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Beyond Graphene: Advances Make Reduced Graphene Oxide Electronics Feasible

Beyond Graphene: Advances Make Reduced Graphene Oxide Electronics Feasible

Conversion of Reduced Graphene Oxide Opens Up a New World for Technological Advances

Graphene is an allotrope of carbon which forms a thin layer of carbon atoms bonded together in a hexagonal honeycomb. Isolated in 2004, it has remarkable physical properties that can be applied to a number of things.

The news of its invention created a frenzy in the world of science as Graphene was the thinnest material known which is 150 times stronger than steel and can stretch to 120% of its length. Around the world, research institutions have been trying to develop ways to revolutionize the production of  sheets.

Technology has made this possible by the reduction of Graphene oxide into rGO or reduced Graphene oxide.  This is an extremely vital process which impacts the quality of the rGO produced. It can be achieved by chemical, thermal or electrochemical processes.

It is no news that scientists had already found a number of methods to rGO in the past. This could be done through a number of technological means such as:

  • Treating Graphene oxide with hydrazine hydrate.
  • Exposing it to hydrogen plasma or a strong pulse light.
  • Directly heating Graphene oxide or heating it in distilled water at varying degrees.
  • Combining it with an expansion-reduction agent like urea.
  • Linear sweep voltammetry.

The major flaw of this technology is that chemical reduction has resulted in poor yields in terms of surface area and electronic conductibility. Thermal reduction structurally damages Graphene platelets with pressure build-up and release of carbon dioxide. According to recent news, electrochemical Graphene reduction is the best method to produce high quality rGO, which is almost similar to pristine Graphene.

According to Jay Narayan, it is extremely conductive but it is not a semiconductor. That is why he created rGO. Researchers in his lab, Narayan and AnaghBhaumikwere able to convert p-type or positively charged rGO into n-type or negatively charged rGO and create a layered material.

This material can be used to develop rGO based transistors that can be used in electronic devices.  They achieved this by implementing a completely new kind of technology where they combined rGO into the entirety of wafers made of silicon or sapphire.

This successful wafer-scale integration was done through a pulsed laser deposition technique.  The researchers used laser to confuse chemical groups and move electrons across groups, throughout the wafer. This effectively converted positively charged rGO to negatively charged rGO in a process of pulsed laser annealing using a nanosecond ArF excimer laser.

This wafer scale integration is done at regular room temperature and pressure and takes about 1/5th of a microsecond for completion. It results in a wafer with negatively charged rGO layered on the surface and positively charged rGO layered underneath.

The p-n intersection where the p-type and the n-type meet is extremely important for transistor applications. News of this scientific breakthrough has taken the world of researchers by storm as it has opened up a new frontier for further extensive research in Graphene-based functionalized 2D materials.

Research Paper

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Backdoor access to WhatsApp? Rudd’s call suggests a hazy grasp of encryption

Backdoor access to WhatsApp? Rudd’s call suggests a hazy grasp of encryption

Is there going to be a backdoor access to WhatsApp soon?

The end to end encryption created by the popular messaging app “Whatsapp” seems to be “completely unacceptable” to the British government. Home secretary Amber Rudd has requested the tech companies to find backdoors to this end-to-end encryption of Whatsapp so that terrorists find no safe place to hide. The advent of the social media has given birth to several private chat boxes for people to converse. Most of these have take security measures to respect the privacy of the users.

While it has led to more secured socializing over the internet, it has also given a secured platform for antisocial activities. This is where the debate begins between the privacy of the users and the security of the nations.

Two years ago, when Paris suffered the brutal attack on Charlie Hebdo office, David Cameron had suggested that the government and the intelligent agencies should be invested with the legal power to have access to the encrypted conversations of terrorists over messaging apps and social media. Similar requests have been made to Whatsapp following the attack in Westminster for the sake of the safety of the country.

The tussle between government and the tech companies

None of the parties is ready to leave an inch in this struggle over security and privacy. While the government wants easy access into the conversations to able to track terrorist attacks and planning of suspected people through these messaging apps, the tech companies have strongly refused to compromise with the privacy given by them to the users. There has been a long going debate and legal struggle over this issue of privacy versus security.

