The complexity and high cost of the state-of-the-art high-resolution lithographic systems are prompting unconventional routes for nanoscale manufacturing. Inspired by natural nanomachines, synthetic nanorobots have recently demonstrated remarkable performance and functionality. Nanoengineers now have invented a new nano-patterning approach, named Nanomotor Lithography, which translates the autonomous movement trajectories of nanomotors, or nanorobots, into controlled surface features that brings a twist to conventional static optical fabrication systems.
Researchers have demonstrated a new imaging technique that is a marriage between two powerful methods and it promises simultaneous spatial and elemental information of the samples down to the atomic scale. By combining scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) with synchrotron X-ray microscopy, there is now an instrument (SX-STM) that has the potential to perform all the applications of STM and X-rays in a single setting at the ultimate atomic limit.
The majority of men who undergo radical prostatectomy for the treatment of prostate cancer will suffer from erectile dysfunction due to disruption of the cavernous nerve. This nerve has been identified as responsible for penile erection. The oral erectogenic PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra rely on the functioning of this nerve to provide the initial burst of nitric oxide necessary to initiate an erection. In this condition nanotechnology - in the form of a nanoparticle delivery system - may come to the rescue by targetting useful therapeutics for penile rehabilitation following radical prostatectomy.
Among the various robotic actuation mechanisms driven by different stimuli, light-driven systems have garnered more and more attention due to their advantages in wireless/remote control, localized rather than whole-field driven capabilities, and electrical/mechanical decoupling. Inspired by the photothermal effect of graphene in biomedical applications, researchers have now demonstrated an easily fabricated and remote/wireless control light-driven approach to actuation mechanism based on graphene nanocomposites.
Researchers have demonstrated ultra-stretchability in monolithic single-crystal silicon. The design is based on an all silicon-based network of hexagonal islands connected through spiral springs. The resulting single-spiral structures can be stretched to a ratio more than 1000%, while remaining below a 1.2% strain. Moreover, these network structures have demonstrated area expansions as high as 30 folds in arrays. This method could provide ultra-stretchable and adaptable electronic systems for distributed network of high-performance macro-electronics especially useful for wearable electronics and bio-integrated devices.
Researchers have created a free-standing carbon nanotube paper electrode with high sulfur loading for lithium-sulfur batteries employing a bottom-up strategy to design and fabricate a hierarchical structure. This new fabrication method does not employ aluminum foil or binders, thereby fully utilizing the advantage of a Li-S system with high specific capacity. This proof-of-concept experiment indicates that the rational design of the nanostructured electrode offers the possibility to efficiently use the active materials at practical loading.
Impurities during the production process of liquid crystal devices result in mobile ions that influence the LCs' field-induced switching phenomena, resulting in a phenomenon called image sticking, or ghosting. Researchers now have developed a method to reduce the presence of excess ions by doping LCDs with ferroelectric nanoparticles. They demonstrate that this reduction of free ions has coherent impacts on the LC's conductivity, rotational viscosity, and electric field-induced nematic switching.
Graphene laminate - multilayer stacks of graphene layers piled on top of each other - is a promising material for thermal coating applications. Researchers have investigated thermal conductivity of graphene laminate films deposited on PET substrates. They found that the compressed laminates have higher thermal conductivity for the same average flake size owing to better flake alignment. This shows a possibility of up to 600-times enhancement of the thermal conductivity of plastic materials by coating them with the thin graphene laminate films.