Nanotechnology Spotlights

What is the effect of temperature on a catalytic gold nanoparticle?

gold-nanoparticlesGold nanoparticles are of great importance for a wide range of industrial processes such as CO oxidation, water-gas shift reactions and oxygen reduction at the cathode of hydrogen fuel cells. Scientists investigated the three-dimensional atomic structure of gold nanoparticles at high temperatures. By combining two powerful techniques, electron tomography with atom counting, researchers tracked the morphology changes in gold...

Jan 22, 2021

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Printable nanocomposite overcomes the manufacturing limitations of metalenses

metalensResearchers have developed a high-throughput, scalable nanocomposite printing method to manufacture metalenses at low cost, paving the way to commercializing them. The nanocomposite material, which is also suitable for high-efficiency metasurfaces, can be molded into metalenses just by one step of printing without any secondary operations such as thin-film deposition or plasma etching. The researchers synthesized their nanocomposite...

Jan 12, 2021

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A lithium-air battery with long cycle life and low overpotentials

In the search for battery technologies that one day could replace lithium-ion batteries and meet power demands within the size and cost constraints of car makers, aerospace and other industries, researchers are exploring lithium-air batteries (LAB). Generally, to make LAB technology practical, two goals are highly important: a novel cathode that uses a highly active and stable catalysts to enhance ORR and OER kinetics; and...

Dec 29, 2020

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Flexible hybrid sensor systems with feedback functions

flexible-electronicsAn overview of feedback-driven, skin-like multifunctional sensor systems, from the basic material/structural design to applications. Emerging functional nanomaterials and innovative structures for constructing flexible sensors are highlighted, followed by an introduction of various integrated flexible sensor systems. Several categories of feedback sensor systems are described in terms of prosthesis- and AR/VR-based human-machine...

Dec 28, 2020

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A novel method to detect nano-and microplastics in vivo

nematodeWhile plastic debris of any size is harmful to the marine flora and fauna, recent research suggests that the smallest of these plastics, nanoplastics, affect the composition and diversity of our intestinal microbiome and that this can cause damage to our health. A novel optical spectroscopy-based methodology in the VIS-NIR range, capable for differentiating between chemically different micro- and nanoplastics confined within...

Dec 22, 2020

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What's going on with nanomedicine?

nanomedicineBack in the spring of 2015, one of our Nanowerk Spotlights asked the question: 'Has nanomedicine lived up to its promise?' The answer then was that, judging by research activity and funding, the field of nanomedicine has been very fertile; however, by using the yardstick of clinical success and paradigm shifts in treatment, the results appear quite a bit more modest. So here we are, at the end of 2020, and the answer to that...

Dec 14, 2020

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Textile electronics for virtual and augmented reality applications

virtual-realityVirtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are some of the hottest multidisciplinary technology trends right now, integrating computer, various sensor, graphic image, communication, measurement and control multimedia, artificial intelligence, and other technologies. Interactive electronic textiles will provide suitable platforms for VR/AR applications to provide a full range of sensory perceptions. Intrinsic conductive...

Dec 07, 2020

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Kevlar-ceramic aerogel nanocomposite material improves thermal protection textiles for harsh environments

flame-resistantWearable thermal insulation materials for harsh environments always require a compromise during their design and manufacturing. On one hand they need to be mechanically tough to provide impact resistance. On the other hand they need to be heat resistant. Now, researchers have developed a wearable aramid/ceramic aerogel nanocomposite material with both excellent mechanical and thermal properties. The key to this fabrication...

Nov 30, 2020

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Morphing 2D circuits - next-generation microfluidics gets rid of solid walls

microfluidicsOne of the issues with microfluidic devices in life sciences is that most platforms rely on materials or chemicals that are outside the biological breadth as building blocks, scaffolds, or coatings for the devices. In a game-changing approach, researchers are developing a transformative way to fabricate microfluidic devices, where solid walls are replaced by transparent, morphing fluid walls using only biocompatible materials....

Nov 19, 2020

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Piezoelectric energy absorption in quantum interfaces

quantum-computingResearchers have developed a theory of piezoelectrics with the goal to increase coherence times in quantum computers. In new work, they elucidate the mechanism of energy absorption taking place in quantum computers, and recommends optimal materials for these devices. The new theory predicts qubit coherence times that are over 100 times greater than the current state of the art. This shows that material improvements can go...

Nov 18, 2020

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