The successful implementation of graphene-based devices invariably requires the precise patterning of graphene sheets at both the micrometer and nanometer scale. Finding the ideal technique to achieve the desired graphene patterning remains a major challenge. Researchers have now demonstrated 3D printed nanostructures composed entirely of graphene using a new 3D printing technique. The method exploits a size-controllable liquid meniscus to fabricate 3D reduced graphene oxide nanowires.
White-light-emitting diodes have many advantages over forms of lighting - incandescent, fluorescent and halogen - and this solid-state lighting technique is bound to make major inroads into the commercial and household markets. Researchers have now designed precursors and chemical processes to synthesize intercrossed carbon nanomaterials with relatively pure hydroxy surface states for the first time, which enable them to overcome the aggregation-induced quenching (AIQ) effect, and to emit stable yellow-orange luminescence in both colloidal and solid states.
The food chemistry Maillard reaction is responsible for many colors and flavors in foods - roasting of coffee, baking of bread and sizzling of meat. Scientists have made use of this ingenious food chemistry to 'cook' their copper nanowires. This green approach that formulates copper atoms in water to form untangled metallic state nanowires. Naturally, a lingering chocolate-like aroma was detected during the copper nanowires synthesis.
In recent years, polymer solar cells have drawn considerable research interest due to their attractive features including flexibility, semi-transparency, and manufacturability using cost-effective continuous printing processes. However, one challenge limiting their commercialization is the relatively low power conversion efficiency when compared to inorganic solar cells. New work shows that low bandgap polymer solar cells with high efficiency of 5.5% can be fabricated using nanoimprint lithography.
Researchers have demonstrated that they can print interwoven structures of quantum dots, polymers, metal nanoparticles, etc, to create the first fully 3D printed LEDs, in which every component is 3D printed. At the fundamental level, 3D printing should be entirely capable of creating spatially heterogeneous multi-material structures by dispensing a wide range of material classes with disparate viscosities and functionalities, including semiconducting colloidal nanomaterials, elastomeric matrices, organic polymers, and liquid and solid metals.
Inspired by nature's ingenious biological designs, researchers have persistently attempted to mimic these biofunctionalities to bring technological breakthroughs. One of these morphologies - the unique shape of a helical coil - is not only interesting from a scientific standpoint but also pivotal, offering DNA its distinctive properties and propelling flagella in viscous fluids, to name a few. With the advent of personalized medicine on the horizon, researchers are now trying to use tiny springs made of carbon nanotubes, i.e. nanocoils, to propel nanorobots to perform microsurgeries.
The complexity and high cost of the state-of-the-art high-resolution lithographic systems are prompting unconventional routes for nanoscale manufacturing. Inspired by natural nanomachines, synthetic nanorobots have recently demonstrated remarkable performance and functionality. Nanoengineers now have invented a new nano-patterning approach, named Nanomotor Lithography, which translates the autonomous movement trajectories of nanomotors, or nanorobots, into controlled surface features that brings a twist to conventional static optical fabrication systems.
Researchers have demonstrated ultra-stretchability in monolithic single-crystal silicon. The design is based on an all silicon-based network of hexagonal islands connected through spiral springs. The resulting single-spiral structures can be stretched to a ratio more than 1000%, while remaining below a 1.2% strain. Moreover, these network structures have demonstrated area expansions as high as 30 folds in arrays. This method could provide ultra-stretchable and adaptable electronic systems for distributed network of high-performance macro-electronics especially useful for wearable electronics and bio-integrated devices.