actually running on hemp oil...

    Watch this space.

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