Darryl Smith knows how to make organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) more energy efficient than those available today. Current OLEDs have a transparent layer of electrically conductive material deposited on a substrate. Another layer of organic polymer, the one from which light is emitted, is deposited on the transparent layer. The third and final conducting layer is then deposited. Smith, a Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher, proved a method by which an intermediate chemical layer is applied between a conducting layer and the polymer layer of OLEDs, increasing the efficiency of current flow. He describes the single-molecule layer as a self-assembled polymer. The self-assembling layer has rows that line up in the same direction. Adding atoms at each end of the mono-molecule layer, the molecules "anchor" themselves to the conducting layer while maintaining polarity. The molecules' charged ends resemble the poles of a bar magnet. The thin layer shuttles electric charges between OLED's conducting and polymer layers. For more information, go to www.lanl.gov.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.