Scientists have created the world’s smallest electric generator at just one atom thick

A team of scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed the world’s smallest electric generator. At just one atom thick, the device is made from molybdenum disulphide (MoS2), which is a clear, flexible material that opens up huge possibilities for the future of electricity generation.

The new electrical generator is an example of piezoelectricity, or electricity that’s generated from pressure. Piezoelectric materials have had almost an infinite amount of potential uses, especially in the nanotechnology field, but until now, scientists have struggled to make them flexible and thin enough to be practical.

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Shown is a sample of the material that was tested as part of the research. Image: Rob Felt/Georgia Tech.

In order to test whether or not MoS2 would be piezoelectric on the atomic scale, the team behind the technology flaked off thin layers of the MoS2 onto a flexible substrate with electrical contact. Read More

For less than a dollar you can buy a microscope that folds like origami

Foldscope brings microscopy to everyone

We’ve seen pocket watches, pocket cameras, and now with smartphones, we have pocket-sized computers. But how about pocket microscopes for students, scientists, and doctors? A research team at Stanford University created a foldable paper microscope to help equalize science education for less than a dollar.

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 Just imagine the possibilities for this small origami-based microscope, called the Foldscope. Even doctors and scientists in the poorest areas in the world could use the pocket scope to diagnose common bacteria and pathogens such as malaria. Read More