TIET Newsletter
May 2017

In this Issue
  • Physicists Design 2D Materials That Conduct Electricity At Almost The Speed Of Light
  • University Of Oxford Researchers Develop Artificial Retina
  • MIT Announces Successful 'Print Run' Of First Ever Full-Scale Building
  • TIET Updates

Physicists Design 2D Materials That Conduct Electricity At Almost The Speed Of Light

Physicists at the University of California, Irvine and elsewhere have fabricated new two-dimensional quantum materials with breakthrough electrical and magnetic attributes that could make them building blocks of future quantum computers and other advanced electronics. In three separate studies, researchers explored the physics behind the 2D states of novel materials and determined they could push computers to new heights of speed and power. The common threads running through these researches are that the research is conducted at extremely cold temperatures and that the signal carriers in all three studies are not electrons - as with traditional silicon-based technologies - but Dirac or Majorana fermions, particles without mass that move at nearly the speed of light.

Finally, we can take exotic, high-end theories in physics to explore the possibility of making topological quantum computers [currently theoretical] for the next 100 years," said UCI associate professor of physics & astronomy Jing Xia. One of the key challenges of such research is handling and analyzing miniscule material samples, just two atoms thick, several microns long and a few microns across. In a study, the researchers detail their observation of magnetism in a microscopic flake of chromium germanium telluride. The compound, which they created, was viewed at minus 387 degrees Fahrenheit. CGT is a cousin of graphene, a superthin atomic carbon film. Since its discovery, graphene has been considered a potential replacement for silicon in next-generation computers. But there's a catch: Certain computer components, such as memory and storage systems, need to be made of materials that have both electronic and magnetic properties. Graphene has the former but not the latter and CGT (chromium germanium telluride) has both.

University Of Oxford Researchers Develop Artificial Retina
Given how fragile the windows to our souls are, it is a wonder that our eyes don't fracture more often. And because they're such sensitive and sophisticated things, when they do get damaged, it takes a great deal of care to fix them

Led by doctoral student Vanessa Restrepo-Schild of the University of Oxford, the team developed a synthetic, biocompatible, soft-tissue retina that is a step forward for bionic implants. It may offer a safer way to bring vision back to visually impaired people. The artificial retina functions in a manner similar to a natural retina. It is designed like a camera, the cells act as pixels, detecting and reacting to light to create a grey scale image. The researcher says that the synthetic material can generate electrical signals, which might stimulate the neurons at the back of our eye just like the original retina. Earlier, hard materials were used for retinal research. Due to the inherent sensitivity of our eyes, hard materials are less than ideal for implants, since they don't suit the fluid, flexible environment of our eyes and can often lead to inflammation. By combining biological cell-membrane proteins with droplets of water and a hydrogel scaffold, Restrepo-Schild created an artificial retina that functions much like our natural ones.

MIT Announces Successful 'Print Run' Of First Ever Full-Scale Building
Researchers at MIT have developed a system with the capability to create a large-scale building using 3D-printing technology. The system, known as a Digital Construction Platform (DCP), consists of a tracked vehicle that carries a giant, robotic arm with a smaller precision-motion robotic arm at its end. The smaller arm is highly controllable and constructs the prototype structure. It directs a construction nozzle, similar to one used to pour concrete or spray insulation material. It also utilizes digital fabrication end effectors, such as a milling head, according to MIT.

The DCP is inspired by MIT's Mediated Matter group's desire to be able to design buildings without parts. MIT wrote that the plans include "combining 'structure and skin,' and beams and windows, in a single production process, and adapting multiple design and construction processes on the fly." Researchers were able to build an initial dome-shaped structure comprised of walls reaching 50 feet in diameter and 12 feet in height. The team said it took less than 14 hours to "print" the entire structure. The system also showcased its ability to create complex shapes and overhangs and created a built-in bench for the dome prototype.
  • TIET conducted a TECH-TALK SESSION on various emerging technologies and their real-world applications at Sushant School of Design, Ansal University.

  • TIET provided training on Inventor at GreyOrange India (P) Ltd.

  • TIET provided training on SOLIDWORKS and AutoCAD to 480 students of Galgotias University, NOIDA, UP.

Textbook Overvieww
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***The news items contained in this newsletter have been compiled from various publications and restructured to make our readers familiar with emerging technologies. TIET does not claim any copyright of these items.

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