Open menu
Nanowerk

Nanotechnology Spotlight

Behind the buzz and beyond the hype:
Our Nanowerk-exclusive feature articles

Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

RSS Subscribe to our Nanotechnology Spotlight feed

Showing Spotlights 73 - 80 of 2023 in category (newest first):

 

Smart molecular magnet-enabled novel and simple recipe for cancer targeting

core_shell_nanoparticleMolecular magnets or single molecule-based magnets are usually anti-ferromagnetic (non-magnetic) at room temperature, which so far has limited their use to laboratory environments. As the first successful molecular magnet in a real-world application, an interdisciplinary research group has reported a new 'exotic' molecular magnet compound - iron salen nanoparticles - which shows intrinsic magnetic nature at room temperature as well as anticancer properties.

Posted: Apr 13th, 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

Cell generator: Harvesting energy from cells for micro biomedical applications

cell_generatorRecently, great progress has been made in the development of bio-hybrid devices with enhanced biological, mechanical and electrical designs. Several muscular tissue based actuators have been described and devices with cultured heart cells have also been reported to produce electrical outputs. Now, researchers have demonstrated a novel bio-hybrid system, the 'Cell Generator'. The researchers integrated piezoelectric material with 3D-engineered living constructs for energy harvesting and electricity generation.

Posted: Mar 31st, 2017

Remote destruction capability of high performance silicon electronics

selfdestructing_electronicsYou surely remember one of the hallmarks of the Mission: Impossible series that shows a secret agent receiving his instructions on a tape or other device that then self-destructs and goes up in a cloud of smoke. Getting pretty close to this Hollywood scenario, minus the smoke, scientists now have demonstrated remote destruction capability of high performance silicon electronics. They also show that in case of tempering, dislocation, or light exposure, electronics on for instance stolen or lost hard drives can self-destruct.

Posted: Mar 29th, 2017

Improving Li-ion batteries with nanostructured conductive polymer gels

gel_frameworkThe electrode in lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries is an integrated system in which both active materials and binder systems play critical roles in determining its final properties. In order to improve battery performance, a lot of research is focussing on the development of high-capacity active materials. However, without an efficient binder system, these novel materials can't fulfill their potentials. Researchers have now developed a new binder system with a nano-architecture promotes both electron and ion transport, which enhances the energy per unit mass and volume of the electrode.

Posted: Mar 28th, 2017

Transforming greenhouse gas CO2 into carbon nanotubes

carbon_nanotubesIn two new studies, researchers show that cement plants can have their carbon dioxide exhaust eliminated while co-producing carbon nanotubes. They demonstrate that with their C2CNT (carbon dioxide into carbon nanotubes) process, a wide portfolio of tailored carbon nanotubes, such as those with special shapes or conductivity can be made. C2CNT is a straightforward process that transforms CO2 to carbon nanotubes by molten electrolysis with inexpensive (nickel and steel) electrodes and low voltage. This synthesis consumes only CO2 and electricity, and is constrained only by the cost of electricity.

Posted: Mar 21st, 2017

Controlling the formation of ice on surfaces

In recent years, researchers working on de-icing and anti-icing strategies have been inspired by biology and nanotechnology to develop nanocoatings and other nanostructured surfaces. Researchers now have demonstrated the ability to spatially control frost nucleation (ice formation from water vapor) and to manipulate ice crystal growth kinetics. This ice nucleation control and the confinement of ice crystal growth direction through manipulating roughness scale have not been reported before.

Posted: Mar 17th, 2017

Guiding light with geometric phase

waveguideResearchers demonstrate a novel mechansim for the realization of an optical waveguide. This opens the possibility to realize a waveguide without any modulation of the refractive index. The optical delay necessary for the beam confinement is not achieved by a local modulation of the speed of light, but through an exotic effect called 'geometric phase'. Geometric phase is a temporal delay associated with changes in the propagation of light polarization, the latter corresponding roughly to the oscillation direction of the electromagnetic field.

Posted: Mar 14th, 2017