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Nanotechnology Spotlights

Transforming greenhouse gas CO2 into carbon nanotubes

carbon_nanotubesIn two new studies, researchers show that cement plants can have their carbon dioxide exhaust eliminated while co-producing carbon nanotubes. They demonstrate that with their C2CNT (carbon dioxide into carbon nanotubes) process, a wide portfolio of tailored carbon nanotubes, such as those with special shapes or conductivity can be made. C2CNT is a straightforward process that transforms CO2 to carbon nanotubes by molten electrolysis...

Posted: Mar 21, 2017

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Controlling the formation of ice on surfaces

In recent years, researchers working on de-icing and anti-icing strategies have been inspired by biology and nanotechnology to develop nanocoatings and other nanostructured surfaces. Researchers now have demonstrated the ability to spatially control frost nucleation (ice formation from water vapor) and to manipulate ice crystal growth kinetics. This ice nucleation control and the confinement of ice crystal growth direction...

Posted: Mar 17, 2017

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Guiding light with geometric phase

waveguideResearchers demonstrate a novel mechansim for the realization of an optical waveguide. This opens the possibility to realize a waveguide without any modulation of the refractive index. The optical delay necessary for the beam confinement is not achieved by a local modulation of the speed of light, but through an exotic effect called 'geometric phase'. Geometric phase is a temporal delay associated with changes in the propagation...

Posted: Mar 14, 2017

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Tunable and flexible 2D organic-inorganic hybrid photodetectors

hybrid_nanosheetsPhotodetectors with a spectral response from the ultraviolet (UV) to visible light have significant importance in modern industrial and scientific applications such as imaging, communication, environmental monitoring and day and nighttime surveillance. Compared to other materials, the photo-current conversions of two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides such as MoS2 nanosheets are impressive, making them great candidates...

Posted: Mar 09, 2017

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Merging nanotechnology and liquid crystals for better displays

liquid_crystalsAn recent analysis of the combined effect of nanoparticles and substrates on the concentration of mobile ions in liquid crystals considers both 100% pure and contaminated with ions substrates and nanoparticles. The results could be very useful for engineers trying to apply nanotechnology to liquid crystal devices. Specifically, the control of mobile ions in liquid crystals by means of nanoparticles and substrates of the cell...

Posted: Mar 08, 2017

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Phononic origins of friction revealed

phonon_propagationCarbon nanotubes (CNTs), by possessing a uniquely large disparity among its intertube and intratube interaction strengths, have been established as ultralow friction nanostructures and are serving as testbeds for tuning frictional response. In new woirk, researchers now have revealed the phononic origins of friction in CNT oscillators. This work, for the first time, provides a precise connection between individual phonon mode...

Posted: Mar 06, 2017

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Transition metal perovskite chalcogenide, a new class of highly tunable optoelectronic semiconductors

perovskite_chalcogenidesComplex oxide perovskite have been intensively researched for over half a century for their intriguing high temperature superconductivity, thermoelectric, ferroelectricity, colossal magnetoresistance. However, their large band gaps limit their interaction with visible photons. In new work, researchers propose transition metal perovskite chalcogenides (TMPCs) as a new class of versatile semiconductors for optoelectronic applications....

Posted: Feb 28, 2017

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Emerging redox flow battery technology for grid-scale storage

redoc_flow_batteryFlow batteries are regarded as one of the most promising energy storage technologies for stationary large-scale storage because the power capability and the energy storage capability of these storage systems can be sized independently, which benefits load balancing, peak shaving, power conversion and stand-alone power system. As an emerging rechargeable battery technology, lithium redox flow batteries (Li-RFB) represent an...

Posted: Feb 27, 2017

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