A sample of the electromagnetic shielding material made by Empa – a composite of cellulose nanofibres and silver nanowires. Empa

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight. 
Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic components or the transmission of signals. High-frequency electromagnetic fields can only be shielded with conductive shells that are closed on all sides. Often thin metal sheets or metallized foils are used for this purpose. However, for many applications such a shield is too heavy or too poorly adaptable to the given geometry. The ideal solution would be a light, flexible and durable material with extremely high shielding effectiveness.

Smart Luminaire: using tailored light distribution to create intelligent lighting fixtures for 21st-century lighting applications. © Fraunhofer IOF

How can mass production methods be applied to individualized products? One answer is to use a combination of digital manufacturing technologies, for example by integrating digital printing and laser processing into traditional manufacturing processes. This paves the way for in-line product customization. Six Fraunhofer institutes have pooled their expertise to take the new process to the next level.

Virtual Reality environments and robots can help surgeons prepare for challenging operations. Viktoria Stoiser

The insertion of hip implants places high demands on surgeons. To help young doctors practice this operation under realistic conditions, scientists from the University of Bremen and Chemnitz University of Technology are developing a dynamic hip implant simulator. Users see the scene in virtual reality and operate surgical instruments connected to a robot.
Joint press release from the University of Bremen and Chemnitz University of Technology
The growing number of older people worldwide is leading to an increase in hip implants and other joint replacement operations. This also increases the need for highly qualified orthopedic surgeons, but the practical training of these operations is very difficult to carry out.

Visualization of the topography of magnesium with nanometer resolution covered with an optical scattering phase map showing hydrogenated and unhydrogenated areas. University of Stuttgart

Future display technologies such as virtual and augmented reality require higher pixel resolutions and optical contrast. However, the potential of state-of-the-art displays is limited by the individual pixel size to achieve necessary resolution. Researchers at the University of Stuttgart have now succeeded to observe switching processes at previously unattained nanometer resolution. It opens the door towards new and innovative ultra-high-resolution displays of the future. The journal Science Advances reports their groundbreaking work in its issue of May 08, 2020.