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Nanotechnology Spotlight

Behind the buzz and beyond the hype:
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Showing Spotlights 137 - 144 of 1689 in category (newest first):


Carbon nanotube-doped liquid crystals result in faster LCDs

carbon_nanotubeTheir unique combinations of liquid and solid-like properties allow liquid crystals to be used pervasively in the electro-optical display technology - known as liquid crystal display (LCD). In new work, researchers have observed that a dilute suspension of a small amount of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in a nematic liquid crystal (in the nematic LC phase the molecules are oriented in parallel but not arranged in well-defined planes) results in a significantly faster nematic switching effect on application of an electric field.

Posted: Dec 13th, 2013

Nanotechnology development in Thailand: Meeting society's needs

ThailandThe government of Thailand, realizing the importance of nanotechnology to economic growth, established the National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC) in 2003 as one of four national research centers under the National Science and Technology Development Agency. With an annual budget of US$11 million, NANOTEC is the key research funding agency for nanotechnology in Thailand. NANOTEC is investing in nanotechnology as a means of differentiating and adding value so that domestic products can compete effectively.

Posted: Dec 12th, 2013

Flexible thermoelectric generator from bulk silicon

semitransparent_siliconSilicon offers a unique combination between mechanical and electrical properties making it one of the most developed materials in semiconductor industry. However, silicon is brittle and cannot be flexed, hindering its potential for high performance electronics that is flexible, stretchable or applied to irregular shapes. Researchers have now developed a pragmatic approach to achieve high performance integrated electronic systems, including thermoelectric energy harvesters, onto flexible silicon substrates.

Posted: Dec 11th, 2013

Using peat moss to fabricate high-performance battery anodes

peat_mossResearchers in Canada have demonstrated that it is possible to achieve graphite-like charge/discharge behavior in a sodium ion battery anodes through a controlled dilation of the intergraphene spacing in a tailored carbon. They utilized common peat moss as the carbon precursor, tuning the synthesis process to create macroscopically open nanoscale pseudographitic structures that also offers a unique high rate capability and superb charge-discharge cycling stability.

Posted: Dec 10th, 2013

Electronic skin takes your temperature

e-skin_sensorPrevious work in stretchable, flexible electronics has shown that conventional, silicon wafer based fabrication techniques can be modified to apply electronics conformally to the heterogeneous topography of the skin. Now, researchers have demonstrated the development of a device platform that enables high precision temperature mapping of the skin in ways that have, until now, been extremely difficult in research and impossible to implement for widespread use.

Posted: Dec 9th, 2013

Increasing solar cell efficiency limit by 'heating up' 'cold' photons

sunshineThe quest for efficient low-cost solutions for solar energy conversion faces many obstacles, both, fundamental and technical. As a result, even 'ideal' solar cells have maximum intrinsic efficiency - known as the Shockley-Queisser (S-Q) limit - of 33% for the illumination by the non-concentrated sunlight. A number of architectures have been proposed for reducing losses in solar cells in order to overcome the S-Q single-junction limit. Now, researchers have proposed a new way to break the fundamental S-Q limit by using a mechanism of thermal up-conversion.

Posted: Dec 5th, 2013

Vanadium disulfide - a promising new monolayer material for Li-ion batteries

2d_vanadium_disulfideAs researchers continue to develop the use of graphene in energy storage devices, other two-dimensional (2D) inorganic materials like 2D transition metal disulfides have attracted extensive scientific attention. Vanadium disulfide few-layered nanosheets have been recently achieved experimentally, and in new work, scientists systematically investigated the adsorption and diffusion of lithium on the recently synthesized vanadium disulfide monolayer in comparison with MoS2 monolayer and graphite.

Posted: Dec 3rd, 2013

Microscale garbage truck cleans polluted water

micromotorThe construction of artificial micro- and nanomotors is a high priority in the nanotechnology field owing to their great potential for diverse potential applications, ranging from targeted drug delivery, on-chip diagnostics and biosensing, or pumping of fluids at the microscale to environmental remediation. In new work, researchers have now reported the first example of micromotors for the active degradation of organic pollutants in solution. The novelty of this work lies in the synergy between internal and external functionality of the micromotors.

Posted: Dec 2nd, 2013