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Nanotechnology Spotlights

Surface area is a highly relevant dose metric for nanoparticle toxicity assessments

data_plotIn the fields of toxicology and ecotoxicology, doses are commonly expressed in weight concentration for non-soluble compounds because this is very convenient experimentally. However, when it comes to nanoparticles, the weight of the nanomaterial is not a relevant parameter, especially when it is required to compare different kinds of nanoparticles because their density is very different. Researchers have now shown that the...

Posted: May 24, 2016

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A nanotechnology approach to scavenging wind and solar energy in cities

energy_harvestingSelf-powered nanotechnology based on these nanogenerators aims at powering nanodevices and nanosystems using the energy harvested from the environment in which these systems are suppose to operate. An interesting approach comes from a group of Chinese scientists who propose to scavenge the large amounts of wasted wind energy in cities: they propose hybridized nanogenerator that consists of a solar cell and a triboelectric...

Posted: May 23, 2016

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Miniature 3D-printed high-performance heaters

3D-printed_heaterHigh-temperature heaters, such as furnaces, are widely used in chemical reactions, materials synthesis and device processing. The limitations of these heating devices often are their bulky size, weight, low maximum heating temperatures and slow ramp rates. To overcome these limitations, and to provide a heating element with a high temperature range to the target object in a micro- and nanoscale environment, researchers have...

Posted: May 19, 2016

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Direct writing with highly conductive graphene inks

graphene_ink_printingWhen inkjet printing graphene, achieving satisfactory results it is a trade-off between the sizes of the graphene sheets and the chosen printing strategies. Direct ink writing offers an attractive way to break the routine and meet the printability with the demanding sheet sizes. The nozzles' diameters range from sub micrometer to millimeter scale to accommodate the inks. More importantly, the extrusion-based procedure plays...

Posted: May 12, 2016

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Whispering gallery modes to control artificial atoms for quantum computing

entanglementQuantum computation using artificial-atoms can be sensitively controlled by external electromagnetic fields. These fields and the self-fields attributable to the coupled artificial-atoms influence the amount of quantum correlation in the system. However, control elements that can operate without complete destruction of the entanglement of the quantum-bits are difficult to engineer. In new work, scientists have investigate...

Posted: May 10, 2016

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Nanowrinkles are key to stretchable superhydrophobic surfaces

superhydrophobicsSuperhydrophobic surfaces that can also withstand mechanical deformation such as bending and stretching are important for applications such as robust self-cleaning, water-resistant electronics, and flexible microfluidics. Researchers have now reported the design of 3D hierarchical wrinkle substrates that can maintain their superhydrophobicity even after being repeatedly stretched. This is made possible by using monolithic,...

Posted: May 05, 2016

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Novel nanostructure improves photothermal therapy of deep tumors

hollow_sphereMoS2 nanosheets have shown great prospect as a near-infrared light (NIR) absorbing agent for PTT applications due to their unique photoelectric property, low cost and good biocompatibility. However, the absorbance of nanosheets in the NIR region is not specific and strong, and the photothermal conversion efficiency of MoS2 based materials need to be enhanced. In new work, researchers have proposed a novel MoS2 nanostructure,...

Posted: Apr 28, 2016

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Dendrite-free lithium metal batteries through evenly distributed lithium ions

lithium_ionsToday, the best performing battery in terms of specific energy and specific power is the secondary lithium-metal (Li-metal). However, uncontrolled dendrite growth during Li depositing/stripping in rechargeable Li metal based batteries has prevented their practical applications over the past 40 years. To address this issue, researchers have now proposed a novel method of modulating the lithium ion adsorption to suppress lithium...

Posted: Apr 19, 2016

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