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Nanotechnology Spotlights

A nanotechnology approach to purifying liquid crystals

liquid_crystalsLiquid crystals used in modern devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones typically contain a small fraction of ionic contaminants. These ion contaminants can originate from multiple sources during the chemical synthesis of materials, in the process of assembling the device, and in its daily use. In the case of LCDs, mobile ions in liquid crystals lead to such undesirable effects as image sticking, image flickering,...

Posted: Jan 23, 2017

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Preventing frost formation with nanoengineered surfaces (w/video)

anti-frost_surfaceFrost and ice accumulation result in significant decreases in the performance of ships, wind turbines, and heat exchangers. The use of active chemical, thermal, and mechanical methods of ice removal is time consuming and costly in operation. The development of passive methods to inhibit condensation, frost and ice formation is an attractive alternative. Examples are anoengineered anti-frost and anti-icing superhydrophobic...

Posted: Jan 13, 2017

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Topological defects make metal-free nanocarbon promising for zinc-air batteries

graphene_meshThe oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is the core process - but also the bottleneck - for the cathode reaction of energy-conversion devices like certain types of fuel cells and metal-air batteries. Nanocarbon materials are very promising alternatives for the noble metal catalysts, especially platinum, that have been used to boost this reaction. New work comprehensively reviews and correlates activity origins of nanocarbon-based...

Posted: Jan 12, 2017

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Disposable biosensors made from newspaper

paper_electrodesPaper, probably the cheapest and most widely used flexible and eco-friendly material in daily life, is a promising substrate for making flexible devices ranging from electronics to microfluidics, energy storage and sensors. In new work, researchers have developed a new and reliable method to achieve conformal coating of individual cellulose fibers in the paper and the fabrication of a metal electrode via patterning of gold...

Posted: Jan 10, 2017

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Controlling the structure and phase composition of lanthanide-doped alumina for emerging applications

alumina_latticeLanthanide dopants play an important role in desirable phase transformations of aluminum oxide (alumina) in order to achieve optimized physical and chemical properties. For example, the presence of dopants strengthens the grain boundaries of alumina, largely affecting its mechanical properties. New research indicates that there are significant structural changes to the lattice with addition of the dopant, and that understanding...

Posted: Jan 09, 2017

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Combining catalytic and electrical contact edge-effects to engineer the transport properties of nanocontacts to nanowires

nanowire_contactsElectrical contacts are essential components for any electrical device and when a lack of control over the final properties is present designing and optimising the system is impossible. The ability to define the contacts as Schottky or Ohmic with high or low resistance is complicated by the 2-D, 1-D or quasi 1-D nature of many nanomaterials. That's why researchers have developed a deep understanding of a unique effect at these...

Posted: Jan 05, 2017

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Our top 10 nanotechnology spotlight articles 2016

inkjet_printingHere are the 10 most popular Nanowerk Nanotechnology Spotlight articles of 2016. This year, the list includes nanotechnology in textiles; nanotechnology for next-generation inkjet color printing; graphene-based smart contact lens works as self-powered biosensor; nanotechnology's tiny steps toward atomic-scale 3D fabrication; stick-on epidermal electronics tattoo to measure UV exposure; a nanotechnology approach to scavenging...

Posted: Dec 30, 2016

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Consistent-chirality carbon nanotube tangles with high on-current in transistors

CNT_tanglesGreat effort has been applied on the controllable synthesis of ideal carbon nanotubes (CNTs). However, it's almost impossible to directly synthesize pure semiconducting CNTs by an in situ catalytic reaction alone, without any post-separation, when only small amounts of metallic CNTs may cause catastrophic device shorting failures. That is why the synthesis of CNTs with consistent chirality and high density is facing a bottleneck....

Posted: Dec 28, 2016

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