Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, Italy
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News Article | November 20, 2015

Home > Press > Flexoelectricity is more than Moore Abstract: The information revolution is synonymous with the traditional quest to pack more chips and increase computing power. This quest is embodied by the famous "Moore's law", which predicts that the number of transistors per chip doubles every couple of years and has held true for a remarkably long time. However, as Moore´s law approaches its limit, a parallel quest is becoming increasingly important. This latter quest is nick-named "more than Moore", and it aims to add new functionalities (not just transistors) within each chip by integrating smart materials on top of the ubiquitous and still indispensable silicon base. Among these so-called smart materials piezoelectrics stand out for their ability to convert a mechanical deformation into a voltage (which can be used to harvest energy to feed the battery) or, conversely, generate a deformation when a voltage is applied to them (which can be used, for example, in piezoelectric fans for cooling down the circuit). However, the integration of piezoelectricity with silicon technology is extremely challenging. The range of piezoelectric materials to choose from is limited, and the best piezo electrics are all lead based ferroelectric materials, and their toxicity poses serious concerns. Moreover, their piezoelectric properties are strongly temperature-dependent, making them difficult to implement in the hot environment of a typical computer processor, whose junction temperature can reach up to 150 Celsius. There exists, however, another form of electromechanical coupling that allows a material to polarize in response to a mechanical bending moment, and, conversely, to bend in response to an electric field. This property is called "flexoelectricity", and though it has been known for nearly half a century, it has been largely ignored because it is a relatively weak effect of little practical significance at the macroscale. However, at the nanoscale flexoelectricity can be as big as or bigger than piezoelectricity; this is easy to understand if we consider that bending something thick is very difficult, but bending something thin is very easy. In addition, flexoelectricity offers many desirable properties: it is a universal property of all dielectrics, meaning that one needs not use toxic lead-based materials, and flexoelectricity is more linear and temperature-independent than the piezoelectricity of a ferroelectric. Researchers from the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), a research center awarded as Severo Ochoa Excellence Center and placed in the Campus of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), in collaboration with the University of Cornell (USA) and the University of Twente (Netherlands), have now managed to produce the world's first integrated flexoelectric microelectromechanical system (MEMS) on silicon. They have found that, at the nanoscale, the desirable attributes of flexoelectricity are maintained, while the figure of merit (bending curvature divided by electric field applied) of their first prototype is already comparable to that of the state of the art piezoelectric bimorph cantilevers. Additionally, the universality of flexoelectricity implies that all high-k dielectric materials used currently in transistor technology should also be flexoelectric, thus providing an elegant route to integrating "intelligent" electromechanical functionalities within already existing transistor technology. The results are published today by Nature Nanotechnology. ### The project, led by Dr Umesh Bhaskar and ICREA Professor Gustau Catalan, from the ICN2 Oxide Nanoelectronics Group, was funded by an European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant and a Spanish Project from Plan Nacional de Excelencia Investigadora, as well as by national grants for the US and Dutch teams. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Stergiou G.S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Parati G.,University of Milan Bicocca | Parati G.,Sluca Hospital | Vlachopoulos C.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | And 35 more authors.
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2016

Office blood pressure measurement has been the basis for hypertension evaluation for almost a century. However, the evaluation of blood pressure out of the office using ambulatory or self-home monitoring is now strongly recommended for the accurate diagnosis in many, if not all, cases with suspected hypertension. Moreover, there is evidence that the variability of blood pressure might offer prognostic information that is independent of the average blood pressure level. Recently, advancement in technology has provided noninvasive evaluation of central (aortic) blood pressure, which might have attributes that are additive to the conventional brachial blood pressure measurement. This position statement, developed by international experts, deals with key research and practical issues in regard to peripheral blood pressure measurement (office, home, and ambulatory), blood pressure variability, and central blood pressure measurement. The objective is to present current achievements, identify gaps in knowledge and issues concerning clinical application, and present relevant research questions and directions to investigators and manufacturers for future research and development (primary goal). Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sangermano M.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Pinneri S.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Calza P.,Excellence Center | Calza P.,University of Turin | And 2 more authors.
Macromolecular Materials and Engineering | Year: 2012

The efficiency of epoxy/CNT nanocomposites as photocatalyst on adsorbed, aqueous and gas phases is investigated. Epoxy films containing SWNTs in the range between 0.1 and 0.3 wt% are prepared by means of UV-induced polymerization and the achieved materials are used as photocatalysts on adsorbed, aqueous, and gas phases. The activity of this new photocatalytic materials is evaluated in the adsorbed state by using the methylene blue target molecule, in the aqueous phase by following the photodegradation of phenol and 3,5-dichlorophenol, and in the gas phase using nitrogen monoxide as probemolecule. It is demonstrated that the catalyst is suitable for both oxidative and reductive degradation reactions. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