Among recent examples that can be cited, the San Bernardino shooter’s case is the most relevant in this matter. The FBI wanted iPhone company to help them find access to the shooter’s iPhone but the company was just not ready to let go of the security of their system which could in turn jeopardize with the privacy of other users.

The struggle continued till FBI found another way to hack into the iPhone of the shooter and let go of their demands from the iPhone company. The information stored in the shooter’s phone was extracted by officials with the help of an unnamed group.

Backdoor leaves a way for exploitation

If there’s a backdoor for security reasons, there are high chances of misuse too. If the conversation over Whatsapp or other social media is not encrypted it simply implies that it is not secure. There cannot be a backdoor only meant for moral or legalized use.

If there is legislation for backdoor access to encrypted conversations over social media, it means that every time you chat with someone you may be under legal surveillance and your privacy may be at stake. This also leaves the door open for widespread control over private lives of people. There may also be high chances that cyber criminals misuse this backdoor access technique to violate your privacy.

While some feel that it is a matter of national security and doing away with end-to-end encryption is worth it for the sake of being safe, others opine that it is a direct approach over controlling people’s lives. At present, this never-ending debate is at its peak with the hope that there would soon be a way to selectively break encryption of terrorist conversations.

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Technology

Samsung New Artificial Intelligence Assistant Bixby will take on Siri and Alexa

Samsung New Artificial Intelligence Assistant Bixby will take on Siri and Alexa

Samsung Bixby has all the big guns! Siri better watch out!

Yes, Samsung Bixby has all the big guns! Anyone who watches The Big Bang Theory would perhaps recall the episode in which Penny has a great idea for an app: you take a picture of a shoe and this app searches it for you. With the market flooding with different voice assistants, you would think, this had already been done! But apparently not! Even though technology news keeps updating us consumers about every little thing that happens, there has been no news for this!
Until now!After the very public and very embarrassing debacle with their flagship device, Note 7, Samsung has been thrust quite voluntarily under the public eye once more for its new flagship device the S8 which they are launching with their new player: Bixby.

Sure you know Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’ Cortana, which are basically all AI voice assistants. In fact when Apple released the iphone7, the marketing was primarily strategized around Siri, whose performance, the company claimed has been upped a few notches. And if technology news is anything to go by, they were not wrong.

So how does Bixby endeavour to compete with its existing competition? Before getting into that, it might be prudent to remember that all these apps primarily run via voice commands, so once you change over to any other form of communication, perhaps a touch command, and your task would either be left in medias res, or be begun entirely anew! Frustrating as it may sound, no substantial improvement has been made in this area. Until Bixby that is!

Samsung claims that Bixby unlike other voice-operated assistants, can be used on multiple platforms. It markets the S8 as a completely new way to use your phone. In addition, you can do it via touch; you can use texts or the simplest: your voice, being integrated throughout the device. Of course if technology news is anything to go by, Samsung wants Bixby to perform so unparalleled in its capability so that it can transcend from just a phone interface and can be integrated in all phases of your life, even household appliances.

If you are lost and find it problematic to navigate Google maps, then perhaps Bixby is going to be your best friend because if Samsung’s claims are anything to go by, all you have to do is open the camera and take a photo and the rest of the information would be provided to you by your phone.

Once again if technology news and Samsung’s claims are anything to go by, Bixby is apparently well endowed to follow commands like “show me a picture of Billy. Text it to mom”. If this is to be believed, then there is nothing on the market close to it now and apple must sit up and take notice.

Samsung however does tell you that Bixby operates based on your needs which it picks up from the way your phone has been customised to the apps which are used most frequently. And of course unlike any other assistant, it is also your daily planner and fitness tracker, just a bit better than its competitors.

