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Aug 31, 2016

DARPA Researchers Develop Novel Method for Room-Temperature Atomic Layer Deposition

Posted by in category: materials


DARPA-supported researchers have developed a new approach for synthesizing ultrathin materials at room temperature—a breakthrough over industrial approaches that have demanded temperatures of 800 degrees Celsius or more. The advance opens a path to creating a host of previously unattainable thin-film microelectronics, whose production by conventional methods has been impossible because many components lose their critical functions when subjected to high temperatures.

The new method, known as electron-enhanced atomic layer deposition (EE-ALD), was recently developed at the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU) as part of DARPA’s Local Control of Materials Synthesis (LoCo) program. The CU team demonstrated room-temperature deposition of silicon and gallium nitride—linchpin elements in many advanced microelectronics—as well as the ability to controllably etch specific materials, leading to precise spatial control in three dimensions. Such a capability is critical as the demand grows for ever-smaller device architectures.

After first demonstrating the process in early 2015, team members went on to perform detailed mechanistic studies to learn how best to exploit and control EE-ALD for film growth. By controlling the electron energy during the ALD cycles, they discovered that they could tune the process to favor either material deposition or removal. The ability to selectively remove (etch) deposited material with electrons under conditions as low as room temperature is unprecedented and is anticipated to enhance film quality. The group is also exploring other methods to etch specific materials—such as aluminum nitride and hafnium oxide, important in specialized electronics applications—showing that they can selectively etch these materials in composites, which provides an attractive alternative to traditional masking approaches.

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Aug 31, 2016

How a Hillbilly Delivery Man Is Trailblazing Our Cyborg Future

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, neuroscience, transhumanism

Never under estimate people you never know who may be the next Bill Gates.

After losing his left arm to cancer in 2008, Jonny Matheny’s life changed radically. The self-styled West Virginia hillbilly, formerly a retail bread sales and delivery man, started traveling to medical research facilities around the country to volunteer as a test-subject for advanced prosthetics and experimental surgeries. Today, Matheny is something of a Model T for cyborgs, wielding one of the most advanced mind-controlled prosthetics ever built.

When I met Matheny at a DARPA technology expo earlier this year, I was astounded by the flexibility and responsiveness of his Modular Prosthetic Limb, the latest in a series of mind-controlled prosthetics developed at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. But nothing drives home the revolutionary potential of a device like this than seeing it used to perform mundane tasks: effortlessly putting on a hat or stirring a pot, for instance.

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Aug 31, 2016

Would treating cancer more like a long-term illness extend lives?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Interesting perspective on cancer.

A lot of the focus in the medical approach to cancer focuses on destroying it, but what if it was treated cancer like long-term diseases such as diabetes? Researchers have explored the concept of a method to control cancer with a drug delivery system that keeps the cells from multiplying.

The method, which researchers have called the “metronomic dosage regimen,” involves giving the patient lower doses of chemotherapy more frequently to create an environment where cancer cells cannot grow.

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Aug 31, 2016

A New Way to Create Synthetic Proteins Could Lead to More Flexible Designs

Posted by in categories: biological, nanotechnology, singularity

Nice advancement for the nanomaterials space particularly as we look at ways to improve machines, devices, BMI, living buildings or other living structures, etc. Definitely advances efforts around Singularity.

Proteins perform a myriad of functions essential for life. They also make up important and useful biological materials, for example spider silk, which is exceptionally strong but still flexible.

The ability to design completely new proteins would help scientists create nanomaterials that, like spider silk, have a specific microstructure that confers useful properties.

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Aug 31, 2016

Dolomite Lends a Helping Hand to Synthetic Biology Research

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, computing

Excellent opportunity.

Dolomite microfluidic chips are helping researchers from the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University (ASU) to develop novel enzymes capable of polymerising synthetic nucleotides.

dolomiteUsing these chips, the team has created a droplet-based optical polymerase sorting (DrOPS) technique allowing rapid screening for novel polymerase activities in uniform water-in-oil microcompartments. The team’s leader, Professor John C. Chaput – formerly at ASU and currently at the University of California, Irvine – explained: “The creation of synthetic nucleic acids is of great interest to synthetic biologists but, because they are not found in nature, wild type polymerases struggle to process them. To overcome this issue, we are developing novel polymerases using directed evolution in water-in-oil microcompartments. The DrOPS methodology has significant advantages over traditional methods, which are both labour intensive and impractical to perform on a large scale due to the amount of precious artificial nucleotide reagents required for screening.”

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Aug 31, 2016

Colors from darkness: Researchers develop alternative approach to quantum computing

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, quantum physics

Another approach to QC; the title of the article is misleading because you still are using quantum properties in the approach.

Researchers at Aalto University have demonstrated the suitability of microwave signals in the coding of information for quantum computing. Previous development of the field has been focusing on optical systems. Researchers used a microwave resonator based on extremely sensitive measurement devices known as superconductive quantum interference devices (SQUIDs). In their studies, the resonator was cooled down and kept near absolute zero, where any thermal motion freezes. This state corresponds to perfect darkness where no photon — a real particle of electromagnetic radiation such as visible light or microwaves — is present.

However, in this state (called quantum vacuum) there exist fluctuations that bring photons in and out of existence for a very short time. The researchers have now managed to convert these fluctuations into real photons of microwave radiation with different frequencies, showing that, in a sense, darkness is more than just absence of light.

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Aug 31, 2016

NREL Discovery Creates Future Opportunity in Quantum Computing

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Making a more ultrafast optical switch and can be used to control or address individual spin states, which is needed for spin-based quantum computing.

August 31, 2016.

NREL scientists Ye Yang and Matt Beard stand in front of a transient absorption spectrometer in their laser lab.

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Aug 31, 2016

China’s Quantum Cryptography System

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, quantum physics

Andrew may wish to research some of the happenings in QC a little more because things are progressing quite quickly in QC than 6 months ago.

It seems that quantum communication could negate one of the big selling points of quantum computers even before they arrive on the scene.

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Aug 31, 2016

Government sees potential ‘quantum ecosystem’ in Australia

Posted by in categories: business, government, quantum physics

I will have to admit Australia is pretty advance in its research and development efforts in QC. With Michelle Simmons and team they certainly give folks a run for their money in the QC race.

MIS Asia offers Information Technology strategy insight for senior IT management — resources to understand and leverage information technology from a business leadership perspective.

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Aug 31, 2016

Letter: U.S. lags far behind China in quantum computing technology

Posted by in categories: climatology, cybercrime/malcode, government, quantum physics, satellites, sustainability

The Wall Street Journal on Aug. 16 reported that China sent the world’s first quantum communications satellite into orbit. The newspaper also stated that China spent $101 billion in 2015 on quantum research and technology development. The satellite has the ability to greatly expand China’s ability to expand their unhackable communications.

Now we in the U.S. read almost daily about some U.S. computer system that has been hacked. Our current technology cannot be considered secure. So what is our government investing in?

According to the GAO, the U.S. spent over $10 billion on global climate change science and technology in 2014. Gave $400 million to Iran for who knows what, and spent about $200 million on quantum technology.

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