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Nanotechnology Spotlights

Defects in graphene enable selective permeability of gases

graphene_defectsDespite their potential, the practical use of Li-O2 batteries is seriously limited by the corrosion of Li metal by ambient water vapor from air. One way to circumvent this issue is to use an oxygen selective membrane that allows only oxygen into the battery while stopping or slowing water vapor intake. The membrane must be mechanically robust and yet sufficiently thin and light so as to not increase deadweight of the battery....

Posted: Apr 25, 2017

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Sodium-ion batteries become fully stretchable

battery_electrodeResearchers have demonstrated an all-stretchable-component sodium-ion full battery, designed and manufactured by integrating stretchable graphene-modified PDMS sponge current collector, sodium-ion conducting gel polymer separator, and elastic PDMS substrate. This first-of-its-kind battery design maintains better mechanical properties compared with most reported designs using one or more rigid components that fail to meet the...

Posted: Apr 20, 2017

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A self-healing rechargeable battery with ultralong cycling life

cathode_materialIn new work, scientists describe a lithium?sulfur battery prototype using commercially viable micron-sized sulfur as cathode materials but with unprecedented cycling life that has never been achieved before. This success in achieving exceptionally long battery life is ascribed to a concept of self-healing. By mimicking a biological self-healing process, fibrinolysis, the team introduced an extrinsic healing agent, polysulfide,...

Posted: Apr 19, 2017

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Smart molecular magnet-enabled novel and simple recipe for cancer targeting

core_shell_nanoparticleMolecular magnets or single molecule-based magnets are usually anti-ferromagnetic (non-magnetic) at room temperature, which so far has limited their use to laboratory environments. As the first successful molecular magnet in a real-world application, an interdisciplinary research group has reported a new 'exotic' molecular magnet compound - iron salen nanoparticles - which shows intrinsic magnetic nature at room temperature...

Posted: Apr 13, 2017

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A giant leap towards inexpensive and large-scale fabrication of triboelectric nanogenerators for sustainable energy

diodesNotwithstanding the progress in extracting renewable energy from many natural resources through nanotechnologies, some 60 research groups worldwide have now begun to develop triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) for harvesting energy from 'good (mechanical) vibrations' including human walking and ocean waves, which are otherwise wasted. Nanostructuring the materials in a TENG device amplifies the produced energy by increasing...

Posted: Apr 12, 2017

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Cell generator: Harvesting energy from cells for micro biomedical applications

cell_generatorRecently, great progress has been made in the development of bio-hybrid devices with enhanced biological, mechanical and electrical designs. Several muscular tissue based actuators have been described and devices with cultured heart cells have also been reported to produce electrical outputs. Now, researchers have demonstrated a novel bio-hybrid system, the 'Cell Generator'. The researchers integrated piezoelectric material...

Posted: Mar 31, 2017

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Remote destruction capability of high performance silicon electronics

selfdestructing_electronicsYou surely remember one of the hallmarks of the Mission: Impossible series that shows a secret agent receiving his instructions on a tape or other device that then self-destructs and goes up in a cloud of smoke. Getting pretty close to this Hollywood scenario, minus the smoke, scientists now have demonstrated remote destruction capability of high performance silicon electronics. They also show that in case of tempering, dislocation,...

Posted: Mar 29, 2017

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Improving Li-ion batteries with nanostructured conductive polymer gels

gel_frameworkThe electrode in lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries is an integrated system in which both active materials and binder systems play critical roles in determining its final properties. In order to improve battery performance, a lot of research is focussing on the development of high-capacity active materials. However, without an efficient binder system, these novel materials can't fulfill their potentials. Researchers have now ...

Posted: Mar 28, 2017

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