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February 27, 2010

Towards Graphene Nanoribbon-based Electronics

arxiv - Towards Graphene Nanoribbon-based Electronics (9 page pdf)

The successful fabrication of single layer graphene has greatly stimulated the progress of the research on graphene. In this article, focusing on the basic electronic and transport properties of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs), we review the recent progress of experimental fabrication of GNRs, and the theoretical and experimental investigations of physical properties and device applications of GNRs. We also briefly discuss the research efforts on the spin polarization of GNRs in relation to the edge states.

Experimental Fabrication of Graphene Nanoribbons

* graphene can be patterned by traditional e-beam lithography technique into nanoribbons with various widths ranging from 20 to 500nm
* 10-nm-wide nanoribbon has been etched via scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) lithography.
* with optimal lithographic parameters, it is possible to cut GNRs with suitably regular edges, which constitutes a great advance towards the reproducibility of GNR-based devices
* chemically derived GNRs with various widths ranging from 50 nm to sub-10 nm. These GNRs have atomic-scale ultrasmooth edges



Electronic and Transport Properties

* GNRs with armchair-shaped edges can be either metallic or semiconducting depending on their widths
* GNRs with zigzag-shaped edges are metallic with peculiar edge states on both sides of ribbons regardless of their widths
* all of the AGNRs exhibit semiconducting behavior and the energy gaps decrease as a function of increasing ribbon widths.

Edge Disorder in Graphene Nanoribbons

Current experimental techniques (such as lithography) are not able to realize exact control of the edge structures of GNRs and the edges are always very rough due to the limitation of the fabrication technology. There are theoretical evidences that such edge disorders can significantly change the electronic properties of GNRs, and lead to some unexpected physics effect, such as the Anderson localization and Coulomb blockade effect

Transistors Based on Graphene Nanoribbons


Without atomically precise edge control during fabrication, it is hard to get reliable and stable performance of GNRFETs. Due to their unusual basic properties, GNRs as well as graphene are promising for a large number of applications, from spin filters, valley filters, to chemical sensors. GNRs can be chemically and/or structurally modified in order to change its functionality and hence its potential applications.

Due to the interesting electronic and magnetic properties, GNRs have been demonstrated as a promising candidate material for future post-silicon electronics such as transport materials, field effect transistors, and spin injection or filter. More experimental efforts will focus on fabricating high quality nanoribbon samples with accurate control of the edge structures.

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Sensic Super High Def Head Mounted Display

XSight Head Mounted Dispalay

The xSight is a professional headmounted display that delivers a previously-unattainable combination of panoramic field of view, high resolution and light weight. It is an ideal choice for a variety of training, simulation and design applications.

• 123° Panoramic field of view provides superb situational awareness, active peripheral vision and enhanced realism
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• A lightweight (400g)



Ultra Panoramic Head Mounted Display

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* Binocular FOV Up to 179º
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* OLED Technology
* Contrast ratio >800:1
* Video format DVI
* Stereo Dual channel
* Display power <4 Watt * Power input 110/220V, * 50/60Hz 2008 Head Mounted Display Survey



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Offtopic - Canada has won the Vancouver Winter Olympic Gold Medal Race

With 12 13 14 gold Medals and Three Two zero Events to finish. Canada is assured of winning the most gold medals in the Vancouver Winter Olympic games of 2010.

Germany has 10 and only has the chance to win the 50 km cross country, which will likely be won by someone from Norway.

Canada is partway through the Gold Medal Game in curling with a 3-2 lead 6-3 win over Norway. Canada will play has defeated the US in Mens hockey tomorrow. 3-2 in overtime.

Canada owns the gold medal podium for the Winter Olympics of 2010.





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Electron Beam Lithography Status

EETimes looks at direct write lithography with electron beam machines

* Based on the length of time it has historically taken for each new lithography technology to move from proof-of-concept to production, e-beam direct-write lithography tools will be available no sooner than 2015, according to Kurt Ronse, lithography department director at nanoelectronics research center IMEC

* Ronse recommended ebeam groups working on 16nm/22nm node initially apply their technology to mask-writing tools—where throughput requirement would not be so arduous—as a shorter term, intermediate step

* direct-write lithography, could potentially reduce or remove the need for photomasks, which are get twice as expensive at each node

*Current ebeam litho speed - writing a single 300-mm wafer at 60-nm half pitch still takes 20 hours

* Projection Mask-Less Lithography (PLM2) technology has a goal of building systems that offer 256,000 programmable electron multi-beams of 50 keV energy

* Mapper ebeam throughput goal for its tools of 10 wafers per hour and then cluster 10 tools together in a system that can write 100 wafers per hour. Mapper's tools feature 110 electron beams that can be individually switched on and off by means of an optical blanker array and they will use a movable stage.

