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Nanotechnology Spotlight

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 66 in category Molecular Devices and Computing, Nanorobotics (newest first):


Removing air pollution with nanogenerator-enhanced air filters

TENG_nanofiltrationResearchers have utilized a rotating triboelectric nanogenerator (R-TENG) to enhance a polyimide nanofiber air filter for particulate matter (PM) removal. The nanofiber filter exhibits high removal efficiency for the PM particles with diameter larger than 0.5 microns. When working with the R-TENG, the removal efficiency of the filter is enhanced, especially in the region with the diameter of the particles in the PM smaller than 100 nm. This work may propose an approach of air cleaning and haze management by introducing TENGs to the filters.

Posted: May 26th, 2017

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 various electrochemical techniques, which allow for the fabrication of large amounts of micro/nanorobots from diverse materials, with and without the use of templates.

Posted: May 16th, 2017

Spermbots - microrobotics meets sperm cells

spermbotsResearchers show how spermatozoa can be useful parts of microdevices: As biocompatible propulsion source, but also entailing other functionalities such as their natural destiny for fertilization, their ability to respond to stimuli, or their ability to take up drugs open up fascinating new applications. They demonstrate first examples of using sperm cells as robotic components. The so-called spermbots are also systems that enable biophysical studies, e.g. of sperm motion in confinement.

Posted: May 3rd, 2017

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 the contact area of the surfaces. Researchers have found a new way to scalably manufacture large area TENGs with a very high-throughput using off-the-shelf materials.

Posted: Apr 12th, 2017

Driving a single microtubule with light (w/video)

microtubulesOne way to construct useful molecular machines is to combine natural molecules - such as proteins or DNAs in our body - with synthetic molecules in order to control the functions of the natural molecules. Building on previous work that allowed to achieve complete control over on/off switching of the movement of a nanomachine, researchers in Japan have, for the first time, developed a molecular system which allows free control of the motion of single microtubules. The microtubules, tube-like structure with measuring 25 nm in diameter, could potentially serve as carriers of various molecular cargoes in future nano-transportation systems.

Posted: Nov 8th, 2016

A nanobiotechnology tool for site-specific delivery in the gastrointestinal tract (w/video)

medical_microrobotResearchers have developed an enteric micromotor consisting of a magnesium-based motor body with an enteric polymer coating. These motors, aimed controlling and enhancing site-specific delivery in the gastrointestinal tract, consist of water-powered magnesium-based tubular micromotors coated with an enteric polymer layer. The microscale robot can deliver payload to particular location via dissolution of their enteric polymeric coating to activate their propulsion at the target site towards localized tissue penetration and retention.

Posted: Sep 27th, 2016

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 the possibility of using closely spaced-linear arrays of metallic-elliptical discs as whispering gallery waveguides to control artificial atoms.

Posted: May 10th, 2016

Repair nanobots on damage patrol (w/video)

nanoparticlesResearchers engineered synthetic nanomotors that self-propel and autonomously detect surface cracks in electronic devices and rapidly restore the conductive pathway. These nanomotors were inspired by the chemotaxis of neutrophils toward inflammation sites and the aggregation of platelets at the collagen fibers of a wound to stop bleeding. The catalytic nanomotors are composed of conductive gold/platinum spherical Janus particles that self-propel efficiently in the presence of hydrogen peroxide fuel.

Posted: Sep 22nd, 2015