Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory

April 11, 2000

COMPUTING -- Electronic notebook . . .

Paper laboratory notebooks may go the way of the typewriter with the invention of the DOE Electronic Notebook. It provides scientists and inventors with a system to input and retrieve information much like a paper notebook but has many additional advantages. Researchers will be able to share a common project notebook with collaborators around the world. ORNL records personnel are working with electronic notebook developers to ensure that the electronic version meets all the regulatory requirements for scientific records. Another advantage of the notebook is that after typing their password, users can read and write to the notebook using their Web browser. No special software needs to be installed on a user's computer. Hundreds of groups at DOE labs, universities, industries and medical centers are already using the new notebook, developed by researchers in the Computer Science and Mathematics Division.

MANUFACTURING -- Heating up production . . .

Manufacturers of components made of plastics, polymers and metals may be able to reduce time and energy costs significantly with direct thermal systems developed by researchers in the Metals and Ceramics Division. The direct thermal systems use a non-conventional heating method that permits the application of thermal energy to locations where heat is needed to manufacture or assemble components. It reduces the number of steps in manufacturing or assembly of components, results in huge savings in production cycle time and improves product quality. The technique is expected to play a major role in the production of electric power steering systems, which will improve fuel efficiency and eliminate environmental problems associated with traditional power steering fluid used in today's automobiles. [Contact: Vinod Sikka]

ELECTRONICS -- World's smartest transistor . . .

ORNL researchers have built a "smart" transistor that takes advantage of their recent materials breakthrough in depositing a high-quality film of barium titanate on germanium. The device, which is the world's most powerful ferroelectric transistor, is "smart" because of barium titanate's semi-permanent internal field. Depending on whether it's up or down, the field either pulls up or pushes away electrical charges in the germanium substrate, facilitating or resisting the flow of electrical current (and making an "on" or "off" transistor). Unlike the case with a silicon transistor, the field on the new transistor stays up or down all the time, so no external power is needed unless the field must be flipped. In addition, all the information in the "on" and "off" transistors is retained even when the power is turned off. The new transistor could pack in much more information than a silicon transistor, making possible a low-power gigabyte chip that could serve as the hard disk dri ve of a laptop computer and greatly extend the lifetimes of laptop batteries.

ENVIRONMENT -- New sensor is 'Johnny on the spot' . . .

A new breed of chemical sensors is expected to make practical the monitoring of drinking water, groundwater and streams near industrial discharge sites. Bioluminescent bioreporter integrated circuits developed by researchers in the Instrumentation and Controls Division and the University of Tennessee combine genetically engineered bacteria with low-cost micro-electronics technology. Because the sensing element is a living cell, it detects not only the presence of a targeted substance but also whether it can be taken up by living organisms. This helps scientists determine health consequences arising from exposure to the substance. The chips' small size allows it to be used in areas where analytical instruments would be impractical.
-end-
To arrange for an interview with any of these researchers, please contact Ron Walli of Communications and Community Outreach at 865-576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov

DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Related Transistor Articles from Brightsurf:

Transistor-integrated cooling for a more powerful chip
EPFL researchers have created a single chip that combines a transistor and micro-fluidic cooling system.

Study: Paper-thin gallium oxide transistor handles more than 8,000 volts
University at Buffalo electrical engineers created a gallium oxide-based transistor that can handle more than 8,000 volts.

Single-electron pumping in a ZnO single-nanobelt transistor
Diluted magnetic semiconductors (DMSs) have traditionally been employed to implement spin-based quantum computing and quantum information processing.

Black phosphorous tunnel field-effect transistor as an alternative ultra-low power switch?
Researchers have reported a black phosphorus transistor that can be used as an alternative ultra-low power switch.

A record-setting transistor
A transistor that could be the key to higher bandwidth wireless communications...while requiring less battery life.

Beyond Moore's Law: Taking transistor arrays into the third dimension
Silicon integrated circuits, which are used in computer processors, are approaching the maximum feasible density of transistors on a single chip -- at least, in two-dimensional arrays.

Researchers build transistor-like gate for quantum information processing -- with qudits
Purdue University researchers are among the first to build what could be a quantum version of a transistor -- with qudits.

Organic semiconductors: One transistor for all purposes
In mobiles, fridges, planes - transistors are everywhere. But they often operate only within a restricted current range.

Organic electronics: Scientists develop a high-performance unipolar n-type thin-film transistor
Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) report a unipolar n-type transistor with a world-leading electron mobility performance of up to 7.16 cm2 V-1 s-1.

Learning transistor mimics the brain
A new transistor based on organic materials has been developed by scientists at Linköping University.

Read More: Transistor News and Transistor Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.