Mapper and other ebeam litho players and technology were discussed here before




Ebeam Players
Mapper Lithography BV
IMS Nanofabrication AG
the eBeam Initiative, a consortium of more than 25 companies headed by Direct2Silicon Inc
KLA-Tencor Corp
Micronic Laser Systems AB
Vistec Electron Beam Lithography Group and Tokyo Electronic Ltd., government-backed research and universities.


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February 26, 2010

A Path to 8 nanometer or Narrower Self Assembled Lithography

Nano Letters - A Path to Ultranarrow Patterns Using Self-Assembled Lithography

The templated self-assembly of block copolymer (BCP) thin films can generate regular arrays of 10−50 nm scale features with good positional and orientational accuracy, but the ordering, registration and pattern transfer of sub-10-nm feature sizes is not well established. Here, we report solvent-annealing and templating methods that enable the formation of highly ordered grating patterns with a line width of 8 nm and period 17 nm from a self-assembled poly(styrene-b-dimethylsiloxane) (PS-PDMS) diblock copolymer. The BCP patterns can be registered hierarchically on a larger-period BCP pattern, which can potentially diversify the available pattern geometries and enables precise pattern registration at small feature sizes. Sub-10-nm-wide tungsten nanowires with excellent order and uniformity were fabricated from the self-assembled patterns using a reactive ion etching process.



8 page pdf with supplemental information



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Eyeglass Viewing With 67 Inch Equivalent 2D and 3D Screen for $350




* removable noise-isolating earbuds
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* weighs less than 3 ounces
* Two AA batteries for up to six hours of continuous use
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The Wrap 920 is designed to connect to all NTSC or PAL audio/video devices with video-out capabilities. Supported devices include:
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Vuzix also has products for the military and devices for medical assistance to help people who have lost central vision.



coming soon 920AR with higher resolution

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ADC resolution: 10-bit column-parallel
High-speed USB 2.0
PC and Mac compatible

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Machine Learning for Precise Quantum Measurement that Approaches the Heisenberg Limit

Arxiv - Machine Learning for Precise Quantum Measurement (7 page pdf)

Adaptive feedback schemes are promising for quantum-enhanced measurements yet are complicated to design. Machine learning can autonomously generate algorithms in a classical setting. Here we adapt machine learning for quantum information and use our framework to generate autonomous adaptive feedback schemes for quantum measurement. In particular our approach replaces guesswork in quantum measurement by a logical, fully-automatic, programmable routine. We show that our method yields schemes that outperform the best known adaptive scheme for interferometric phase estimation.

In classical physics, it is assumed that detectors and controls can be arbitrarily accurate, restricted only by technical limitations. However, this paradigm is valid only on a scale where quantum effects can be ignored. The `standard quantum limit' (SQL) restricts achievable precision, beyond which measurement must be treated on a quantum level. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle provides a much lower but insurmountable bound for the accuracy of measurement and feedback. Approaching the Heisenberg limit is an important goal of quantum measurement.

Quantum-enhanced measurements are useful for better atomic clocks, gravitational wave detection, and measuring the optical properties of materials.

A Poster on Machine Learning for Quantum Measurement.






Particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithmsremarkably successful for solving non-convex problems. PSO is a `collective intelligence' strategy from the field of machine learning that learns via trial and error and performs as well as or better than simulated annealing and genetic algorithms. Here we show that PSO algorithms also deliver automated approaches to devising successful quantum measurement policies for implementation in the PU. Our method is effective even if the quantum system is a black box.

In order to show that our method not only works, but is superior to existing feedback-based quantum measurements, we choose the Berry-Wiseman-Breslin (BWB) policy as a benchmark. The BWB-policy is the most precise policy known to date for interferometric phase estimation with direct measurement of the interferometeroutput. Furthermore, its practicality has been demonstrated in a recent experiment

In summary, we have developed a framework which utilizes machine learning to autonomously generate adaptive feedback measurement policies for single parameter estimation problems. Within the limits of the available computational resources, our PSO generated policies achieve an optimal scaling of precision for singleshot interferometric phase estimation with direct measurement of the interferometer output. Our method can be extended to allow training using a real experimental setup by adapting a noise tolerant PSO algorithm. This algorithm does not require prior knowledge about the physical processes involved. Specifically, it can learn to account for all systematic experimental imperfections, thereby making time-consuming error modeling and extensive calibration dispensable.

