Recently Added Most commented

Silicon Nanocrystals for Superefficient Solar Cells

August 16, 2007

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in Golden, CO, showed that silicon nanocrystals can produce two or three electrons per photon of high-energy sunlight.

The effect could lead to a new type of solar cell that is both cheap and more than twice as efficient as today’s typical photovoltaics.

Solar cells made of silicon nanocrystals could theoretically convert more than 40 percent of the energy in… read more

Silicon nanoparticles enable microscopic lasers

March 6, 2002

Researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated a method of producing fluorescent colored nanoparticles from silicon wafers. The new materials could yield microscopic lasers and put optical communications on chips.
By attaching biological materials to the nanoparticles, their location could be traced in the body by stimulating fluorescence with just two photons from infrared beams.

Researchers also hope to some day replace wires with optical interconnects and create… read more

Silicon Nanowires Turn Heat to Electricity

January 14, 2008

Cal Tech and University of California, Berkeley research teams reported that they could increase silicon nanowires’ ability to convert heat into electric current by as much as 100 times.

The discovery could lead to new ways to cool computer chips, build refrigerators, or get more power out of car engines.

Silicon nanparticles boost solar cell power by 60 percent in UV range

August 22, 2007

Placing a 1 nm. film of silicon nanoparticles onto a silicon solar cell improves power performance by 60 percent in the ultraviolet range, reduces heat and prolongs the cell’s life, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers report.

Silicon Optical Fiber Made Practical

October 30, 2008

Scientists at Clemson University for the first time have been able to make a practical optical fiber with a silicon core, combining optoelectronics with optical fibers.

The development of a silicon fiber opens the way for signal processing functions that are currently done electronically or in separate optical circuits to be performed directly inside the fiber, which allows for more compact, efficient systems.

The advance ultimately should help… read more

Silicon oxide chip design could replace flash memory

July 15, 2013

Rice University has built crossbar memory chips based on silicon oxide that show potential for next-generation 3-D memories for computers and consumer devices. (credit: Tour Group/Rice University)

Rice University team led by chemist James Tour has built a 1-kilobit rewritable silicon oxide chip that could surpass the limitations of flash memory in packing density, energy consumption per bit, and switching speed.

Normal operating voltages can repeatedly break and “heal” the channel, which can be read as either a “1” or “0” depending on whether it is broken or intact.… read more

Silicon retina mimics biology for a clearer view

October 23, 2006

An implantable silicon chip that faithfully mimics the neural circuitry of a real retina could lead to better bionic eyes for those with vision loss and would remove the need for a camera and external computer.

The chip, created by University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University researchers, measures 3.5 x 3.3 millimeters and contains 5760 silicon phototransistors, which take the place of light-sensitive neurons in a living… read more

Silicon sees the light

November 4, 2003

A new light detector made of silicon could fuse microelectronic and light-based information processors. Carved directly onto silicon chips, such devices could make circuits smaller, cheaper and more robust.

Silicon senses

August 19, 2001

“Silicon senses” could dramatically change the way we perceive our worlds.
Examples include a head-mounted device projects a high-resolution image directly on the retina, a robot controlled by the brain-stem cells of a fish, a computer that emits odor, and a laptop that translates spoken words into another language by searching sentences for keywords that provide a clue to their meaning.

Silicon Valley billionaire backs futuristic philanthropy

December 7, 2010

Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel is convening an unusual philanthropic summit Tuesday night at which he will introduce other wealthy tech figures to nonprofit groups exploring  such futuristic ideas as artificial intelligence, the use of “rejuvenation biotechnologies” to extend human life, and the creation of free-floating communities on the high seas.

Eight nonprofits that will be making brief presentations to Thiel’s audience, including Seasteading Institute, Humanity Plus, Foresight Institute, … read more

Silicon Valley Conference Aims to Raise Planetary IQ

December 9, 2008

Attendees at the Program for the Future conference Monday at San Jose’s Tech Museum of Innovation discussed ways to foster greater collective intelligence, based on Douglas Engelbart’s premise that networked computers could help groups of people work together more effectively, raising the collective intelligence of the human race and making it possible to solve some of our most pressing problems, including pollution, famine, disease, and war.

Englebartread more

Silicon Valley Meets ‘American Idol’ With Prizes to Inspire Inventors

February 16, 2007

A fund-raiser at Google on March 3 is intended to raise a chunk of $50 million to operate the X Prize Foundation, a nonprofit group that already has awarded $10 million to designers of a private spacecraft.

The foundation plans to use the money to develop prizes in fields like medicine, poverty reduction and fuel-efficient cars. But the foundation’s next stage of prize-giving will also include partnerships with venture… read more

Silicon Valley Rebounds, Led by Green Technology

January 30, 2007

After five years of job losses, Silicon Valley is hiring again. The turnaround coincides with a huge increase of investment in the emerging category of clean environment technology.

Silicon Valley Starts to Turn Its Face to the Sun

February 18, 2008

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs hope to put the development of solar technologies onto a faster track, using new technologies like thin-film solar and “solar thermal” (large mirrors generate steam to run turbines).

Silicon Valley’s plan to stop skyjackings–all of them

September 14, 2001

A Silicon Valley entrepreneur has an idea for preventing skyjacking, using GPS and autopilot-based landing to a nearby airport.Steve Kirsch, best known as the founder of the Infoseek search engine, proposes that we install “safe mode” panic buttons that “put the plane on forced autopilot that cannot be overridden, except in special circumstances.” He’d have them mounted in the cockpit and crew areas.

Based on the location of the… read more

close and return to Home