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Nanotechnology Spotlight

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 423 in category Fabrication Technologies and Devices (newest first):


Reversibly bistable materials could revolutionize flexible electronics

flexible_electronicsRollable displays and other flexible, stretchable electronic systems are often enabled by the successful integration of nanostructured materials. Most commercially available flexible electronic circuits and devices are fabricated on flexible plastic substrates, such as polymeric amides, PEEK polymers, or transparent conductive polyester films. Although these substrates can be easily bent and rolled up, they cannot be used to fabricate rollable display-integrated gadgets that are fixed at a rigid perpendicular position on their own. To overcome this issue, researchers have now used a reversibly bistable material to demonstrate flexible electronics.

Posted: Oct 26th, 2015

Novel nanowire structures lead to white-light and AC-operated LEDs

nanowire_arrayCompared to the conventional inefficient incandescent and fluorescent lighting technologies, LED light bulbs can, in principle, operate at an efficiency level of 100%. The current LED lighting technology, however, is not even close to reaching this limit. This is due to several problems which, however, can be by and large solved by employing tunnel junction integration into current nanowire LED structures. Demonstrating this, researchers have developed tunnel junction nanowire LEDs that can eliminate the use of resistive p-GaN contact layers, leading to reduced voltage loss and enhanced hole injection.

Posted: Oct 15th, 2015

Open source and DIY hardware for DNA nanotechnology labs

lab_instrumentSetting up or upgrading a lab to conduct state-of-the-art DNA nanotechnology is not an inexpensive undertaking. The hardware alone can easily set you back several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Analogous to the open-source software approach, increasingly instruments and specialized equipment designs are also developed as part of a growing open source scientific hardware (OSSH) movement. Adding to the list, a recent article presents three examples of open source/DIY technology with significantly reduced costs relative to commercial equipment.

Posted: Oct 7th, 2015

Optical nanostructures inspired by architecture

optical_catenariesResearchers have demonstrated that perfect orbital angular momentum could be generated in optical nanostructures inspired by catenaries - the curve that a free-hanging chain assumes under its own weight. They used optical catenary-shaped structures to convert circularly polarized light to helically-phased beam carrying orbital angular momentum. Similar to the 'catenary of equal strength', the phase gradient of the optical catenary is equal everywhere, which is a direct result of its special geometric shape.

Posted: Oct 2nd, 2015

Self-healing hybrid gel system

supramolecular_gelPreviously reported conductive self-healing materials usually need large amounts of inorganic conducting fillers and their self-healing behaviors are only activated under specific external stimuli, such as heat, light, pH, etc. A new hybrid gel is composed of conductive polymer and a metal-ligand supramolecule; the novel gel exhibits attractive properties associated with both conventional polymers, such as ease of synthesis and processing, and great self-healing performance at room temperature without any stimuli.

Posted: Aug 25th, 2015

A nanoscale color filter

wavelengthFor the past decade, researchers have searched for robust, inorganic color filters that can replace traditional organic dye-based filters for better stability, lifetimes, performance, and amenability to miniaturization. I new work, researchers fabricated an inorganic filter that can operate with a single element. This represents an important step toward nanoscale color filters. The team devised a a simple design in which light can be filtered and tuned over wavelength through the use of a single nanoscale element in the form of a ZnO nanorod integrated with a silver cavity.

Posted: Aug 13th, 2015

Foldable glass

folded_panelsGlass is notorious for its brittleness. Although industry has developed ultra-thin, flexible glass that can be bent for applications liked curved TV and smartphone displays, fully foldable glass had not been demonstrated. Until now. In new work, researchers have demonstrated substrate platforms of glass and plastics, which can be reversibly and repeatedly foldable at pre designed location(s) without any mechanical failure or deterioration in device performances.

Posted: Aug 11th, 2015

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