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Nanotechnology Spotlights

Improving the performance of carbon nanotube fibers

CNT-fiberCarbon nanotube (CNT) fiber is an important one-dimensional macroscopic material. The directional assembly of CNTs can help the fiber realize high mechanical, high electrical and high thermal performance. By introducing thermosetting polymer between the carbon nanotube fibers, the cured polymer can overcome the weak van der Waals interaction between the CNTs and further improve the fiber thermal transport. This results in...

May 21, 2019

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Magnetically propelled MOFBOTs perform microrobotic drug delivery (w/video)

MOFBOTBy applying concepts developed in micro- and nanorobotics, researchers demonstrate the controlled motion and delivery of cargo payloads embedded in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). The helical MOF-based micromachine, propelled by artificial bacterial flagella, can swim and follow complex trajectories in three dimensions under the control of weak rotational magnetic fields. These swimmers are tumor-responsiv and can act as...

May 20, 2019

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'Stitching' together ultrastrong graphene films

graphene-sheetsGraphene's outstanding mechanical and electrical properties make it a very attractive material for applications in aerospace and flexible electronics. This, however, requires the assembly of graphene into macroscopic graphene nanocomposites. Researchers report a novel strategy to 'stitch' reduced graphene oxide nanosheets into ultra-strong, super tough, and highly conductive graphene films using only small amounts of cross-linker....

May 17, 2019

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Weaving carbon nanotube wires into high-performance, wearable supercapacitors

textile-batteryResearchers have developed a comprehensive approach involving simple and facile steps to fabricate a wearable energy storage device based on carbon nanotube coated cotton yarn. All device components are flexible. According to the team, this is the first device that has been proven to be stable under rigorous washing conditions in the presence of hot water, detergents and high torque (spinning action of washing machine). This...

May 15, 2019

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Freestanding borophene synthesized for the first time

boropheneBorophene, the atomically flat form of boron, differs from graphene and other two-dimensional (2D) materials in an important way: It can't be reduced from a larger natural form because bulk boron is not naturally layered. While graphite is composed of stacks of atomically thin sheets that can be peeled off one at a time to make graphene, there is no such analogous process for making 2D boron. Or so researchers had thought....

May 14, 2019

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Superlubricity and nanotechnology

gearsSuperlubricity is a phenomenon where two surfaces slide over each other with barely any resistance (a state that is called near-zero friction). This is a very special case where friction almost vanishes between two surfaces. The difficulty of achieving superlubricity in mechanical systems is due to the very complex physical, chemical, and mechanical interactions that occur simultaneously at the sliding interfaces of these...

May 10, 2019

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Nanotechnology for the preservation of cultural heritage

stone_cherubResearchers a new strategy for designing Pickering emulsion based on halloysite nanotubes and exploring chitosan and pectin as thickener additives for the development of cleaning and preservation applications for cultural heritage. This novel and facile strategy to prepare hydrogel containing oil-in-water stable emulsion offers an alternative route to prepare formulations with high performance and based on sustainable materials...

May 08, 2019

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Two-dimensional (2D) rare earth nanomaterials

rare-earth-materialRare earth metals and alloys that contain them are used in many devices that people use in their everyday lives. Whereas the research on two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials such as graphene, hexagonal boron nitride, MXenes, transition metal dichalcogenides, or metal-organic frameworks moves full-steam ahead, overview reports on 2D rare earth materials are, well, rare. However, with the electron confinement within mono- or multi-layers,...

May 07, 2019

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Building large graphene aerogel walls

graphene_aerogelHighly compressible graphene aerogels possess extraordinary properties that exceed the performance of natural materials ? superior compressive elasticity; ultrahigh porosity; outstanding tolerance for harsh environment; large specific surface area; high electrical and thermal conductivity. Now, researchers have fabricated graphene aerogel 'bricks' that can be assembled into much larger aerogel structures. These highly oriented...

May 06, 2019

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