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Technology

Supercritical Carbon Dioxide: The Tough Coating for Silicon

Supercritical Carbon Dioxide: The Tough Coating for Silicon

We are living in a society, where the science and technology have taken the center stage of all possible developments and in almost every day, we are witnessing some new concepts or developments in the arena of the science and technology that helps our life and circumstances to be more composed and ease. Very recently some scientists and engineers have developed a method that can be of great help for materials, especially Supercritical carbon dioxide, for various applications, ranging from batteries to the most elegant biosensors1. Some of the relevant issues, related to these developments are as follows:

  • Sreenivasa Reddy Puniredd and his colleagues of an “A” Star Material Research and Engineering institute have developed a simple and new way that can be helpful to deliver the essential protective molecules by using the Supercritical carbon dioxide, popularly known as scCO2.
  • In this process, the normal Carbon Dioxide is being converted to the Supercritical carbon dioxide under extremely high pressure, when this becomes the free-flowing liquid, which is chemically inexpensive, inert and comparatively more environment-friendly than other traditional solvents.
  • The research team used the Supercritical carbon dioxide, scCO2, in carrying molecules, known as alkyl thiols, which is having a long chain of carbons and an atom of Sulfur at one of the end. Here Sulfur forms the stable bond with the silicon, while water-repelling chains of carbons make the tightly-packed skin on the surface of the silicon.
  • This is a simple green method, where the silicon forms the oxide layer on the surface at the time of exposure to moisture and air, which have the potential to detract from its own electronic properties. It can be noted that the adding of the molecular “skin” to the silicon is providing a physical barrier to prevent oxidation, but by forming these monolayers could have been tricky and require longer processing time, as well as, the inert atmosphere or demanding the uses of the harmful solvents of organic nature.
  • In applying the coating, researchers had used alkyl thiols that contain seven to eighteen atoms that could coat germanium, silicon and the silicon nanowires. Each of the procedures took almost few hours and able to produce monolayers of 1.6 nanometers to 2.3 nanometers of thickness, which are able to resist wear and in repelling water to a great extent. The most notable and greatest effect had been seen for the longest chains of alkyl thiols.
  • These monolayers also having the potential of protecting the surface, more than fifty days, from oxygen. These are prepared by using the conventional solvents, had been typically stable for the shorter period of time, even less than one week. It is stated that the increase in the stability was an expected issue, but such a longer stability was a real surprise for the research team.
  • Ths Supercritical carbon dioxide technology can be used in the modification of a different variety of inorganic surface and it may be worth mentioning that this technology is able to enhance the stability and enhancement of the respective film, apart from being scalable.

Material

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Social Media

How to Post Multiple Photos in Instagram

How to Post Multiple Photos in Instagram

Smart Way To Post Multiple Photos In Instagram

It is widely believed that a picture can say much more than the words which mean more pictures will help in saying more. In the technologically advanced and highly socially active online world we can’t live without sharing pictures online. Instagram rose to fame with its ability to share stories in form of pictures but uploading more than one picture isn’t a simple task for the users. Instagram has brought an update which will allow users to showcase their pictures in the form of slideshows for the first time. Here in users can post up to ten pictures to appear as slideshow.

Earlier when users posted more than one picture then appeared as a single picture in the feed but it had a row of dots just under the picture to signify exactly how many photos are there. Swiping left or right of the picture helped in checking out all the pictures present in that post. Since it is a single post with multiple picture therefore all the likes and comments tends to apply on the whole post.

 Instagram_3

Step 1: The ability to post slideshow in Instagram is available in the update version 10.9 of iOS and Android. Users can go the App Store or Play Store to download and apply the update to their Instagram app.

Step 2: In the app press on the Plus sign present right at the bottom of the screen to add the photos. Once you get to the photo window then give a tap on the Boomerang and Layouts icon. Now you will find a ‘Select Multiple’ button. Give a tap on it.

Step 3: Now you can select as many as 10 photos or even videos from your camera roll or taken instantly from the Instagram. If you want the pictures or videos to appear in different order then you can do it by looking at the little number given to each photo right at the bottom. Instagram_2

Step 4: Once you are fully satisfied with the photos then give a click on the ‘next’ option present right at the top corner of the screen and it will take you to the editing screen. The filters will be applied to all the images or videos in a single go by selecting it from the bottom. In case you want to add different filter to pictures or videos independently then it is also possible from here.

Step 5: Rearranging the photos or videos is simple. It can be done by simply holding and dragging the picture from the left or right or they can even be removed by holding and dragging the said photo to the bin icon. In case you wish to add more then give a click on the plus button.

Step 6: Once you are fully satisfied with the slideshow then apply a caption and location to whole post and let it show.

The only shortcoming of this feature is that it keeps all the pictures and videos present in the slideshow in square shape.

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