STRENGTHS OF MACHINE LEARNING SCHEME
* tolerant to photon loss
* estimates ' with smallest statistical errors ever achieved
* applicable to any prior distribution of phase '
* applicable to any input state j Ni
* technologically feasible
* allows training using a real experiment: algorithm learns to account for systematic experimental imperfections, making error modeling and extensive calibration dispensable


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Myostatin Inhibitor Related Videos

There are various drugs and procedures in clinical trials on humans to enable myostatin inhibition to boost muscles against muscle wasting diseases

Boosting follistatin seems to be the more promising way to inhibit myostatin for effective muscle boosting effects

Myostatin inhibition can be four times more effective at boosting muscles than high doses of steroids

There has been myostatin inhibition success in trials on monkeys


Giuliano Stroe, Romanian Boy With Natural Myostatin Inhibition

He breaks the world record for air pushups.


Giuliano performing the human flag stunt


SuperCows- Belgian Blues- Myostatin Inhibited based on 100 Years of Selective Breeding




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February 25, 2010

eSolar Targets Solar Electricity Less than The Price of Coal and Has 2 Gigawatt Project in China

eSolar, a global provider of reliable and cost-effective concentrating solar power (CSP) plants, and Penglai Electric, a privately-owned Chinese electrical power equipment manufacturer, today announced a master licensing agreement to build at least 2 gigawatts (GW) of solar thermal power plants in China over the next 10 years.

The deal was signed in the Chinese State Council building with government officials in attendance and represents the country's largest CSP project. Groundbreaking of the first 92 megawatts (MW) will take place in 2010.

Penglai Electric plans to develop 2 GW of power plants by 2021 using eSolar's proven solar thermal technology. The solar thermal power plants will be co-located with biomass electricity generation facilities. Penglai Electric will leverage local manufacturing to source some of the equipment. In total, the plants will eliminate 15 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.





1. How Our System Works
Power tower Technology -A field of sun-tracking heliostats reflects solar heat to a thermal receiver mounted atop a central power tower. The focused heat boils water within the thermal receiver and produces steam. The plant pipes the steam from each thermal receiver and aggregates it at the turbine, powering a power generator. The steam then reverts back to water through cooling, and the process repeats.

2. Patented Heliostat Design

The eSolar Building Block- A small and mass-manufactured heliostat is the building block of the eSolar™ solution. eSolar designed the heliostats for deployment in pre-fabricated "heliostat sticks" that can be installed easily with minimal skilled labor. Low wind profile design allows fields of eSolar heliostats to be installed faster than any competitive CSP solutions.

3. Modular Field Layout

Cost-Based Design- Thousands of systematically spaced heliostats combine to form the eSolar™ modular field, comprised of north and south facing mirror sub-fields. Both mirror fields concentrate sunlight to a patented dual-port eSolar™ receiver atop a central tower. The sub-field design optically optimizes the layout to maximize the harvested thermal energy.

4. Scalable Units

The eSolar Solution- A 46 MW eSolar power unit consists of sixteen towers (each with its own north-south heliostat sub-field), a turbine generator set, and a steam condenser. 46 MW power units fit on approximately 200 acres, or 80 hectares. eSolar can construct multiple 46 MW units to scale to any size to meet customer needs.


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New Lithium Sulfide Batteries Could have Four times the Specific Energy of Lithium Ion Batteries

Nanoletters - New Nanostructured Li2S/Silicon Rechargeable Battery with High Specific Energy The Lithium Sulfide batteries theoretically can have four times the specific energy of lithium ion batteries and have been experimentally produced at 150% the specific energy of lithium ion.

Rechargeable lithium ion batteries are important energy storage devices; however, the specific energy of existing lithium ion batteries is still insufficient for many applications due to the limited specific charge capacity of the electrode materials. The recent development of sulfur/mesoporous carbon nanocomposite cathodes represents a particularly exciting advance, but in full battery cells, sulfur-based cathodes have to be paired with metallic lithium anodes as the lithium source, which can result in serious safety issues. Here we report a novel lithium metal-free battery consisting of a Li2S/mesoporous carbon composite cathode and a silicon nanowire anode. This new battery yields a theoretical specific energy of 1550 Wh kg−1, which is four times that of the theoretical specific energy of existing lithium-ion batteries based on LiCoO2 cathodes and graphite anodes (410 Wh kg−1). The nanostructured design of both electrodes assists in overcoming the issues associated with using sulfur compounds and silicon in lithium-ion batteries, including poor electrical conductivity, significant structural changes, and volume expansion. We have experimentally realized an initial discharge specific energy of 630 Wh kg−1 based on the mass of the active electrode materials.



14 pages of supplemental information



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New Nanocomposite Nanostructure Manufacturing Method

The heated probe of an atomic force microscope melts a nanoparticle-polymer composite enabling it to flow onto a surface. The nanocomposite can be used as-is or the nanoparticles released with an oxygen plasma. (Image courtesy of UIUC and NRL.)

Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory and the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign recently reported a new technique for directly writing composites of nanoparticles and polymers.

The NRL and UIUC team developed a generic means for depositing many nanocomposites on multiple surfaces with nanoscale precision. Metal nanoparticles that were conducting, tiny magnetic nanoparticles, and nanoparticles that glowed, were all deposited using this one technique.

The technique builds on previous work using atomic force microscopy (AFM) probes as pens to produce nanometer-scale patterns. The polymer-nanocomposite blend is coated onto the probe. When the probe is heated, it acts like a miniature soldering iron to deposit the nanocomposite. "This technique greatly simplifies nanocomposite deposition," said Paul E. Sheehan, head of the Surface Nanoscience and Sensor Technology Section at NRL in Washington, D.C. "No longer do you have to spend half a year tweaking the chemistry of the surface or nanocomposite to achieve deposition."



The technique also solves a common problem when depositing soft materials like polymers and nanocomposites. The solvents and patterning procedures for depositing soft materials can damage any soft material already deposited. Consequently, it can be quite difficult to deposit many different such materials. "Our ability to control nanometer-scale heat sources allows local thermal processing of these nanocomposites," says William King, Kritzer Faculty Scholar in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. This opens a door to the direct writing of highly complex structures.


Rows of nanoparticles less than 10 nm wide were written, narrower than any other direct write technique. The string of magnetic nanoparticles should be useful for studying magnetic interactions on the smallest scales. "Combining with our nanolithographic technique these tiny magnetic nanostructures can be added to current electronic or MEMS devices to enhance their capabilities." says Woo Kyung Lee.

"These capabilities and those of the other nanocomposites may find novel applications from microelectronics to biomedical devices."

The technique was published on January 13th, 2010, in the journal Nano Letters

NanoLetters - Maskless Nanoscale Writing of Nanoparticle−Polymer Composites and Nanoparticle Assemblies using Thermal Nanoprobes

Nanoparticle polymer composites containing metal, semiconductor, magnetic, and optically active nanoparticles were deposited onto multiple substrates from a heatable atomic force microscope tip. The nanoparticle nanostructures were functional as deposited or could be etched with an oxygen plasma, revealing single nanoparticle lithographic resolution. Many types of nanoparticles can be patterned with the same technique, without the need to tailor the substrate chemistry and without solution processing.

8 pages of supplemental information



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Equation for materials innovation that is 100,000 times Faster at Modeling Properties

By reworking a theory first proposed by physicists in the 1920s, the researchers discovered a new way to predict important characteristics of a new material before it's been created. The new formula allows computers to model the properties of a material up to 100,000 times faster than previously possible and vastly expands the range of properties scientists can study.

Using this new equation, we've been able to model up to a million atoms, so we get closer to the real properties of a substance." Before only hundreds of atoms could be modeled accurately.

By offering a panoramic view of how substances behave in the real world, the theory gives scientists a tool for developing materials that can be used for designing new technologies. Car frames made from lighter, strong metal alloys, for instance, might make vehicles more energy efficient, and smaller, faster electronic devices might be produced using nanowires with diameters tens of thousands of times smaller than that of a human hair.



Paul Madden, a chemistry professor and provost of The Queen's College at Oxford University, who originally introduced Carter to this field of research, described the work as a "significant breakthrough" that could allow researchers to substantially expand the range of materials that can be studied in this manner. "This opens up a new class of material physics problems to realistic simulation," he said.

Their new model, published online Jan. 26 in Physical Review B, a journal of the American Physical Society, provides a practical method for predicting the kinetic energy of electrons in semiconductors from only the electron density.

Coupled with advances published last year by Carter and Linda Hung, a graduate student in applied and computational mathematics, the new model extends the range of elements and quantities of material that can be accurately simulated.

The researchers hope that by moving beyond the concepts introduced by Thomas and Fermi more than 80 years ago, their work will speed future innovations. "Before people could only look at small bits of materials and perfect crystals," Carter said. "Now we can accurately apply quantum mechanics at scales of matter never possible before."

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MIT Makes Cell Inspired Electronics for Ultra Low Power Usage


By mimicking cells, MIT researcher designs electronic circuits for ultra-low-power and biomedical applications.

A single cell in the human body is approximately 10,000 times more energy-efficient than any nanoscale digital transistor, the fundamental building block of electronic chips. In one second, a cell performs about 10 million energy-consuming chemical reactions, which altogether require about one picowatt (one millionth millionth of a watt) of power.

