A while back, I wrote about permanent magnet generators and how they generate electricity upon being set in motion. When browsing the papers from our conference in Bangalore, one on the topic of ultrasonic micro motors caught my eye. These motors are electromechanical in nature and instead initiate motion with the application of an electric voltage. Furthermore, these motors are miniaturized to fit a micro-scale environment.
Growing older is an inevitable part of life, and with it, our body slowly begins to show that. I recently started wearing eye glasses because my eyesight is weakening. It’s a little unnerving, but I am comforted by the ever-improving technology being produced. My hearing is still fully intact, but the same cannot be said for 17% (36 million) of American adults who report some degree of hearing loss. In most cases, regular hearing aids are sufficient in treating hearing loss, but beyond a certain level, a bone conduction implant or a cochlear implant must be installed.
When you need to mix something at a very small scale you don’t reach for a teeny-tiny whisk. If you’re working with microscale biochemical applications you’d be more likely to rely on diffusion to mix fluids. With highly ordered laminar flow there is no turbulence involved, thus making diffusion a prime candidate for “getting the job done”. But what if you need to mix larger molecules? Larger molecules mean higher molecular weight, which in turn leads to very long equilibration times. This is where the electroosmotic micromixer comes into the picture.
As much as we would like to think that finite element analysis (FEA) is the be-all and end-all of simulations, it’s not true. There is also a camp of engineers out there that model integrated circuits and similar systems. These are based on different physics and equations than what FEA typically solves for. Yet, as is happening more and more in the world of virtual prototyping, the two types of simulations are converging. Now they need to integrate with each other. It is with this in mind that we released a new product that helps these electrical and electronics engineers move between these two worlds.
Much has been written lately about increasing the energy efficiency of cars. Batteries and fuel cells are very hot topics, and not so long ago I blogged about the University of Michigan’s use of solar cells to fully power a car. Yet, even on the smallest of scales, such as the sensors in your car, improvements are being made. Utilizing a MEMS (Micro Electromechanical System) piezoelectric energy harvester, Alexander Frej and Ingo Kuehne at Siemens Corporate Technology in Munich are contributing to increasing a car’s efficiency.
As Program Chair of the COMSOL Conference in Milan this year, I’m excited to announce that Marco Cati will be a keynote speaker presenting his design and optimization of ultrasound imaging systems at his company, Esaote S.p.A..
Looking for a tutorial on how to model a MEMS problem? We have recently added a video tutorial using the example of how to simulate a capacitive pressure sensor to our video gallery. For a brief overview of what you can model in the MEMS Module watch the trailer below, or go straight to the bottom of this post for a link to download the model files, which show how to produce this type of electromechanics model.
In an earlier blog post, I commented on how acoustic waves are being used in a biomedical setting, to identify malaria in small fluid samples. A more traditional use of piezoelectric devices was written about in the latest COMSOL News. Here, an Italian company, Esaote S.p.A., uses them to produce improved ultrasound imaging systems.
I have always connected Surface Acoustic Waves (SAWs) as phenomena useful for sensors; where SAW devices act as the medium that transfers mechanical energy (of what you’re measuring) to electrical (what’s used to measure it). SAWs would occur at the surface of a piezoelectric device, mechanically changing it, and then the resulting electrical behavior would be used to provide the measurement. We have a great example that shows how such things can be modeled in a SAW gas sensor.
It’s no news that multiphysics simulations can help companies build better products, and every day COMSOL users bring new product designs or ideas for improvements to life. That said, every so often someone does something particularly fascinating. If you’re following along the email communications from AltaSim Technologies you will receive a technology breakthrough message this week.
This latest email from AltaSim is bringing attention to an important clean energy project they are working on with Dais Analytic for the U.S. Department of Defense.