News Article | October 29, 2016

The Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Purdue MEP), and the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) were named recipients of a $1.2 million award by the U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). The federally funded award supports the efforts of Manufacturing USA, a network comprising nine public-private research institutes, including DMDII, dedicated to advancing manufacturing innovation, education and collaboration. IMEC and Purdue MEP will use these funds to establish “fellows in residence” to work within DMDII to engage small and medium-sized manufacturers on their digital readiness and needs. “We are in the first wave of a digital revolution in manufacturing. Our pilot framework brings together complementary expertise from the MEP system and DMDII,” said Dr. David Boulay, IMEC President. “This collaborative model will address manufacturing priorities through the creation and use of tools and resources that provide manufacturing leaders the roadmap and actions to embrace digital technologies.” “From this award we can continue to proliferate the rise of the digital factory through our unprecedented partnership with the nation’s MEP centers,” said Haley Stevens, Director of Workforce Development and Manufacturing Engagement at DMDII. “The interconnectedness of manufacturing through data is changing manufacturing jobs. Through technical assistance, this investment provides the necessary resources to assist small and medium-sized manufacturers in preparing for and adopting digital transformations.” The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) DMDII was launched in 2014 through a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense and other partners to transform American manufacturing through digitization of the supply chain. The Institute currently has more than 250 partner organizations from industry, academia, government, startups, and community groups. DMDII is the first Lab of UI LABS and is a member of the Manufacturing USA network. Learn more at Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) IMEC was established in 1996 to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturing firms. By linking long-term plans with on-site implementation, IMEC identifies performance gaps, solves these gaps, and helps organizations build a culture to support sustained improvements. A non-profit economic development organization, IMEC is funded in part by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership and through fees paid by Illinois manufacturers for IMEC’s services. IMEC has seven offices statewide and 48 full-time manufacturing improvement specialists. NIST/MEP Since 1988, the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has worked to strengthen U.S. manufacturing. Our national network of MEP Centers works directly with manufacturers and contributes to the growth of well-paying jobs, dynamic manufacturing communities, and American innovation and global competitiveness. Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Purdue MEP provides high-value solutions to help Indiana businesses maximize their success by increasing profits, reducing costs, and implementing growth systems. The organization serves more than 500 companies annually by implementing continuous improvement principles in the areas of productivity, growth and technology. As a result of their services, Purdue MEP clientele have reported new sales, product and market growth, cost reductions, and job growth—resulting in over $1.4 billion of economic impact in Indiana since 2005.

Brown B.,University of California at San Diego | Brown B.,Excellence Center | Reeves S.,University of Nottingham | Sherwood S.,University of Glasgow
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings | Year: 2011

Field trials of experimental systems 'in the wild' have developed into a standard method within HCI - testing new systems with groups of users in relatively unconstrained settings outside of the laboratory. In this paper we discuss methodological challenges in running user trials. Using a 'trial of trials' we examined the practices of investigators and participants - documenting 'demand characteristics', where users adjust their behaviour to fit the expectations of those running the trial, the interdependence of how trials are run and the result they produce, and how trial results can be dependent on the insights of a subset of trial participants. We develop three strategies that researchers can use to leverage these challenges to run better trials. Copyright 2011 ACM.

Bergstrand A.,Chalmers University of Technology | Bergstrand A.,Excellence Center | Uppstrom S.,Chalmers University of Technology | Larsson A.,Chalmers University of Technology | Larsson A.,Excellence Center
International Journal of Polymer Science | Year: 2014

Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) is a polyester which shows excellent biocompatibility and a PHB material is therefore considered suitable for many biomedical applications. A highly porous PHB material may be designed to facilitate the transport of small molecules and body fluids or serve as a biocompatible temporary barrier. In this study, PHB films with varying degree of porosity and pore interconnectivity were made by solvent casting using water-in-oil emulsion templates of varying composition. The morphology was characterized by SEM and the water permeability of the films was determined. The results show that an increased water content of the template emulsion resulted in a film with increased porosity. A fine tuning of the film morphology of the casted films was achieved by varying the salt content of the water phase of the template emulsion. The porosity of these films was roughly the same but the water permeability varied between 2 3 · 10 - 13 and 1486 · 10 - 13 m 2 / s. It was concluded that the major determinant of the water permeability through these films is the pore interconnectivity. Furthermore, we report on the formation and water permeability of bilayer PHB films consisting of a porous layer combined with a dense backing layer. © 2014 Anna Bergstrand et al.

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