A method of ball-milling iron powders in liquid nitrogen and ammonia to manufacture iron nitride could make transformers up to 10 times smaller than they are currently, say researchers from Sandia.
Smaller, thinner, lighter…repeat. The Holy Grail of electronics is the eternal quest for that which is even smaller than the part it replaces. (One notable exception is mobile phones. Fortunately for anyone over 40, streaming video intervened and drove demand for ever-larger screens and comfortable form factors for texting.) From discrete parts like connectors to finished consumer goods like speakers, last year’s model is simply too large and bulky. Oh, and while you’re at it, add in smart and wireless technologies.