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Nanotechnology Spotlights

Perfectly-absorbing photoconductive metasurface significantly improves THz detection

THz-detectorTerahertz (THz) frequencies, which occupy a middle ground between microwaves and infrared light, are seen as the future of wireless communications because they offer a higher bandwidth capacity for data transmission than currently used microwave radiation. Researchers have improved the photoconductive switch, a key optoelectronic element in THz technology, with a perfectly-absorbing photoconductive metasurface. The perfect...

Apr 24, 2019

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Estimating the occurrence of nanomaterials in the environment

nanomaterialsTo perform a risk assessment of nanomaterials in the environment, information on the exposure, i.e. the amounts that are present in the environment, is essential. In contrast to many other known pollutants, the concentrations of nanomaterials in environmental systems cannot be measured directly. In this situation, exposure modelling is a solution to estimate the environmental exposure with synthetic nanomaterials. In order...

Apr 23, 2019

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Quantum-material-based proton-irradiation-immune electronics for space travel

two-terminal-deviceProton radiation damage is an important failure mechanism for electronic devices in near-Earth orbits and deep space. The future of space exploration depends crucially on the development of new electronic technologies that are immune to space radiation, which consists primarily of protons, electrons, and cosmic rays. The penetrating energetic radiation of deep space produces negative impacts on not only biological entities...

Apr 22, 2019

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Triboelectric nanogenerators for next-generation wearable health monitoring

nanogeneratorDozens of nanotechnology research groups worldwide are working on the development of triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) for harvesting energy from mechanical vibrations. The huge interest in TENGs stems from their ability to convert ambient mechanical energy into electricity for powering wearable electronics, energy generation using sound, sensor networks, removing air pollution with nanogenerator-enhanced air filters, implantable...

Apr 12, 2019

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Polymer composite film for ultrafast photonics

sprayPolymer composite films, particularly those based on polymers and layered nanomaterials, are attractive materials for exploiting the properties of multiple materials for applications in electronics and photonics. Recently, scientists have found that beta-lead oxide quantum dot /polystyrene composite films exhibit excellent stability in high humidity and strong saturable absorption response from visible to the near-infrared...

Apr 08, 2019

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'Air chargeable' zinc-ion energy storage devices

air-gap-batteryResearchers propose a highly integrated system of an 'air charging' zinc-ion capacitor/battery. By scavenging energy from pervasive air, a zinc-ion capacitor/battery can be conveniently and easily charged without applying an additional power source. The system possesses a simply structure that consists of a flexible bifunctional U-shaped electrode (with the dual function of energy harvesting and storage), a zinc-metal electrode...

Apr 05, 2019

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'Cyborg' microfilter actively cleans decontaminated water

nanoparticlesNew work on self-propelled biohybrid microrobots has been inspired by recent developments of biohybrid cyborgs that integrate self-propelling bacteria with functionalized synthetic nanostructures to transport materials. Taking inspiration from the science fiction concept of a cybernetic organism, or cyborg, researchers developed a self-propelled biohybrid microrobot, named rotibot, employing the marine microorganism rotifer...

Apr 03, 2019

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Iontronic sensing paper provides a new touch for pressure sensors (w/video)

paper_sensorRecently, a brand-new mechanism of pressure sensing, known as flexible iontronic sensing (FITS), has been introduced, which utilizes pressure-induced capacitive changes between electrodes and ionic surfaces. Researchers have used FITS to develop a single-sheet iontronic paper substrate with both ionic and conductive patterns as an all-in-one flexible sensing platform. This novel paper sensor extends the iontronic sensing principle...

Mar 27, 2019

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Graphene transfer using an off-the-shelf office laminator

graphene_transferAn international team of researchers has demonstrated a simple method for transferring A4-size sheets of CVD graphene from copper foils onto a target substrate using a commercially available polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) polymer foil as a carrier substrate and an off-the-shelf office laminator. This do-it-yourself approach requires few tools and low cost materials - it is safe and easy enough to be carried out in school physics...

Mar 25, 2019

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