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Nanotechnology Spotlights

Taking ice lithography to the next level

nanostructureResearchers have discovered that ices of simple organic molecules such as alcohols and nonane (main component of diesel) can be nanopatterned by a focused electron beam. The entire 3D lithography process takes place in a single vacuum instrument and avoids exposing users to chemicals and the need for cleanrooms. With organic ice resist (OIR) technology, nanolithography can be made accessible to more scientists. The short-term...

Posted: Dec 14, 2017

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Engineering 2D nanofluidic channels for energy storage application

nanofluidic_transportMotived by the large number of non-layered materials, e.g. transition metal oxides, which hold great promise in battery applications, scientists aim to extend the concept of nanofluidic channels into intrinsically non-layered materials and improve their electrochemical properties. In a new study, researchers have developed a Co3O4-based two-dimensional nano-architecture possessing nanofluidic channels with specially designed...

Posted: Dec 08, 2017

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Wearable health monitoring with stretchable nanogenerators

stretchable_piezoelectricsSo far, most of the developed self-powered piezoelectric devices are rigid or have limited lateral stretchability and could not be used to harvest energy from lateral strain, which greatly limits their applications on large strain deformation. In new work, researchers have successfully fabricated a piezoelectric nanocomposite device with good transparency, high stretchability, and self-powered sensing characteristics. Attached...

Posted: Dec 04, 2017

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Facile fabrication of dual nanopatterns with block copolymer lithography

nanolithographyBlock copolymer lithography is a cost-effective, parallel, and scalable nanolithography for the densely packed periodic arrays of nanoscale features, whose typical dimension scale is beyond the resolution limit of conventional photolithography. The directed self-assembly of block copolymers is one of the most promising techniques to enable the continued miniaturization of integrated circuits due to low cost, high speed, and...

Posted: Nov 27, 2017

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Designing lubricant-infused surfaces with the help of predictive models

condensationLiquid-impregnated coating technologies involve nanoscale texturing of a surface, which is then coated with a - usually lubricating - liquid. A lubricant infused surface is comprised of a textured solid surface into which a lubricating fluid is spontaneously wicked. Lubricant infused surfaces can exhibit excellent fluid repellency if designed properly. Scientists now have developed a model to determine which lubricant infused...

Posted: Nov 23, 2017

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Monitor your UV exposure with an adhesive nanoplasmonic patch

sunModerate exposure to sunlight has significant health benefits, however, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation also is a major risk factor for most skin cancers. That means that, while moderate exposure to sunlight is recommended, there is a fine line to walk between beneficial and harmful amounts of UV exposure. To take the guesswork out of assessing the exposure to damaging UV rays, several wearable consumer UV sensors have...

Posted: Nov 22, 2017

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Fabricating high-performance microsupercapacitors using fractal electrode designs

fractalsThe wearable power sources required for wearable and implantable electronic devices are limited by the size of the gadgets they power. Microsupercapacitors are newly emerging miniaturized high-power microelectrochemical energy-storage devices that can deliver high power density, fast charge and discharge, and a superior cycling lifetime. A new study shows that electrode fractal design is a viable strategy for improving the...

Posted: Nov 20, 2017

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A single-atom catalyst supported on monolayers for nitrogen fixation

nitrogen_fixationSingle-atom catalysts (SACs) have emerged as a new frontier in heterogeneous catalysis, and demonstrated distinguishing performances for various reactions due to their high catalytic activity with a significantly reduced amount of metals used. However, the catalytic performance of SACs for nitrogen fixation and conversion has been rarely explored. Scientists now have proposed a quite promising single-atom-based electrocatalyst...

Posted: Nov 17, 2017

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