Long Shot

Could Simple Mixed Materials Make Flat Lenses Cheap?

2 min read

It sounds too good to be true: high-quality flat lenses that focus light and can be made in sheets and cut to size. That's the promise of a new class of materials with a negative refractive index that bend light in the opposite direction from conventional materials [see ].

There's a problem, however. These materials are hard to make. The first ones were made in 1999, and the only ones created to date operate in the microwave region and consist of a complex assembly of copper rings and wires that must be painstakingly assembled by hand into a periodic structure [see "Left-Handed Material Reacts to 3-D Light," IEEE Spectrum, October 2002]. Such materials are not mass-producible using known techniques.

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The Transistor of 2047: Expert Predictions

What will the device be like on its 100th anniversary?

4 min read
Six men and a woman smiling.

The luminaries who dared predict the future of the transistor for IEEE Spectrum include: [clockwise from left] Gabriel Loh, Sri Samavedam, Sayeef Salahuddin, Richard Schultz, Suman Datta, Tsu-Jae King Liu, and H.-S. Philip Wong.

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The 100th anniversary of the invention of the transistor will happen in 2047. What will transistors be like then? Will they even be the critical computing element they are today? IEEE Spectrum asked experts from around the world for their predictions.

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