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Nanotechnology Spotlight

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Showing Spotlights 9 - 16 of 434 in category Fabrication Technologies and Devices (newest first):


Investigating fracture behavior of nanocrystalline Ni-W thin-films

cantilever_testIn the past couple of decades, nickel-tungsten (Ni-W) amorphous and nanocrystalline materials have been drawing more and more research interest due to the superior mechanical properties such as high hardness, good mechanical performance, and excellent corrosion resistance. Striving to enhance the mechanical performance of Ni-W thin film alloys, researchers report how the annealing temperature will influence the microstructure evolution and the fracture properties of Ni-W alloys.

Posted: Jan 8th, 2016

Nanotechnology in a bubble

bubble-pen-lithographyBubble-pen lithography (BPL) is a novel optically controlled nanofabrication technique that can be widely applied to pattern colloidal and biological particles on substrates in order to build functional optic, electronic, and magnetic devices. In BPL, an optically controlled microbubble is generated to capture and immobilize colloidal particles on the plasmonic substrates. With this new lithographic technique, the researchers can generate bubbles down to 1 micron in diameter. The smaller bubbles provide an enhanced patterning resolution.

Posted: Dec 22nd, 2015

Replicating nacre through nanomimetics

nacreResearchers have approached the preparation of artificial analogs of nacre by using various methods and the resulting materials have captured some of the characteristics of the natural composite - but so far never have fully replicated it. Now, researchers have reported the first successful attempt to mimic the structure of nacre while maintaining the same characteristic geometry, aspect ratio and phase proportions. They used 10-20 nm thick layered double hydroxide (LDH) platelets with an aspect ratio similar to the aragonite platelets in nacre and 'glued' them together with a simple organic 'mortar' (PSS).

Posted: Dec 14th, 2015

Reversibly bistable materials could revolutionize flexible electronics

flexible_electronicsRollable displays and other flexible, stretchable electronic systems are often enabled by the successful integration of nanostructured materials. Most commercially available flexible electronic circuits and devices are fabricated on flexible plastic substrates, such as polymeric amides, PEEK polymers, or transparent conductive polyester films. Although these substrates can be easily bent and rolled up, they cannot be used to fabricate rollable display-integrated gadgets that are fixed at a rigid perpendicular position on their own. To overcome this issue, researchers have now used a reversibly bistable material to demonstrate flexible electronics.

Posted: Oct 26th, 2015

Novel nanowire structures lead to white-light and AC-operated LEDs

nanowire_arrayCompared to the conventional inefficient incandescent and fluorescent lighting technologies, LED light bulbs can, in principle, operate at an efficiency level of 100%. The current LED lighting technology, however, is not even close to reaching this limit. This is due to several problems which, however, can be by and large solved by employing tunnel junction integration into current nanowire LED structures. Demonstrating this, researchers have developed tunnel junction nanowire LEDs that can eliminate the use of resistive p-GaN contact layers, leading to reduced voltage loss and enhanced hole injection.

Posted: Oct 15th, 2015

Open source and DIY hardware for DNA nanotechnology labs

lab_instrumentSetting up or upgrading a lab to conduct state-of-the-art DNA nanotechnology is not an inexpensive undertaking. The hardware alone can easily set you back several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Analogous to the open-source software approach, increasingly instruments and specialized equipment designs are also developed as part of a growing open source scientific hardware (OSSH) movement. Adding to the list, a recent article presents three examples of open source/DIY technology with significantly reduced costs relative to commercial equipment.

Posted: Oct 7th, 2015

Optical nanostructures inspired by architecture

optical_catenariesResearchers have demonstrated that perfect orbital angular momentum could be generated in optical nanostructures inspired by catenaries - the curve that a free-hanging chain assumes under its own weight. They used optical catenary-shaped structures to convert circularly polarized light to helically-phased beam carrying orbital angular momentum. Similar to the 'catenary of equal strength', the phase gradient of the optical catenary is equal everywhere, which is a direct result of its special geometric shape.

Posted: Oct 2nd, 2015

Self-healing hybrid gel system

supramolecular_gelPreviously reported conductive self-healing materials usually need large amounts of inorganic conducting fillers and their self-healing behaviors are only activated under specific external stimuli, such as heat, light, pH, etc. A new hybrid gel is composed of conductive polymer and a metal-ligand supramolecule; the novel gel exhibits attractive properties associated with both conventional polymers, such as ease of synthesis and processing, and great self-healing performance at room temperature without any stimuli.

Posted: Aug 25th, 2015