Applied electronics

  • Care-O-bot® 4 celebrates its première as shopping assistant

    Paul, a member of the Care-O-bot® 4 robot family, has been greeting customers in Saturn-Markt Ingolstadt since the end of October 2016 and directing them towards their desired products. Source: Saturn

    In January 2015, Fraunhofer IPA presented a prototype of the “Care-O-bot® 4” service robot. The charming helper is now proving its worth in the real world. “Paul” the robot has been greeting customers in Saturn-Markt Ingolstadt since the end of October 2016 and directing them towards their desired products. Care-O-bot 4®, alias Paul, approaches Saturn customers and welcomes them to the store. If they ask him about a certain product, he accompanies the customer to the department and points them in the direction of the relevant shelf. As he indulges in small talk about the weather or another subject, Paul turns out to be a most charming contact partner. However, he prefers to leave actual customer service to his human colleagues.

  • Chemists Create Clusters of Organelles by Mimicking Nature

    Two polymersomes assemble by DNA hybridization: the single DNA strands on the surface of the compartments interconnect, creating an extremely stable DNA bridge. University of Basel

    Scientists from the University of Basel have succeeded in organizing spherical compartments into clusters mimicking the way natural organelles would create complex structures. They managed to connect the synthetic compartments by creating bridges made of DNA between them. This represents an important step towards the realization of so-called molecular factories. The journal Nano Letters has published their results.

  • COMPAMED 2016 connected medical devices and people

    Materialise NV from Belgium speaking on “Innovation in 3D Printed Wearables” at COMPAMED HIGH-TECH Forum 2016. IVAM

    Miniaturized connected systems and outstanding business contacts: forming networks on both technical and business level was one of the key features of COMPAMED 2016, the international trade fair for suppliers and manufacturers of medical technologies. This trend was visible at and enhanced by the joint trade fair booth of the IVAM Microtechnology Network in hall 8a, the accompanying presentation forum and numerous B2B meetings between companies from Germany and Japan.

  • Electron highway inside crystal

    Step edges on topological crystalline insulators may lead to electrically conducting pathways where electrons with opposite spin spin move in converse directions - any U-turn is prohibited. Picture: Thomas Bathon/Paolo Sessi/Matthias Bode

    Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science. Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was highlighted again as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm awarded this year's Nobel Prize in Physics to three British scientists for their research of so-called topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.

  • Floating Rotors Report for Duty

    Active magnetic bearings (AMB) use electromagnets to magnetically levitate a rotor.

    Siemens has developed Simotics AMB, a new magnetic bearing system for high-power machines with large rotor diameters. The new technology is based on proven standard electronic components. It optimizes the design, maintenance, and operation of machines that rely on huge rotors and integrates data from their bearings into an installation’s IT environment. Without any physical contact, the controlled magnetic fields of a new magnetic bearing system from Siemens keep 10-ton rotors in the middle of their bearings. What’s more, the rotors do not deviate by more than a hair’s breadth from the center even when spinning at maximum speed. Based on active magnetic bearing (AMB) technology, Siemens’ new Simotics AMB system uses tried and tested standard electronic components that are normally used to control electric motors in machine tool applications.

  • Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

    New materials enable high speed frequencies: Fraunhofer ISE develops resonant DC/DC converters with 2.5 MHz as demonstrator for aeronautical applications. ©Fraunhofer ISE

    The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

  • Hepatitis C and HIV prophylaxis: microwave reduces viral transmission in the drugs scene

    PD Dr. Eike Steinmann und Anindya Siddharta. TWINCORE/Romy Weller

    Infections with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among people who inject drugs (PWID) are a global health problem. For example, sharing of drug preparation equipment within this population contributes to more than 80% of newly acquired HCV infections. As a response to these circumstances, scientists at TWINCORE validated a simple and safe method to reduce the risk of viral transmission, namely by microwave irradiation. This method has been published recently in Scientific Reports.

  • IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

    The cross section shows a SiGe HBT of the latest generation, recorded by a TEM. The measurement curves are used to determine the transit frequency and the maximum oscillation frequency. © IHP 2016

    Frankfurt (Oder)/San Francisco. Scientist Dr. Bernd Heinemann of IHP – Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics will present results on silicon-germanium heterobipolar transistors (SiGe HBTs) developed in Frankfurt (Oder) on the “International Electron Devices Meeting” (IEDM) in San Francisco. His contribution titled “SiGe HBT with fT/fmax of 505 GHz/720 GHz “ presents speed parameters that set new standards for silicon transistors. “To present at IEDM is a valuable conclusion of the project ‘DOTSEVEN’, funded by the European Union. Together with Infineon and twelve other project partners from a total of six countries, the four-year project focused on developing SiGe HBTs with a maximum oscillation frequency, which is also referred to as fmax, of 0.7 THz,” says Dr. Bernd Heinemann, project manager at IHP.

  • Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits

    The invention is especially advantageous for oscillator circuits that are installed in radar devices for automotive assistance systems, for example. Foto: TLB GmbH

    Fast integrated circuits (ICs) are used in many ways in applied electronics. Especially, for hard driven fast or high-power components in the circuit, however, there is often a risk of breakdown, e.g. in oscillator circuits (radar systems, etc.) or “smart power” circuits. At the pn junctions present in all components, the breakdown occurs starting at a critical field strength. The circuit is thus destroyed or becomes unusable. A photodiode-controlled feedback prevents breakdown at pn junctions.
    TLB GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovation.

  • Interior Designer with 3D Glasses - Where are the Best Places?

    Special 3D glasses allow the user to immerse into the three dimensional interior design of a virtual model of a production facility.

    Many of today’s products and production processes are created, tested and optimized in the digital world. But until recently, owing to their complexity, this was not true for factories. Now, researchers from Siemens Corporate Technology (CT) have developed a tool that visualizes production facilities in 3D – a development that, by making processes transparent, helps to avoid expensive planning errors. About one year ago, CT researchers presented their visualization concept at Siemens’ Digitalization Day. That’s when they encountered Philipp Bierschneider from the Digital Factory Division, which is located in Amberg, Germany.

  • Nanotechnologie in Europa stärken

    Schema der Elektronenstrahl-induzierten Abscheidung.

    Wissenschaftler der Universitäten Bremen, Bielefeld und Erlangen-Nürnberg beteiligen sich an einem multinationalen EU-Projekt zur Nanotechnologie. Nanotechnologie gilt als die Technologie des 21. Jahrhunderts. Sie liefert die Grundlagen, um Produkte von nur wenigen Nanometern Größe in jeder gewünschten Form herzustellen: für Mikroprozessoren, elektronische Schaltungen in Computern und in der Telekommunikation, in der Medizin und in der Biotechnologie, um nur einige Einsatzfelder zu nennen. Die wirtschaftliche Bedeutung der Nanotechnologie nimmt rasant zu. Vor diesem Hintergrund fördert die Europäische Kommission seit kurzem das Marie-Curie Trainings-Netzwerk ELENA (Low energy ELEctron driven chemistry for the advantage of emerging NAnofabrication methods), an dem 13 Universitäten, vier Forschungsinstitute und fünf Unternehmen aus 13 europäischen Ländern beteiligt sind.

  • Porous crystalline materials: TU Graz researcher shows method for controlled growth

    Porous cystalls called MOFs on a comparatively large surface area of one square centimetre. © Nature Materials 2016 Falcaro et.al.

    Microporous crystals (MOFs) have a great potential as functional materials of the future. Paolo Falcaro of TU Graz et al demonstrate in Nature Materials how the growth of MOFs can be precisely controlled on a large scale. Porous crystals called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) consist of metallic intersections with organic molecules as connecting elements. Thanks to their high porosity, MOFs have an extremely large surface area. A teaspoonful of MOFs has the same surface area as a football pitch. These countless pores situated in an extremely small space offer room for “guests” and can, for example, be used for gas storage or as “molecular gate” for separation of chemicals.

  • Silicon solar cell of ISFH yields 25% efficiency with passivating POLO contacts

    Monocrystalline 25%-silicon solar cell with POLO-contacts for both polarities on the rear side of the solar cell. ISFH

    The Lower Saxon‘ Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH) achieved a solar cell efficiency of 25 % in collaboration with the Institute of Electronic Materials and Devices (MBE) of the Leibniz Universität Hannover. This high efficiency was accomplished with passivating "poly-Si on oxide" contacts (POLO) for both polarities, which avoid the otherwise high recombination beneath the metal contacts. The Lower Saxon‘ Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH), an affiliated institute of the “Leibniz Universität Hannover” in collaboration with the Institute of Electronic Materials and Devices (MBE) of the “Leibniz Universität Hannover” achieved a solar cell efficiency of 25 %. This result was confirmed by DAkkS-accredited independent calibration laboratory ISFH CalTeC and presented at the Asian conference PVSEC-26 in Singapore.