Friction is present in numerous physical phenomena occurring at all length scale. About 1/3 of the world's primary energy is dissipated in mechanical friction and 80% of machinery components' failure is caused by wear. Friction and wear will also become bottlenecks for micro-/nano-mechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS) featured with sliding components. Superlubricity, a phenomenon where the friction almost vanishes between two solid surfaces, will be the key to solve these problems and researchers now report a breakthrough in macroscale superlubricity.
Most molecular machines operate by using chemical reactions, which lead to irreversible damage to the machine molecules themselves over time. Moreover, in most scenarios, the measurement and control of the molecular machine status are separated into distinct steps, e.g., the molecular motion is controlled by a chemical reaction, but is then detected by spectroscopy or electrochemistry. Researchers have now proposed a new type of molecular machine without chemical reactions and where the measurement/control mechanisms are combined into one.
One item that so far has been missing from graphene's impressive list of physical properties is magnetism. In its pristine state, graphene exhibits no signs of the conventional magnetism usually associated with such materials as iron or nickel. So far, no reports that provide comprehensive evidence for either macro- or nanoscale magnetic phenomena for the ferromagnetism of carbon nanostructures in chemically functionalized graphene structures have appeared in the literature. Researchers have now filled this gap.
Steerable nanodevices are envisioned for a multitude of applications. For example, magnetic nanodevices can be controlled via external magnetic fields. So far, scientist mainly have used costly synthetic routes to design and synthesize such devices. Now, though, a team of scientists has shown that a very simple route based on solution chemistry can also lead to such steerable machines. So far, most nano-and microscale propeller designs have been based on a biomimetic approach. The new approach is based on random aggregates.
Material science is having a renewed influence on bioelectronics design beyond the incorporation of new functional nanomaterials. This newly established cooperation opens new windows for bioelectronics research, especially for fabricating flexible and smart devices. Recent advances in graphene research provide various possibilities to enhance performance characteristics and current approaches to design new bio-devices. Especially, smart and flexible bioelectronics on graphene has emerged as a new frontier in this area.
Catalysis is one of the most important routines for the production of nanomaterials. The catalysts that are used in these processes play a vital role for the controllable fabrication of nanomaterials with anticipated structures. However, carbon nanotubes grown through routine catalytic chemical vapor deposition have always shown non-carbon impurities. Effective purification of SWCNTs has therefore attracted significant attention from researchers around the world in order to improve the performance of carbon nanotubes, especially in energy storage systems.
The future of your clothes will be electronic. Not only will electronic devices be embedded on textile substrates, but an electronics device or system could become the fabric itself. These electronic textiles will have the revolutionary ability to sense, compute, store, emit, and move - think biomedical monitoring functions or new man-machine interfaces, not to mention game controllers - while leveraging an existing low-cost textile manufacturing infrastructure. In new work, a group of scientists from Korea have now reported novel method for the fabrication of conductive, flexible, and durable graphene textiles wrapped with reduced graphene oxide.
Colloidal quantum dot nanocrystals are attractive materials for optoelectronics, sensing devices and third generation photovoltaics. Researchers have now developed an automated, scalable, in-line synthesis methodology of high-quality colloidal quantum dots based on a flow-reactor with two temperature-stages of narrow channel coils. The flow-reactor methodology not only enables easy scalability and cheap production, but also affords rapid screening of parameters, automation, and low reagent consumption during optimization.