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Nanotechnology Spotlight

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Showing Spotlights 81 - 88 of 1983 in category (newest first):


Connecting two electrodes by liquid crystal-guided carbon nanotube wires

CNT_wiresCarbon nanotubes (CNTs) being highly electrically conductive along the tube axis, have gained great research interests in recent years for connecting two conducting electrodes at the nanoscale - where the CNTs can be integrated into a micro- or nanoelectronic system. Therefore, the orientational control of CNTs has drawn a great deal of research interest in nanotechnology. Researchers now have developed a technique to bridge two electrical conductors by assembling CNTs guided by liquid crystals.

Posted: Nov 1st, 2016

mRNA selective drug release from nanoparticles

smart_nanoparticleScientists have designed an advanced type of nanoparticle, which is able to carry drugs directly into cells and release them only in the presence of an appropriate mRNA signature; in other words, the nanoparticle carriers release their payload only in specific - metastatic cancer - cells and remain inactive in healthy cells. The researchers designed nanoparticles that can selectively distinguish healthy cells from model metastatic cells and release their payload - an anticancer drug - only to the model metastatic cells.

Posted: Oct 31st, 2016

Ultra-thin achromatic lenses optimized by an evolutionary algorithm

gold_latticePlanar optical components are crucial to realize miniaturized optical systems and integrated optoelectronic devices. In particular, metasurfaces are of great interest for applications ranging from high resolution imaging to three-dimensional holography. Achromatic metasurfaces, which can maintain the same focal distance over a range of wavelengths, have been realized by engineering each subwavelength unit to induce an identical phase change at all wavelengths. However, the design method requires intensive computation. Researchers now have developed a highly efficient, universal algorithmic method based on evolutionary principles for the design of ultra-thin achromatic lenses.

Posted: Oct 28th, 2016

Improving OER performance with novel electrodeposited perovskite electrocatalysts

perovskiteOxygen evolution reaction (OER) is the core process - but also the bottleneck - in many energy devices such as metal-air batteries and water-splitting techniques, calling for new insights in rational design of OER electrocatalysts. The perovskite family exhibits superb OER reactivity, but its poor conductivity remains a big problem, not to mention that the morphology of perovskite oxides is hard to control. In situ hybridization of perovskite oxides with conductive frameworks is an efficient strategy to solve these problems, as researchers report in new work.

Posted: Oct 24th, 2016

3D-printed decal electronics for the Internet-of-Everything

butterfly_decalResearchers have created a new method to print high-performance electronics by combining the extremely mature CMOS fabrication processes and recently developed additive manufacturing techniques. For the first time, an affordable and reliable manufacturing process for the integration and packaging of fully flexible high-performance electronics has been developed for future Internet-of-Everything (IoE) applications. Such decal electronic systems could be used like RFID tags are today but with much more functionality and performance.

Posted: Oct 17th, 2016

Energy generation from heat with a solar cell built backwards

solar_cellSolar cells absorb incoming sunlight and convert a part of photon energy into electricity. The remainder of photon energy is dissipated as heat. Although the idea is rather counter-intuitive, 'reverse solar cell' systems can also generate electric power by emitting rather than absorbing photons. Such systems - known as thermoradiative cells - generate voltage and electric power via non-equilibrium thermal radiation of infrared photons. Thermoradiative cells offer an opportunity to generate clean energy by harvesting radiation from largely untapped terrestrial thermal emission sources, potentially including the Earth itself.

Posted: Oct 14th, 2016

A multifunctional biophotonic platform enabled by moire metasurfaces

microbubbleResearchers demonstrate for the first time a multifunctional biophotonic platform enabled by the multiband resonance peaks of the plasmonic moire metasurfaces. Benefiting from the multiband nature of moire metasurface and the near-field enhancement from the metal-insulator-metal configuration, the scientists achieved a dual-band metasurface patch with strong plasmonic resonances at both near-infrared and mid-infrared regimes.The plasmonic nanostructures support plasmon resonances at different wavelengths due to the gradient in size and shape.

Posted: Oct 12th, 2016

Enhanced kinetics on conductive polar electrocatalysts for lithium-sulfur batteries

electrocatalysisResearchers have explored the role of intrinsic bulk electrical conductivity and surface polarity in the electrocatalysis of polysulfide redox reactions. They synthesized highly porous and conductive titanium carbide (TiC)-based composite cathode materials and to assemble lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries with high sulfur loading. Li-S cells employing the as-synthesized TiC-based cathode exhibited reduced internal resistance, enhanced energy efficiency, and prolonged service life.

Posted: Oct 10th, 2016