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Nanotechnology Spotlight

Behind the buzz and beyond the hype:
Our Nanowerk-exclusive feature articles

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 1781 in category (newest first):

 

3D nanopatterning with memory-based, sequential wrinkling

wrinklesWrinkling and buckling can occur at all length scales in materials composed of a stiff thin film on a strained supporting layer. When the strain is removed, either by thermal or mechanical stimuli, different surface patterns can form. This phenomenon - now starting to be realized at nanometer length scales - is emerging as a powerful bottom-up nanopatterning method to program surfaces with unique properties. It has many applications in the design and fabrication of flexible electronics and devices, micro-cell arrays, optical gratings, and so on.

Posted: Aug 4th, 2015

A facile process for the vertical orientation of block copolymer nanodomains

nanofabricationResearchers introduced a novel self-neutralization concept by designing molecular architecture of a block copolymer to develop vertically oriented lamellar or cylindrical nanodomains without pre- or post-treatments. Previously, in order to induce vertical orientation of block copolymer nanodomains in the film state, diverse pre- or post-treatments to neutralize the preferential affinity between a substrate and each block of the block copolymer need to be introduced

Posted: Aug 3rd, 2015

Nanoparticles accelerate and improve healing of burn wounds

bandaidsSkin thermal burns are a complex and major source of morbidity, mortality and healthcare expenditure. Given the range of causes, from fire associated injury to water scalding, patients often present with multiple and complex burns - wounds that often worsen and expand over the first few days do to the associated underlying inflammation and injury. To facilitate better wound healing, researchers have developed nanoparticles that can both release the potent biomolecule nitric oxide (NO) over time, as well as facilitate nitrosation, the addition of an NO group to a biological molecule, which is central many of NO's activity.

Posted: Jul 28th, 2015

Suppressing flicker noise in graphene boron nitride heterostructure field-effect transistors

graphene_HFETThe noise level in devices with graphene and other two-dimensional (2D) materials has to be reduced in order to enable their practical applications. It will not be possible to build graphene-based communication systems or detectors until the noise spectral density is decreased to the level comparable with the conventional state-of-the-art transistors.Researchers have now demonstrated that the electronic noise in graphene devices can be strongly suppressed if a graphene channel is encased between two layers of hexagonal boron nitride.

Posted: Jul 27th, 2015

Nanotechnology and energy - a path to a sustainable future

green_energyAgainst the double-whammy backdrop of an energy challenge and a climate challenge it is the role of innovative energy technologies to provide socially acceptable solutions through energy savings; efficiency gains; and decarbonization. Nanotechnology It may not be the silver bullet, but nanomaterials and nanoscale applications will have an important role to play. This article provides an overview of the issues and nanomaterials and applications that are being researched in the field of energy.

Posted: Jul 23rd, 2015

Fabricating patterned graphene from a solid source of polystyrene

patterned_grapheneSince the first 'Scotch tape' method - i.e. mechanical peeling - of making graphene was reported in 2004, researchers have come up with a variety of techniques for producing graphene. Since simply using the as-produced graphene flakes is not good enough for use in sophisticated applications, intricate patterning processes are essential for the development of the required graphene structures for use in nanoelectronic and optical devices. Usinf a novel method, researchers have now successfully grown graphene from neat polystyrene regions.

Posted: Jul 21st, 2015

Carbon-negative CO2 conversion using renewable energy

co2Putting some of the rising amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to good use again, researchers are looking for ways to convert atmospheric CO2 emissions into industrially relevant, valuable chemicals and fuels; ideally powered by clean, renewable energy sources to make the whole process carbon-negative or at least carbon-neutral, i.e. by using at least - if not more - CO2 than is created in the process. New work demonstrates that current, state-of-the-art renewable energy sources can efficiently power large-scale CO2 conversion systems.

Posted: Jul 20th, 2015

Innovative substrate engineering for high quality 2D nanomaterials

graphene_layerResearchers have demonstrated a novel, low-cost substrate processing procedure to achieve rapid, efficient synthesis of millimeter-sized single crystal graphene. One of the greatest challenges in commercializing graphene is how to produce high quality material, on an industrial scale, at low cost, and in a reproducible manner. The quality of graphene plays a crucial role as the presence of defects, impurities, domain boundaries, multiple domains, structural disorders, or wrinkles in the graphene sheet can have undesired or unexpected effects on its electronic and optical properties.

Posted: Jul 15th, 2015