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Nanotechnology Spotlights

Nanostructured surface inactivates SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus within six hours

nanostructured-surfaceResearchers have successfully produced durable antiviral surfaces that inactivate SARS-CoV-2 within 6 hours. In contrast, on various non-nanostructured surfaces or smooth surfaces, the SARS-COV-2 virus remained viable for up to 48 hours. These results provide evidence that surfaces that are structured with specific nanoscale surface features are effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 and the subsequent environmental spread. Such...

Sep 18, 2020

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Applying machine learning to nanophotonic design efforts

data-modellingA major challenge for nanophotonics engineers is the wide range of optical responses that metamaterials and other nanoplasmonic structures can generate. In the past few years, machine learning has emerged as a powerful tool for sifting through this vast universe of possible design parameters to aid the design of nanophotonic devices tailored for specific applications. A novel approach uses a type of neural network called a...

Sep 17, 2020

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Direct printing of wearable health sensors onto skin

wearable-electronicsSkin-interfaced, wearable electronics have attracted significant attention due to their unique roles in preventative monitoring, diagnostic confirmation, and convenient therapeutic options. The ultimate application of these bio-integrated devices for practical and convenient applications hinges on the seamless integration of on-body sensors with wireless transmission modules. As a promising direction toward this class of integrated...

Sep 15, 2020

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Topological quantum phase in 2D MoTe2 induced by light

energy-surfaceResearchers have provided an example of on-demand control of quantum phenomena to design the quantum materials. By state-of-the-art quantum mechanical simulations, they find that a two-dimensional transition-metal ditelluride, MoTe2, can realize a structural phase transition from the semiconducting phase to the topological phase triggered by photoexcitation of carriers alone. The sub-picosecond phase transition can be controlled...

Sep 14, 2020

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Bottom-up fabrication of nanoelectronics with DNA nanotechnology

DNA-templatesDNA is probably the most programmable biomaterial for creating a wide range of rationally designed and functionally enhanced nanostructures. The sophisticated, programmable, and addressable DNA nanostructures are strong candidates for constructing nanoelectronic devices. The size of DNA molecules is also key: DNA double-helix has a neighboring base pair distance of 0.34 nm and a diameter of 2.1 - 2.6 nm a, and thus DNA complex-based...

Sep 10, 2020

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The GoNano project: Governing nanotechnologies through societal engagement

GoNano-logoThe EU-funded GoNano project explored how co-creation can be used to enhance the responsiveness of nanotechnology research and innovation. Responsiveness is understood as the capacity and willingness of researchers and developers to integrate societal considerations in the early stages of technology development. Over the course of three years, GoNano brought together citizens, civil society organizations, industry, researchers,...

Sep 09, 2020

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Eliminating biofilms with self-propelled photothermal nanoswimmers

nanoswimmerBiofilm formation is an important adaptation and survival strategy commonly employed by bacteria but, unfortunately, a major cause for infections in humans. Researchers have now demonstrated the safe removal of in vivo bacterial biofilms through artificial nanomotors driven by near-infrared laser light. This is the first demonstration of a self-propelled antibiofilm platform capable of conducting photothermal and antibiotic...

Sep 08, 2020

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Passive cooling of enclosed spaces

passive-coolingRadiative cooling is a passive cooling strategy for lowering the temperature of an object without consuming energy or emitting pollution. However, this cooling method becomes ineffective when heat accumulates continuously in an enclosed space, such as a stationary vehicle exposed to direct sunlight. Researchers propose a Janus thermal emitter that acts as a selective emitter on the top side and a broadband emitter on the bottom...

Sep 07, 2020

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Protein corona determines fate and cytotoxicity of nanoparticles

protein-coronaThe physicochemical properties of nanoparticles alone cannot predict the fate of nanoparticles in biological systems. Current evidence suggests that the formation of a corona on the nanoparticle surface is the most important parameter that controls nanoparticle toxicity. Scientists now showed that protein corona modulates internalisation and cytotoxicity of nanodiamonds in non-phagocytic and phagocytic cells. Specifically,...

Sep 04, 2020

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Nanoparticles can cause unusual reorientation transitions in liquid crystals

LCDMany of the electronic devices we use in our everyday life employ liquid crystals in their optical displays. Electric field induced orientational transitions of elongated liquid crystal molecules are at the heart of LC technologies. Changing the applied voltage controls the orientation of liquid crystals and their properties such as color. Scientists now report an experimental observation of the electro-optical effect that...

Aug 28, 2020

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