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Nanotechnology Spotlight

Behind the buzz and beyond the hype:
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Showing Spotlights 33 - 40 of 1743 in category (newest first):


Silky substrate makes flexible solar cells biocompatible

flexible_photovoltaicsResearchers have integrated a biocompatible silk fibroin with a mesh of silver nanowires to achieve a flexible, transparent, and biodegradable substrate for efficient plastic solar cell. The most common flexible substrates used for flexible solar cells so far have been synthetic polymers such as PET and PEN. However, if organic solar cells are to be applied onto clothes and other soft surfaces, some of which come into direct contact with skin, they are required to be human-compatible, non-toxic and non-irritable.

Posted: Dec 30th, 2014

Shapeshifting metal nanoparticles eating tracks in graphene

graphene_patterningA widely discussed method for the patterning of graphene is the channelling of graphene by metal nanoparticles in oxidizing or reducing environments. Researchers have now performed in-situ transmission electron microscopy experiments of silver nanoparticles channeling on graphene and discover that the interactions in the one-dimensional particle-graphene contact line are sufficiently strong so as to dictate the three-dimensional shape of the nanoparticles.

Posted: Dec 19th, 2014

Carbon nanotubes enable new way of sound generation

carbon_nanotubesCarbon nanotube assemblies enabled design of a hybrid thermo-electromagnetic sound transducer with unique sound generation features that are not available from conventional diaphragm and thermo-acoustic speakers. New work describes a hybrid thermo-electromagnetic sound transducer (TEMST) fabricated using highly porous multi-walled carbon nanotube sheet that was placed in the proximity of a permanent magnet. Upon electrical AC excitation, thermal response of the material is combined with diaphragm-like sheet oscillations induced by the electromagnetic action of the Lorentz force.

Posted: Dec 18th, 2014

A nanoelectromechanosensing approach to detect cancerous transformation of single cells

cell_with_microfilamentsSince diseased cells, such as cancer cells, frequently carry information that distinguishes them from normal cells, accurate probing of these cells is critical for early detection of a disease. Adding to these highly accurate methods for monitoring such alterations in single cells, researchers have now demonstrated a nanoelectromechanical procedure to relate the correlation between the mechanical stimulation of a cell's actin filaments and the electrical activities of ion channels to the cancerous state of the cell.

Posted: Dec 17th, 2014

How the insurance market perceives nanotechnology risks

insuranceInsurance companies are major stakeholders capable of contributing to the safer and more sustainable development of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials. This is owed to the fact that the insurance industry is one of the bearers of potential losses that can arise from the production and use of nanomaterials and nanotechnology applications. Researchers have examined how the insurance market perception of nanotechnology can influence the sustainability of technological advances and insurers? concern for nanotechnology risks. They claim that, despite its role in sustaining technology development in modern society, insurers' perception on nanomaterials has been largely overlooked by researchers and regulators alike.

Posted: Dec 16th, 2014

Ultraflat transfer method for graphene surface force balance

grapheneThe surface force balance (SFB) provides measurements of surface and colloidal forces in liquids such as electrostatic surface forces, van der Waals forces, and solvation forces. Until now, the SFB required mica sheets as the substrate for measurements. This was the only material available in an atomically smooth state over centimeter-scale areas as well as being optically transparent as required for the optical interferometry. By replacing the mica sheets with graphene, electrically conducting and atomically smooth surfaces for the measurement of surface forces have now been created.

Posted: Dec 10th, 2014

Thermotherapy for pain management with a smart thermal patch

thermotherapyAdvanced health monitoring systems and healthcare devices will become an integral part of the Internet of Things. As a harbinger of things to come, nanotechnology researchers have now demonstrated a smart thermal patch which can be used for thermotherapy for pain management in a user interactive way. To fabricate the device, the researchers used CMOS technology to devise a silicon based smart thermal patch which is flexible and stretchable.

Posted: Dec 9th, 2014

Leverage nanotechnology to speed up the energy transition

energy_transitionDrawing attention to the possible implications of extreme weather does not answer the question what we can really do about the risks of climate change, and who will drive fresh solutions. Science - including nanotechnology - is an important part of the answer, and we need human ingenuity to step forward. To accelerate the process and help to push the boundaries of usable energy solutions, the Exergeia Project backs potentially groundbreaking inventions and innovations in all fields of alternative energy.

Posted: Dec 5th, 2014