Molecular electronics aims to use small organic molecules as the active component in an electrical circuit in order to tailor functionality and achieve new levels of miniaturization with increased functionality via chemical design. Anti-aromatic molecules had been predicted decades ago to have excellent conducting properties. Now researchers have realized a molecular circuit involving an anti-aromatic molecule for the first time.
So far, bio-inspired energy conversion in solid-state nanofluidic devices has experienced three generations of evolution with the uptake of separate inspirations from biological ion channels, electric eels, and nacre. Here is an overview of the structural and functional evolution in synthetic one-dimensional and two-dimensional nanofluidic systems under the guidance of three different types of biological inspiration: the asymmetric ion-transport behaviors of biological ion channels, the strong bioelectric function of electric eels, and the layered microstructure of nacre.
Although graphene properties and applications have already been well-discussed in the literature, it also is important to understand how 2D chemistry of graphene and graphene analogs is related to various applications. Graphene functionalization modifies the unique 2D features of graphene. In this way, the electronic and physical properties of graphene can be controlled toward the given purpose such as highly effective novel electronic device applications. Already, graphene functionalization such as adsorption, intercalation, and doping toward device applications has attracted great attention.
Wearable energy harvesters are greatly attractive and receive intensive research efforts in recent years, aiming at powering various emerging flexible and wearable electronics to meet the requirements of smart fabrics, motion tracking and health monitoring. Researchers now have developed a coating based on cellulose-derived hydrophobic nanoparticles and demonstrated its application as a wearable water triboelectric generator that harvests energy from water flow. This innovative fabric-based TEG has self-cleaning and antifouling properties.
Quasi-periodic and random patterns in nature can exhibit extraordinary functions, such as iridescent color in bird wings, strong adhesion in gecko feet, and water repellency from lotus leaves. However, nature-inspired 3D nanostructures can be prohibitively expensive to make using modern nanoscale manufacturing processes. In new work, researchers a design approach integrated with scalable nanomanufacturing that can rapidly optimize and fabricate quasi-random photonic nanostructures.
Researchers have developed a stretchable and transparent graphene-based electronic tattoo (GET) sensor that is only hundreds of nanometers thick but demonstrates high electrical and mechanical performance. They show that a GET can be fabricated through a simple wet-transfer/dry-patterning process directly on tattoo paper, allowing it to be transferred on human skin exactly like a temporary tattoo, except this sensor is transparent. Due to its ultra-thinness, a GET can fully conform to the microscopic morphology of human skin via just van der Waals interactions and can follow arbitrary skin deformation without mechanical failure or delamination for an extended period of time.
Neural interfaces establish direct communication between the central nervous system (CNS) and a sovereign, man-made digital system. This technology is perhaps the most important advance in the study and treatment of the brain is the development of the neural interface. Nanotechnology fabrication methods can overcome the limitations of existing interface devices by producing electrodes with an extremely high surface to volume ratio, i.e., more probe units within the same volume, resulting in unprecedented specificity.
Chiral metamaterials with strong chiroptical properties are an interesting new platform for optical signal modulation. Although plasmonic super chiral fields have been successfully applied to detect the chiral structures of proteins, it has remained challenging to detect the structural handedness of drug molecules due to their small size and thinner film adsorbed on the surface of metamaterials. Researchers now have reported a new type of plasmonic chiral metamaterial by stacking two layers of identical achiral gold nanohole arrays into moire patterns.