MIT's Rahul Sarpeshkar is now applying architectural principles from these ultra-energy-efficient cells to the design of low-power, highly parallel, hybrid analog-digital electronic circuits. Such circuits could one day be used to create ultra-fast supercomputers that predict complex cell responses to drugs. They may also help researchers to design synthetic genetic circuits in cells



In his new book, Ultra Low Power Bioelectronics (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Sarpeshkar outlines the deep underlying similarities between chemical reactions that occur in a cell and the flow of current through an analog electronic circuit. He discusses how biological cells perform reliable computation with unreliable components and noise (which refers to random variations in signals — whether electronic or genetic). Circuits built with similar design principles in the future can be made robust to electronic noise and unreliable electronic components while remaining highly energy efficient. Promising applications include image processors in cell phones or brain implants for the blind.

Sarpeshkar, an electrical engineer with many years of experience in designing low-power and biomedical circuits, has frequently turned his attention to finding and exploiting links between electronics and biology. In 2009, he designed a low-power radio chip that mimics the structure of the human cochlea to separate and process cell phone, Internet, radio and television signals more rapidly and with more energy efficiency than had been believed possible.

That chip, known as the RF (radio frequency) cochlea, is an example of "neuromorphic electronics," a 20-year-old field founded by Carver Mead, Sarpeshkar's thesis advisor at Caltech. Neuromorphic circuits mimic biological structures found in the nervous system, such as the cochlea, retina and brain cells.

Sarpeshkar's expansion from neuromorphic to cytomorphic electronics is based on his analysis of the equations that govern the dynamics of chemical reactions and the flow of electrons through analog circuits. He has found that those equations, which predict the reaction's (or circuit's) behavior, are astonishingly similar, even in their noise properties.

Cells may be viewed as circuits that use molecules, ions, proteins and DNA instead of electrons and transistors. That analogy suggests that it should be possible to build electronic chips — what Sarpeshkar calls "cellular chemical computers" — that mimic chemical reactions very efficiently and on a very fast timescale.


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University of Pennsylvania Form Near-Frictionless Diamond Material

This is an SEM image of a silicon microcantilever with an ultrasharp tip of diamond-like carbon with silicon.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and IBM Research-Zürich have fabricated an ultra sharp, diamond-like carbon tip possessing such high strength that it is 3,000 times more wear-resistant at the nanoscale than silicon.

The end result is a diamond-like carbon material mass-produced at the nanoscale that doesn’t wear. The new nano-sized tip, researchers say, wears away at the rate of one atom per micrometer of sliding on a substrate of silicon dioxide, much lower than that for a silicon oxide tip which represents the current state-of-the-art. Consisting of carbon, hydrogen, silicon and oxygen molded into the shape of a nano-sized tip and integrated on the end of a silicon microcantilever for use in atomic force microscopy, the material has technological implications for atomic imaging, probe-based data storage and as emerging applications such as nanolithography, nanometrology and nanomanufacturing.

Nature Nanotechnology- Ultralow nanoscale wear through atom-by-atom attrition in silicon-containing diamond-like carbon



Understanding friction and wear at the nanoscale is important for many applications that involve nanoscale components sliding on a surface, such as nanolithography, nanometrology and nanomanufacturing. Defects, cracks and other phenomena that influence material strength and wear at macroscopic scales are less important at the nanoscale, which is why nanowires can, for example, show higher strengths than bulk samples. The contact area between the materials must also be described differently at the nanoscale. Diamond-like carbon is routinely used as a surface coating in applications that require low friction and wear because it is resistant to wear at the macroscale but there has been considerable debate about the wear mechanisms of diamond-like carbon at the nanoscale because it is difficult to fabricate diamond-like carbon structures with nanoscale fidelity. Here, we demonstrate the batch fabrication of ultrasharp diamond-like carbon tips that contain significant amounts of silicon on silicon microcantilevers for use in atomic force microscopy. This material is known to possess low friction in humid conditions, and we find that, at the nanoscale, it is three orders of magnitude more wear-resistant than silicon under ambient conditions. A wear rate of one atom per micrometre of sliding on SiO2 is demonstrated. We find that the classical wear law of Archard does not hold at the nanoscale; instead, atom-by-atom attrition dominates the wear mechanisms at these length scales. We estimate that the effective energy barrier for the removal of a single atom is ~1 eV, with an effective activation volume of ~1 × 10^−28 m3.

11 pages of supplemental information

The importance of the discovery lies not just in its size and resistance to wear but also in the hard substrate against which it was shown to perform well when in sliding contact: silicon dioxide. Because silicon –- used in almost all integrated circuit devices –- oxidizes in atmosphere forming a thin layer of its oxide, this system is the most relevant for nanolithography, nanometrology and nanomanufacturing applications.

Probe-based technologies are expected to play a dominant role in many such technologies; however, poor wear performance of many materials when slid against silicon oxide, including silicon oxide itself, has severely limited usefulness to the laboratory.

