Researchers have successfully built rollable and transparent electronic devices that are not only lightweight, but also don't break easily. They managed to overcome two major challenges associated with the manufacture of flexible electronics: The temperature restriction of plastic substrates and the difficulty of handling flexible electronics during the fabrication process. The team rolled their transistor devices 100 times on a cylinder with radius of 4 mm, without significantly degrading their performance.
Researchers have identified novel 2D wide-band-gap semiconductors with high stabilities, namely monolayer arsenene and antimonene. These materials are indirect wide-band-gap semiconductors, and under strain, they become direct band-gap semiconductors. For arsenene and antimonene, such dramatic transitions of electronic properties could open a new door for nanoscale transistors with high on/off ratio, blue/UV optoelectronic devices, and nanomechanical sensors based on new ultrathin semiconductors.
Researchers have now developed a simple high-throughput, one-pot procedure to prepare a series of nanocrystal inks that makes it a very attractive fabrication process for applications in a wide range of all-solution-processed, flexible, stretchable, and wearable optoelectronic devices. The proposed approach, which can easily be scaled up to 10g, is generic for various transparent conducting oxides as well as other oxides nanocrystal inks.
Advanced 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.
The successful implementation of graphene-based devices invariably requires the precise patterning of graphene sheets at both the micrometer and nanometer scale. Finding the ideal technique to achieve the desired graphene patterning remains a major challenge. Researchers have now demonstrated 3D printed nanostructures composed entirely of graphene using a new 3D printing technique. The method exploits a size-controllable liquid meniscus to fabricate 3D reduced graphene oxide nanowires.
White-light-emitting diodes have many advantages over forms of lighting - incandescent, fluorescent and halogen - and this solid-state lighting technique is bound to make major inroads into the commercial and household markets. Researchers have now designed precursors and chemical processes to synthesize intercrossed carbon nanomaterials with relatively pure hydroxy surface states for the first time, which enable them to overcome the aggregation-induced quenching (AIQ) effect, and to emit stable yellow-orange luminescence in both colloidal and solid states.
The food chemistry Maillard reaction is responsible for many colors and flavors in foods - roasting of coffee, baking of bread and sizzling of meat. Scientists have made use of this ingenious food chemistry to 'cook' their copper nanowires. This green approach that formulates copper atoms in water to form untangled metallic state nanowires. Naturally, a lingering chocolate-like aroma was detected during the copper nanowires synthesis.
In recent years, polymer solar cells have drawn considerable research interest due to their attractive features including flexibility, semi-transparency, and manufacturability using cost-effective continuous printing processes. However, one challenge limiting their commercialization is the relatively low power conversion efficiency when compared to inorganic solar cells. New work shows that low bandgap polymer solar cells with high efficiency of 5.5% can be fabricated using nanoimprint lithography.