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Nanotechnology Spotlight

Behind the buzz and beyond the hype:
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Showing Spotlights 17 - 24 of 1875 in category (newest first):


Birth and early history of carbon nanotubes

carbon_nanotubeIn view of the scientific and technological potential of CNTs, it is of immense importance to know who should be credited for their discovery. In the present article, we have made an attempt to give a glimpse into the discovery and early history of this fascinating material for our readers. Carbon nanotubes possess unique combination of extraordinary mechanical, electronic, transport, electrical and optical, properties and nanoscale sizes making them suitable for a variety of applications ranging from engineering, electronics, optoelectronics, photonics, space, defence industry, medicine, molecular and biological systems.

Posted: Jun 3rd, 2016

Nanotechnology's tiny steps toward atomic-scale 3D fabrication

nanowire_networkOver the past few decades, the development of electron microscopy has gone hand in hand with techniques for atomically precise fabrication of 3D structures based on electron and ion beams. A recent review article illustrates the use of focused electron and ion beams (e-beams and i-beams) to induce highly localized chemical reactions at solid-vapor and solid-liquid interfaces, amorphous to crystalline phase transformations with atomic layer precision, and the motion of specific single dopant atoms within crystal lattices, thus laying the foundation for atomically precise directed assembly of materials and devices.

Posted: May 31st, 2016

Surface area is a highly relevant dose metric for nanoparticle toxicity assessments

data_plotIn the fields of toxicology and ecotoxicology, doses are commonly expressed in weight concentration for non-soluble compounds because this is very convenient experimentally. However, when it comes to nanoparticles, the weight of the nanomaterial is not a relevant parameter, especially when it is required to compare different kinds of nanoparticles because their density is very different. Researchers have now shown that the usual approach based on mass concentrations fails to compare the toxicities of different engineered carbon nanoparticles.

Posted: May 24th, 2016

A nanotechnology approach to scavenging wind and solar energy in cities

energy_harvestingSelf-powered nanotechnology based on these nanogenerators aims at powering nanodevices and nanosystems using the energy harvested from the environment in which these systems are suppose to operate. An interesting approach comes from a group of Chinese scientists who propose to scavenge the large amounts of wasted wind energy in cities: they propose hybridized nanogenerator that consists of a solar cell and a triboelectric nanogenerator, which can be utilized to individually or simultaneously scavenge solar and wind energies.

Posted: May 23rd, 2016

Miniature 3D-printed high-performance heaters

3D-printed_heaterHigh-temperature heaters, such as furnaces, are widely used in chemical reactions, materials synthesis and device processing. The limitations of these heating devices often are their bulky size, weight, low maximum heating temperatures and slow ramp rates. To overcome these limitations, and to provide a heating element with a high temperature range to the target object in a micro- and nanoscale environment, researchers have developed a 3D-printable high-temperature, high-rate heater that can be applied to a wide range of nanomanufacturing when precise temperature control in time, placement, and the ramping rate is important.

Posted: May 19th, 2016

Direct writing with highly conductive graphene inks

graphene_ink_printingWhen inkjet printing graphene, achieving satisfactory results it is a trade-off between the sizes of the graphene sheets and the chosen printing strategies. Direct ink writing offers an attractive way to break the routine and meet the printability with the demanding sheet sizes. The nozzles' diameters range from sub micrometer to millimeter scale to accommodate the inks. More importantly, the extrusion-based procedure plays a crucial role in directing the orientation of graphene sheets to pass through the nozzle during printing.

Posted: May 12th, 2016

Whispering gallery modes to control artificial atoms for quantum computing

entanglementQuantum computation using artificial-atoms can be sensitively controlled by external electromagnetic fields. These fields and the self-fields attributable to the coupled artificial-atoms influence the amount of quantum correlation in the system. However, control elements that can operate without complete destruction of the entanglement of the quantum-bits are difficult to engineer. In new work, scientists have investigate the possibility of using closely spaced-linear arrays of metallic-elliptical discs as whispering gallery waveguides to control artificial atoms.

Posted: May 10th, 2016

Nanowrinkles are key to stretchable superhydrophobic surfaces

superhydrophobicsSuperhydrophobic surfaces that can also withstand mechanical deformation such as bending and stretching are important for applications such as robust self-cleaning, water-resistant electronics, and flexible microfluidics. Researchers have now reported the design of 3D hierarchical wrinkle substrates that can maintain their superhydrophobicity even after being repeatedly stretched. This is made possible by using monolithic, multi-scale PDMS nanowrinkles that can exhibit stretchable superhydrophobicity using high fidelity pattern transfer.

Posted: May 5th, 2016