Researchers built the material from the ground up, rather than coating a nanoscale tip with wear-resistant materials. The collaboration used a molding technique to fabricate monolithic tips on standard silicon microcantilevers. A bulk processing technique that has the potential to scale up for commercial manufacturing is available.


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Electric scooters, bikes and hybrid scooters for China, India and the World



1. Honda has the cool concept car shown above the Honda 3r-c. However, others have affordable electric bikes, scooters and electric hybrids that will be dominant vehicles for the world in 2010-2016. They are already huge in China (120 million electric bikes and scooters) and will be big in India and the rest of Asia and probably getting bigger in Europe.


2.
Eko Vehicles is planning to introduce a hybrid scooter that gets 120 kilometers/liter (about 280 mpg) in India in May 2010 The ET-120 Hybrid will cost about 40,000 rupee (about $1000)




3. There are 120 million e-bikes on the roads in China

Some e-bikes can reach speeds of more than 35 kilometres an hour (21 miles per hour), and a few manufacturers boast their models can last up to 50 kilometres on a single battery charge.

Battery chargers are simply plugged into an electricity socket at home. Most e-bikes also have pedals, except for the bigger, scooter-like models.

In December, authorities tried to re-impose a maximum speed limit of 20 kilometres (12 miles) per hour on e-bike riders, along with licence rules, but the plan caused such a public and industry uproar that it was suspended.

Shi says nearly a third of his production goes abroad -- to Asia, notably India, to the European Union and even to the United States.

"There is a big future for electric bikes in Europe, where people are very concerned about saving the environment," he said, explaining that the models with safer but more costly lithium batteries are shipped to EU nations.

Shi says he sells the export models for 400 dollars, as opposed to just 240 dollars for those sold in China. But the bikes can sell for a whopping 1,200 dollars in France and Germany

4. According to a new study entitled “Electric Two-Wheel Vehicles”, cleantech market intelligence company Pike Research is forecasting that more than 466 million electric bicycles and motorcycles will be sold worldwide during the period from 2010 to 2016. Given that the annual global motorcycle market is currently around 80 million units a year, almost all of them based on the internal combustion engine, this anticipated explosion in electric bike demand could double the size of the two wheeled market, not to mention dampen the demand for electric four-wheelers.

Pike Research expects electric bicycles will be the largest category with 56% of the electric two wheel market, followed by e-motorcycles at 43% and e-scooters in a distant third place with less than 1%.



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February 24, 2010

Cameco Uranium Production 2009-2014

Cameco forecast - does not include Cigar Lake for 2013 and 2014


Cameco is Canada's largest uranium company and they released their 2009 annual report Here are the highlights:

* 20.8 million pounds U308 produced in 2009, 20% increase from 2008
* 16.8 million pounds in Canada. Less 4 million pounds in Cameco report from the US and Khazakhstan.
* Expected 2010 production 21.5 million pounds of U3O8, or +3% from 2009
* expect Cigar Lake to begin production in mid-2013. Production outlook for Cigar Lake in the technical report at the end of first quarter 2010
* By 2011, Inkai (in Khazakhstan) is expected to reach production of 5.2 million pounds of U3O8 per year (our share 3.1 million pounds)





Previous estimate for 2009 looks good. 1200 tons to low for Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan declared 13,900 tons mined in 2009

2009 seems to have had about 51,000 tons of uranium produced for the world. Even just the Cameco US mines indicate there be more uranium prouduction growth in the US.


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Bloom Energy Currently costs 12.8 cents per kilowatt Hour


There are press releases, technical highlights and datasheets on Bloom Energy site

Reader MVetsel provides calculations based on the datasheet and technical sheet -

Okay, so all of the critical information can now be gleaned from the data sheet. The efficiency is 52% excluding any heat produced and based on my generous assumptions (below), this would produce electricity at roughly $0.13/kwh if the excess heat is not recaptured.

Here are the calculations:

193.7 kW h (kilowatt hours) [input to produce 100 kWh of output]

MMBtu/100kwh 0.661
Efficiency 51.63%
Nymex $/MMBtu $5.29
$/kwh $0.0350

Cost $800,000
lifecycle 15
Interest 5%
Yr cap cost $77,074
Uptime 95%
Up hours/yr: 8,322
kwh/yr 832,200
Cap. Cost/kwh $0.093

Total cost/kwh $0.128

It appears that the goal in 5-10 years of $3000 for a 1 KW home unit would be three-eighths of the current cost. This would be 4.8 cents per kwh.

There are several other companies with very similar technology and costs. Bloom Energy has to outcompete those companies and get lower prices and higher production volume and develop new capabilities like being able reverse the fuel cell process and generate methane (as mentioned in a patent). So far Bloom Energy is just another fuel cell startup, although better funded than most.



