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Nanotechnology Spotlights

Smart graphene contact lenses bring wearable electronics to the eye

graphene_contact_lensSeveral research projects are working on reinventing the contact lens as a smart electronic device that, for instance, works as a self-powered biosensor for various point-of-care monitoring and wireless biomedical sensing. n addition to sensors, researchers are devising numerous applications for smart contact lenses, ranging from drug delivery systems to protection from electromagnetic wave damage. An application closer to...

Posted: May 22, 2017

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Anionic regulated electrocatalysts for water oxidation

anionic_regulationResearchers have proposed and proved an innovative strategy of anionic regulation. The construction of active sites with intrinsic oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is of great significance to overcome the limited efficiency of abundant sustainable energy devices such as fuel cells, rechargeable metal?air batteries, and in water splitting. Anionic regulation of electrocatalysts by modulating the electronic structure of active...

Posted: May 18, 2017

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How to directly measure the surface energy of pure graphene

interferogramAccess to accurate surface energy values of graphene is not only of fundamental interest, but provides a useful reference for anyone involved in research on graphene properties, (surface) modifications, and the implementation of graphene in devices. New research demonstrates the successful application of the graphene surface force balance (g-SFB) to directly measure the surface energy of pure graphene. This work is of fundamental...

Posted: May 17, 2017

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The impact of electrochemistry on micro- and nanorobot design

nanoroboticsA recent review article highlights the role of electrochemistry in synthesizing materials for self-powered micro- and nanodevices; the aspect of charge transfer and changes in electrochemical potentials for locomotion; control of self-propelled motion using electrochemistry and electric fields; and possible applications in electrochemical sensing and energy generation using micro- and nanoscale motion. The authors discuss...

Posted: May 16, 2017

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Tuning crystallinity to realize high energy density in supercapacitors

nanoparticlesSupercapacitors, a rapidly emerging type of energy storage device, hold great potential due to their interesting characteristics: high power density, fast charge and discharge rates, and long-term cycling life. However, the use of supercapacitors is severely limited by their low energy density, which is one to two magnitudes lower in comparison with Li-ion batteries. In new work, researchers have developed a low-crystalline...

Posted: May 15, 2017

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Brain-on-a-chip built on nanowire scaffolds

neuronal_networkGrowing neurons outside the brain but with predictable synaptic connectivity between other neurons could provide for an efficient platform for fundamental research and design of neuroprosthetics. Various neuromorphic engineering research efforts are underway to do this. A team now has built a Brain-on-a-chip where they demonstrated guided growth of neurons on semiconductor nanowire scaffolds. Providing an environment were...

Posted: May 12, 2017

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Bubble-printed patterning of quantum dots on plasmonic substrates

quantum_dot_printingThe use of quantum dots (QDs) in practical applications relies on the ability to precisely pattern QDs on substrates with desired optical properties. Typical direct-write printing techniques such as inkjet and gravure printing are limited in resolution (micron-scale), structural complexity, and require significant post-processing time. In new work, researchers use laser-induced bubble printing to pattern CdSe/CdS QDs on plasmonic...

Posted: May 11, 2017

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Overview of synthesizing hybrid nanomaterials with microfluidics

Hybrid nanomaterials (nanohybrids) are composed of two or more components - at least one of which is nanoscale - exhibiting many distinct physicochemical properties and hold great promise for applications in optics, electronics, magnetics, new energy, environment protection, and biomedical engineering. Different types of nanohybrids have been successfully synthesized via microfluidic processes or hybrid microfluidic-batch...

Posted: May 09, 2017

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