Open menu

Nanotechnology Spotlight

Behind the buzz and beyond the hype:
Our Nanowerk-exclusive feature articles

Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

RSS Subscribe to our Nanotechnology Spotlight feed

Showing Spotlights 25 - 32 of 1886 in category (newest first):

 

Solar-driven water purification with multifunctional papers

graphene_filterInspired by the multiple water purification mechanisms of water hyacinth, a group of researchers has combined different decontamination techniques - adsorption, photocatalytic degradation, distillation - into a single paper-based composite system for water purification by using solar light as the clean energy input. Compared with water treatment with a single mechanism, the multifunctional composite reported in this work could significantly enhance the clean water generation efficiency and maximize the use of the broad-spectrum solar light in a facile and effective way.

Posted: Jun 14th, 2016

Graphene enables optoelectronics on regular paper

electronic_paperUsing multilayer graphene as an electrically reconfigurable optical medium, researchers have demonstrated an optoelectronic framework compatible with conventional printing paper. The device consist of two multilayer graphene layers transfer-printed on both sides of the paper. In this configuration, multilayer graphene simultaneously operates as the electrically reconfigurable optical medium and electrically conductive electrodes. In addition, the paper substrate yields a flexible and foldable mechanical support for the graphene layers and it holds the electrolyte in the network of hydrophilic cellulose fibers.

Posted: Jun 8th, 2016

Graphene-based smart contact lens works as self-powered biosensor

smart_contact_lensThe latest example of a graphene-based wireless sensor that could make 24-hour healthcare easier to achieve by enabling wireless monitoring of various biomedical events in order to gain a more comprehensive assessment of the wearer's healthcare status. This novel device, which detects chemical/molecular agents and lengths of exposure, can be used as lightweight and transparent wearable or bio-implantable electronic sensor. It may provide an inexpensive way to detect in real-time the biomedical of interest.

Posted: Jun 6th, 2016

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