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Directed Self Assembly is the Technology Darling of the Advanced Lithography Conference

More from the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference

EEtimes reports that more than 10 papers on the conference schedule are focused on directed self-assembly, a technology that combines lithographically defined substrates and self-assembled polymers. Research has focused on using lithography to alter the surface of a silicon wafer, then adding block co-polymers that assemble themselves into regular arrays along the defined pattern.

This is a long-range lithography technology,'' said G. Dan Hutcheson, CEO of market research firm VLSI Technology Inc. Researchers see it as a potential path to the sub-10-nm range, Hutcheson said



In a presentation at SPIE Tuesday (Feb. 23), Nealey said directed self-assembly is not competing with nano-imprint or interference lithography, two other promising alternative lithography technologies. Nealey added that he thinks that all three technologies will be needed in years to come.

But despite its prominence at SPIE and its inclusion on the ITRS, directed self-assembly is clearly a technology still in development.

Nealey and his team are working on fabricating a nano-wire array that can serve as a platform to help them study the effectiveness of their implementation of the technology. "We're close," Nealey said.

Nealey also said researchers are developing models that are on the verge of becoming predictive—nearing the stage where they can surmise what polymers will form at what boundary predictions.

"I think we are very close to having things that could be usable in the near future," said William D. Hinsberg of IBM's Almaden Research Center, in another paper presentation Tuesday. Hinsberg added that directed self-assembly "is not and never will be a drop-in replacement for lithography."

FURTHER READING

Some advanced lithography conference news from the SPIE site

Self assembled 20 nanometer transistors

Self assembling for memory that is 10 tearbits per inch

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Singularity University Graduate Studies Program Doubles Class Size for Second Year - Evidence of Exponential Growth

Singularity University (SU) announced the dates for the second year of its Graduate Studies Program (GSP), and a 200% class size increase to accommodate 80 of the top students from around the globe

Is the doubling class size evidence of exponential growth in the Singularity University. ; )

Projecting forward by about 2036-2037 the entire human population will be in a Singularity University course.



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Russia Funds its Nuclear Space Projects

Russia will allocate 500 million rubles ($16.7 million) for nuclear space projects this year. Over the next nine years Russia plans to invest at least 17 billion rubles (over $580 million).

Russia is pondering new applications for yet-to-be-built nuclear-powered spacecraft, including military satellites, nuclear power plants, and space tugs. Energia space corporation will be the prime developer.

Energia is also ready to design a space-based nuclear power station with a capacity of 150 to 500 KW with a service life of 10-15 years, to be initially placed on the moon or Mars.

Another prospective project, Lopota said, is a heavy space platform that would replace several telecommunication satellites, complete with a standalone nuclear power plant, rocket engines and advanced communication antennas. Such a platform would have a mass of around 20 tons, a service life of 10-15 years and could be built by 2018.

Energia is also working on a concept of a nuclear-powered space tug, which could more than halve satellite launching and orbiting costs.


Federal Space Agency Roscosmos director Anatoly Perminov previously said the development of Megawatt-class nuclear space power systems (MCNSPS) for manned spacecraft was crucial if Russia wanted to maintain a competitive edge in the space race, including the exploration of the moon and Mars
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South Africa Plans to Displace 7 Gigawatts of Coal Power Plants with Nuclear Energy

South Africa's Director General at the ministry of energy Nelisiwe Magubane said a fleet nuclear plants will be used to replace ageing coal-fired power plants, adding that between 2020 and 2030 some 7,000 MW would need to be built.

Bidders for the nuclear plant included France's Areva (CEPFi.PA) and Westinghouse (owned by Japan's Toshiba)

Something to make note of is that the explicit statement is nuclear energy will be used to displace air polluting coal. There are many environmentalists who like to dispute that nuclear energy displaces coal.



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Bloom Energy Opens Website and Reveals more information and has a Media Event


The Bloom energy Website is now open and has information What still needs to be provided is some kind of white paper or research article that lays at a roadmap (that does not have to reveal secret sauce) about where they are and will be with bringing costs down and production volume up.

There are press releases, technical highlights and datasheets on the site

Reader MVetsel provides calculations -

Okay, so all of the critical information can now be gleaned from the data sheet. The efficiency is 52% excluding any heat produced and based on my generous assumptions (below), this would produce electricity at roughly $0.13/kwh if the excess heat is not recaptured.

