"The important finding is the possibility of a strong enhancement of thermal conduction properties of isotopically pure graphene without substantial alteration of electrical, optical and other physical properties," says UC Riverside Professor of Electrical Engineering Alexander Balandin, in a statement. "Isotopically pure graphene can become an excellent choice for many practical applications provided that the cost of the material is kept under control."
Such a specially engineered type of graphene would likely first find its way into some chip packaging materials as well into photovoltaic solar cells and flexible displays, according to UC Riverside. Beyond that, it could be used with silicon in computer chips, for interconnect wiring to to spread heat.
Industry researchers have been making great strides on the graphene front in recent years. IBM, for example, last year said it had created the first graphene-based integrated circuit. Separately, two Nobel Prize winning scientists out of the U.K. have come up with a new way to use graphene - the thinnest material in the world - that could make Internet pipes feel a lot fatter.
Keeping GPS honest
Cornell University researchers are going on the offense against those who would try to hack GPS systems like those used in everything from cars to military drones to cellphone systems and power grids. Over the summer, Cornell researchers tested their system for outsmarting GPS spoofers during a Department of Homeland Security-sponsored demo involving a mini helicopter in the New Mexico desert at the White Sands Missile Range.
Cornell researchers have come up with GPS receiver modifications that allow the systems to distinguish between real and bogus signals that spoofers would use to trick cars, airplanes and other devices into handing over control. They emphasized that the threat of GPS spoofing is very real, with Iran last year claiming to have downed a GPS-guided American drone using such techniques.
Getting smartphones their ZZZZs
Purdue University researchers have come up with a way to detect smartphone bugs that can drain batteries while they're not in use.
"These energy bugs are a silent battery killer," says Y. Charlie Hu, a Purdue University professor of electrical and computer engineering. "A fully charged phone battery can be drained in as little as five hours."