Will GraphExeter Revolutionize the Electronics IndustryGraphExeter, the recently discovered graphene-based material that is more resilient than graphene, is positioned to replace indium tin oxide (ITO), the main conductive material used in most touchscreen applications and some solar panels. Graphene is the thinnest material known to mankind as is also capable of conducting electricity. At just one-atom thick, it is flexible and strong—about 200 times stronger than steel. It isn’t, however, resistant to extreme conditions, and it’s expensive.

Researchers from the University of Exeter discovered GraphExeter earlier this year and note the new material can withstand relative humidity of up to 100 percent for 25 days, at temperatures of up to 150°C. In a vacuum, GraphExeter can withstand temperatures of up to 620°C. Its resiliency may also prove advantageous in space applications and in harsh environments like nuclear power plants. Conductive GraphExeter, like Graphene, is also transparent, lightweight and flexible.

ITO has limited flexibility before it begins to crack and is also expensive, which is why ITO replacement is a large and growing market estimated to reach $8.1 billion by 2021.

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New Formulation Could Lower LED Manufacturing Costs

by Kathy S. on September 2, 2015

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) could soon be as affordable as incandescent bulbs thanks to a new formulation developed by Florida State University (FSU) researchers.  These low-temperature LEDs are the first-of-their-kind to combine organic and inorganic materials into a single layer that produce red, green or blue light—or combine all three for white LEDs.

New Formulation Could Lower LED Manufacturing Costs

The same layer can emit bright blue light with a slight adjustment to the formulation. Source: FSU

While the material has been used in solar panels for quite some time, it’s only recently been applied to LEDs. Until the researchers’ findings LEDs needed high-temperature processing and expensive substrates to achieve their high power.

The hybrid organic/inorganic material—organometal halide perovskite—can be deposited at room temperature on ultra-cheap glass substrates coated with indium tin oxide (ITO). Then, it’s annealed at just 140°F using a solid metal backplane. According to the researchers, the new process only requires the mixing of the organic polymer with the active inorganics, so it’s inexpensive as well as highly manufacturable.

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New Electric Glue Set to Expand Commercial Adhesives MarketResearchers from Singapore recently developed a glue that hardens when a low voltage is applied to it. The electric glue, nicknamed “Voltaglue,” offers promising adhesion for a number of applications because it’s not affected by environmental conditions.

Scientists note its usefulness when bonding materials under water and replacing sutures during surgery in human tissue. In the near future, for example, Voltaglue could aid in underwater repair work for ships and pipes. Voltaglue could also replace 20 minutes of careful suturing in human tissue with a two-minute application.

In all applications, the hardness of the glue is adjusted by the length of time the voltage is applied.

Glues that can cure and be uncured through electricity would allow automakers and shipyards to assemble and disassemble parts with ease, minimizing the need for bolts, nuts and screws. Reversible glue also opens up new possibilities in the global adhesives market in transportation applications, an industry worth about $3.3 billion in the United States alone.

This innovative research was published in Nature Communications, a peer-reviewed scientific journal under the Nature Publishing Group.

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Does Your WAVE Magnifier Get a Rave Review?

by Kathy S. on August 28, 2015

Does Your WAVE Magnifier Get a Rave ReviewHow bright is your magnifier’s light? Does it provide 3D magnification? If you could use a 70% brighter, more efficient light with 3D capability for your industrial applications, it may be time to upgrade to the WAVE LED.

Two dimmable 6W LED light sources are individually controlled, which comes in handy when it’s time to see in 3D—like when you’re working on circuit boards. Just turn one of the lights off for the 3D magnification. Or, you can use both light sources—one on each side—at the same time for shadow-free magnification. Not only is the light brighter, it’s also more efficient. The LED life expectancy is more than 50,000 hours! That’s 25 years or more with normal use.

Plus, the light is dimmable and can be set to shut off after four or nine hours to save energy. If you’re ready to save your eyes, consider the Luxo WAVE LED.

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Do Your ESD Work Surface Measurements Measure Up?

by Kathy S. on August 26, 2015

Do Your ESD Work Surface Measurements Measure UpSo, you designed your ESD workstation. Now what? Now you need to evaluate your ESD work surface. Your company probably has a laundry list of items that must be tested along with a testing schedule that meets industry standards. When it comes to the work surface, there are three primary measures that should be taken: Resistance to Ground (RTG), Resistance to Groundable Point (RTGP) and Resistance Point to Point or Resistance Top to Top (RTT). How often you take these measurements will vary based on internal requirements and testing history.

Resistance to Ground

This is the main measurement for general auditing purposes. Place a 5-pound electrode, connected to the positive terminal of the resistance meter, onto the most heavily used area of the work surface. The negative lead is connected to electrical ground. This measurement ensures the mat is connected to AC equipment ground. Test at 10 volts, and if the measurement exceeds 1.0 x 106 ohms, switch to 100 volts.

Resistance to Groundable Point

This measurement is taken much like the RTG measurement except the negative lead is attached to the grounding point of the work surface. Perform the test using 100 volts when the expected resistance is greater than 1.0 x 106 ohms. If the measurement exceeds your limits, there may be a problem with the work surface.

Resistance Point to Point

Take this measurement by placing two 5-pound electrodes 10 inches apart on the work surface. The testing is performed using 100 volts when the expected resistance is greater than 1.0 x 106 ohms. If the reading exceeds your limits, the work surface probably needs to be replaced.

As you evaluate your ESD work surface, consider incorporating these tests into your audit for good measure.

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