Here are the calculations:

193.7 kW h (kilowatt hours) [input to produce 100 kWh of output]

MMBtu/100kwh 0.661
Efficiency 51.63%
Nymex $/MMBtu $5.29
$/kwh $0.0350

Cost $800,000
lifecycle 15
Interest 5%
Yr cap cost $77,074
Uptime 95%
Up hours/yr: 8,322
kwh/yr 832,200
Cap. Cost/kwh $0.093

Total cost/kwh $0.128

Powder to Power – How It Works
Founded in 2001, Bloom Energy can trace its roots to the NASA Mars space program. For NASA, Sridhar and his team were charged with building technology to help sustain life on Mars using solar energy and water to produce air to breath and fuel for transportation. They soon realized that their technology could have an even greater impact here on Earth and began work on what would become the Bloom Energy Server.

The Bloom Energy Server converts air and nearly any fuel source – ranging from natural gas to a wide range of biogases – into electricity via a clean electrochemical process, rather than dirty combustion. Even running on a fossil fuel, the systems are approximately 67% cleaner than a typical coal-fired power plant. When powered by a renewable fuel, they can be 100% cleaner. Each Energy Server consists of thousands of Bloom's fuel cells – flat, solid ceramic squares made from a common sand-like "powder."

Compiling Liveblogs

Cnet is liveblogging the Bloom Energy Press Conference

Engadget is liveblogging the Bloom Energy Press Conference

Huffington Post is collecting Bloom box announcement information

So far the press conference is just talking about the generalities which are known. They have customers who are big companies. Politicians are talking about how they love green tech and how unclean energy is bad.

3 major value propositions: lower energy costs, clean power, and reliable power.

Sridhar: 3-5 year payback, with costs that are fixed for 10 years. Can reduce carbon footprint with renewable bio fuels

Nothing important was said and the press conference is over. There will be a press tour and at some point a press interview (questions and answers). Hopefully useful questions and answers will be asked and answered. The CBS 60 minutes questions and answers were relatively useless in terms of assessing the economics, potential and timeline of what will happen with Bloom Energy.



Bloom Energy Corporation, a Silicon Valley-based company committed to changing the way people generate and consume energy, announced today the availability of the Bloom Energy Server™, a patented solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology that provides a cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable alternative to both today’s electric grid as well as traditional renewable energy sources. The Bloom Energy Server provides distributed power generation, allowing customers to efficiently create their own electricity onsite. The company introduced its groundbreaking technology at an event hosted today at eBay Inc headquarters along with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, General Colin Powell, and several of its early customers.

Built using abundant and affordable materials, Bloom’s fuel cell technology is fundamentally different from the legacy “hydrogen” fuel cells most people are familiar with. The Bloom Energy Server is distinct in four primary ways: it uses lower cost materials, provides unmatched efficiency in converting fuel to electricity, has the ability to run on a wide range of renewable or traditional fuels, and is more easily deployed and maintained.

Each Bloom Energy Server provides 100 kilowatts (kW) of power in roughly the footprint of a parking space. Each system generates enough power to meet the needs of approximately 100 average U.S. homes or a small office building. For more power, customers simply deploy multiple Energy Servers side by side. The modular architecture allows customers to start small and “pay as they grow”.

Bloom’s customers have deployed the solution to lower and/or fix their energy costs, while significantly cutting their carbon footprint and enhancing their energy security by reducing their dependence on the grid. Customers who purchase Bloom’s systems can expect a 3-5 year payback on their capital investment from the energy cost savings. Depending on whether they are using a fossil or renewable fuel, they can also achieve a 40-100% reduction in their carbon footprint as compared with the U.S. grid.

HIGH-TECH, LOW-COST
Utilizing planar solid oxide fuel cell (pSOFC) technology first developed for NASA’s Mars program, the ES-5000 produces clean power at down-to-earth prices. Unlike other fuel cell technologies, Bloom’s SOFCs are well suited to high-volume, low-cost manufacturing.

The ES-5000 employs a modular architecture that enables the total installation size to be tailored to your base load electricity demand. Installations can scale from 100 kW – 1 MW or more.

ALL-ELECTRIC POWER
The ES-5000’s superior electrical efficiency eliminates the need for complicated CHP systems, and expands the siting opportunities available to you. Your ES-5000 can be installed outdoors in hours rather than months or years.

FUEL FLEXIBILITY
The ES-5000 can run on natural gas, as well as, renewable fuels like biogas. You choose what works for you. Onsite fuels can provide added insurance for your critical loads, and the ES-5000 can switch between fuels on-the-fly.

Future generations of Bloom Energy’s Energy Servers will offer the unique capacity to operate as an energy storage device, thus creating a bridge to a 100% renewable energy future.

More details as they come in today (when announcements are to be made).

FURTHER READING

The first article here on Bloom Energy with information from the CBS 60 minutes spot

A follow up with some information in a Bloom Energy Patent and a look at Japan's ongoing effort to use fuel cells to power residential houses

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