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Nanotechnology Spotlights

Molecular printing with light-actuated pens

molecular_printingThe past two decades have witnessed the evolution of advanced physical probe-based nanolithography techniques for molecular printing such as for instance Dip-Pen Nanolithography. Now, researchers have demonstrated, for the first time, photo-actuated polymer pens for molecular printing. This represents an important step in the field of scalable nanofabrication. It paves the way for dynamic actuation of individual pens, making...

Posted: Feb 23, 2018

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Why burn bagasse when you can 3D print its nanocellulose

3D-printingBagasse, a waste plant matter obtained by food industry processes such as sugarcane processing, has great potential as raw material for the production of cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) for a range of applications. Researchers now have developed a CNF ink from bagasse that has potential as component in bioinks for 3D printing. Bioinks are inks that contain living cells and that can be 3D printed in a cell-friendly manner, without...

Posted: Feb 22, 2018

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The ongoing development of DNA nanotechnology

DNA_nanotechnologyDNA, the fundamental building block of our genetic makeup, has become an intense nanotechnology research field. Nanotechnology researchers use it to create artificial rationally designed nanostructures for diverse applications in biology, chemistry, and physics. In a progress report, scientists focus on the different design paradigms (DNA origami and the related techniques are particularly emphasized), selected high-quality...

Posted: Feb 20, 2018

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Creating highly tunable adhesives with Kirigami-inspired structures

kirigame_adhesiveTuning adhesion without relying on chemical treatment or micro or nanostructured surfaces is now closer with a novel, kirigami-inspired approach. New research shows that by carefully designing arrays of cuts in an adhesive film, the stickiness can not only be tuned by a factor of 100 across a single sheet, but also be decreased for an easy-release purpose. These kirigami-inspired structures at interfaces provide a mechanism...

Posted: Feb 19, 2018

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Fabricating 2D nanosheets from non-layered materials

2D_materialScientists report a systematic study involving theoretical and experimental approaches to evaluate the Li-ion storage capability in 2D atomic sheets of nonlayered MoO2. They describe a new process - polymer-assisted reduction - to make atomically flat 2D sheets of MoO2. Since MoO2 is not a 2D material, this process opens a new pathway to make 2D nanostructures from non-layered materials. By successfully making 2D atomic sheets...

Posted: Feb 15, 2018

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Wood nanotechnology for selective oil/water separation

microporesCellulose aerogels, made from nanofibrils found in plants, have several unique features, one of which is super high oil absorption capacity that is several times higher than commercial sorbents available in the market. Researchers have created wood-based structures for oil/water separation, utilizing the native feature of wood, i.e. its tubular porosity and hierarchical organization. The novelty here is the development of...

Posted: Feb 14, 2018

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Perfect edges in graphene devices sabotage the Hall effect

graphene_egeResearchers have looked closer at the Hall effect in narrow graphene devices - so-called graphene nanoribbons and nanoconstrictions. They were puzzled when they found that the quantization of the conductance was destroyed in some samples - especially because these particular samples were optimized for low edge disorder and low contamination. As it turned out, this effect had been predicted by several theoretical physicists...

Posted: Feb 13, 2018

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Nanocoating wiggles surface clean

self-cleaning_coatingResearchers have developed a nanocoating that wipes off dust and sand from a surface by an electrical trigger, e.g. to clean solar panels in desert like conditions. This novel coating forms dynamic surface undulations fuelled by an alternating electric field. This new approach is based on resonance enhanced microscopic (di)electric coupling of polar mesogens to the electric field. Further applications could be removal of water...

Posted: Feb 12, 2018

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