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Nanotechnology Spotlight

Behind the buzz and beyond the hype:
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Showing Spotlights 17 - 24 of 1780 in category (newest first):

 

A magnetic-assisted, self-healing supercapacitor

magnetic_selfhealingSelf-healing of a device is different from material self-healing because the devices contain electronic circuits. Self-healing of a device includes materials self-healing plus alignment of electrodes, which is very difficult but essential. Researchers have now come up with the idea of using magnetic force to assist alignment of electrodes in a circuit, facilitating self-healing of the whole device. To realize this idea, they designed and fabricated an electrically and mechanically self-healable yarn-based supercapacitor by wrapping magnetic electrodes with a self-healing carboxylated polyurethane shell.

Posted: Jun 19th, 2015

Novel nanosphere lithography to fabricate tunable plasmonic metasurfaces

nanosphere_lithographyIn conventional nanosphere lithography, the nanosphere configurations in the layers are determined by a spontaneous self-assembly process. Therefore, the final configurations are limited to those with or close to the minimal free energy giving rise to very simple patterns. Researchers have now managed to circumvent this thermodynamical restriction by putting the monolayers in a confined environment and constructing the bilayers with sequential stacking, both of which are critical for the formation of moire patterns.

Posted: Jun 18th, 2015

Synthesizing a boron-rich cousin of graphene

nanosheetsWhile exploring the possibility to realize graphene-like nanostructures of boron, carbon's neighbor in the periodic table, a team of chemical engineers has discovered an entirely new family of 2-D compounds. They demonstrated exfoliation of a well-known superconductor magnesium diboride, a layered material that consists Mg atoms sandwiched in between born honeycomb planes. These nanosheets can be an order of magnitude more transparent compared to their cousin graphene.

Posted: Jun 17th, 2015

Graphene electrodes revolutionize the scaling of piezoelectric NEMS resonators

NEMS_resonatorThe key challenges associated with the development of high performance MEMS and NEMS resonators for RF wireless communication and sensing applications are the isolation of energy-dissipating mechanisms and scaling of the device volume in the nanoscale size-range. Researchers show that graphene-electrode based piezoelectric NEMS resonators operate at their theoretical 'unloaded' frequency-limits, with significantly improved electromechanical performance compared to metal-electrode counterparts, despite their reduced volumes.

Posted: Jun 16th, 2015

3D-printed programmable release capsules

3D_multiplexed_capsuleResearchers have developed a novel 3D-printing based method to produce highly monodisperse core/shell capsules that can be loaded with biomolecules such as therapeutic drugs. The method provides a robust control over particle properties, passive release kinetics, and particle distributions throughout a 3D matrix. Furthermore, these capsules are rendered stimuli-responsive by incorporating gold nanorods into the polymer shell, allowing for highly selective photothermal rupture and triggered temporal release of the biomolecular payload.

Posted: Jun 15th, 2015

New technique precisely controls size and shape of polymeric nanoparticles

nanoparticleOver the last twenty years, scientists have developed many techniques to synthesize polymeric nanoparticles for a wide range of applications including surface coating, sensor technology, catalysis, and nanomedicine. However, the precise control of the size and shape of polymer nanoparticles remains challenging, and RDRP techniques still fall well short of producing large, well-defined macromolecules with the same size and degree of precision as nature (proteins, nucleic acids, etc.). In new work, researchers have developed a new technique to precisely control the size and shape of polymeric nanoparticles.

Posted: Jun 5th, 2015

Taming the blackbody with thermal wells

photon_statesAccording to Planck's law, the emittance of a non-reflective black object - a blackbody - defines the maximum level of thermal emittance from an arbitrary object. Planck's law has been challenged in recent decades by predictions and successful demonstrations of the radiative heat transfer between objects separated by nanoscale gaps that deviate significantly from the law predictions. Researchers have now demonstrated another way to modify the object thermal emission spectrum and to force it to deviate from the one predicted by Planck's law.

Posted: Jun 2nd, 2015

Nano-electromechanical rotation of graphene in a liquid crystal platform

graphene_LC_alignementGraphene acts as an excellent conductor to electric fields along its flat surface and as an insulator perpendicular to the surface. Due to this anisotropic nature of graphene's conductivity, graphene flakes have potential applications in nanoscale switches and nano-electromechanical systems. Controlling the orientation of graphene flakes therefore has drawn a great deal of research interest in nanotechnology. In new work, researchers have developed a technique to control the orientation of graphene flakes at the nanoscale by using a nematic liquid crystal platform.

Posted: May 25th, 2015