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Nanotechnology Spotlight

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Showing Spotlights 73 - 80 of 2007 in category (newest first):


MOF sensor for the detection of hydrogen sulfide at room temperature

MOFMetal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are regarded as a new class of porous materials with significant prospects for addressing current challenges pertinent to energy and environmental sustainability. Due to their unique structure design and tunability, MOFs offer great potential for their effective integration and exploration in various sensing applications. Researchers have demonstrated this by developing an advanced sensor for the detection of hydrogen sulfide at room temperature, using thin films of rare-earth metal based MOF.

Posted: Feb 10th, 2017

Two-dimensional oxides juice up sodium ion batteries

2D-materialResearchers have demonstrated that nanoengineered SnO anodes suppress volume change and prolong sodium ion battery cycle life. Sodium ion batteries are promising alternative to lithium ion batteries, particularly for home based and grid level storage solutions. Tin monoxide has been demonstrated to have excellent physical and chemical properties and has a large theoretical capacity as battery anode, for instance for sodium ion batteries. Unfortunately, though, it also exhibits large volume change during the sodiation and lithiation process, which makes it unsuitable as a high-performing anode material.

Posted: Feb 9th, 2017

Lego like silicon electronics fabricated with hybrid etching masks

lego-like_electronicsResearchers have developed a highly manufacturable deep reactive ion etching based process involving a hybrid soft/hard mask process technology that shows high aspect ratio complex geometry Lego-like silicon electronics formation enabling free-form (physically flexible, stretchable, and reconfigurable) electronic systems. This hybrid mask enables deep sub-millimeter etching while preserving existing devices and structures and is advantageous for many applications, including lego like concept for pre-packaging modules/system integration.

Posted: Feb 6th, 2017

The formation of stable solid electrolyte interphases on lithium metal anode

li_metal_anodeResearchers have successfully demonstrated a facile but effective regulation strategy to render uniform Li deposits by incorporating fluoroethylene carbonate additives. This addresses an issue where safety and uniform deposits of Li ion are critical issues for promoting the practical application of metallic Li as anode for post Li-ion batteries, including rechargeable Li-S, Li-air batteries, and even Li metal batteries which utilize intercalation compounds as cathodes.

Posted: Jan 30th, 2017

Computational and patterning approaches to realize metasurfaces in novel plasmonic materials

metasurface_patterningCompact optical components are crucial to realize miniaturized optical systems and integrated optoelectronic devices. Plasmonic metasurfaces - structured materials in 2D with rationally designed, subwavelength-scale building blocks - have drawn great interest because they can control light based on subwavelength structures. These planar devices are attractive for applications ranging from high resolution imaging to 3D holography. New work describes the design and prototyping of single-crystalline TiN plasmonic metasurfaces based on subwavelength hole arrays.

Posted: Jan 27th, 2017

A nanotechnology approach to purifying liquid crystals

liquid_crystalsLiquid crystals used in modern devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones typically contain a small fraction of ionic contaminants. These ion contaminants can originate from multiple sources during the chemical synthesis of materials, in the process of assembling the device, and in its daily use. In the case of LCDs, mobile ions in liquid crystals lead to such undesirable effects as image sticking, image flickering, and slow response. A promising solution to reduce the concentration of mobile ions in liquid crystal devices can be found by merging liquid crystals and nanotechnology.

Posted: Jan 23rd, 2017

Preventing frost formation with nanoengineered surfaces (w/video)

anti-frost_surfaceFrost and ice accumulation result in significant decreases in the performance of ships, wind turbines, and heat exchangers. The use of active chemical, thermal, and mechanical methods of ice removal is time consuming and costly in operation. The development of passive methods to inhibit condensation, frost and ice formation is an attractive alternative. Examples are anoengineered anti-frost and anti-icing superhydrophobic and lubricant impregnated surfaces.

Posted: Jan 13th, 2017

Topological defects make metal-free nanocarbon promising for zinc-air batteries

graphene_meshThe oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is the core process - but also the bottleneck - for the cathode reaction of energy-conversion devices like certain types of fuel cells and metal-air batteries. Nanocarbon materials are very promising alternatives for the noble metal catalysts, especially platinum, that have been used to boost this reaction. New work comprehensively reviews and correlates activity origins of nanocarbon-based ORR electro­catalysts, considering the dopants, edges, and defects. Specific doping at defective edges is expected to render practical applications for metal-free nanocarbon electrocatalysts.

Posted: Jan 12th, 2017