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Nanotechnology Spotlights

Freeze-thaw made noble metal aerogels: Clean and hierarchical materials for photoelectrocatalysis

aerogel-fabricationNoble metal aerogels are widely investigated for electrocatalysis applications due to their large specific surface areas and the high catalytic activity of noble metals. However, their fabrication methods are cumbersome. Now though, researchers have developed a freeze?thaw method capable of preparing various hierarchically structured noble metal gels within only one day directly from dilute solutions without extra additives....

Mar 26, 2020

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Bioprinting techniques advance from shape to function

3DprintingBiofabrication is a revolutionizing toolkit for regenerative medicine that allows cells and other biomaterials to be precisely combined and patterned into three-dimensional (3D) constructs through automated, cell-friendly fabrication methods. With rapid advanced in 3D-printing hardware on one hand and bioink materials on the other, biofabrication techniques have gained significant momentum and provide a powerful approach to...

Mar 25, 2020

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A self-healing nanofiber sensor for temperature-sensitive logistics

food-sensorResearchers fabricated an innovative type of time-temperature sensor that can be used to detect and record temperature changes throughout the entire cold-supply chain. This nanofiber-based sensor only requires a single self-healing material with one phase, and functions as a result of its own intrinsic characteristics. Moreover, it is highly flexible, not at risk of chemical leakage, and cost-effective. Compared to electronic...

Mar 23, 2020

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Powering up bacteria for green electricity

bioelectricityResearchers have identified the potential of using nanoscale carbon dots on bacteria for augmented bioelectricity production. They used this to demonstrate a novel method for significantly increasing the bacterial bioelectricity generation and applied it to set up microbial fuel cells. The results show that carbon dots' highly conductive carbon core not only improved overall systemic electrical conductivity but could also...

Mar 19, 2020

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Electronic skin sensor detects heatstroke danger

skin-sensorA tattoo-like sensor system that sticks to the skin and can indirectly tell the body's hydration level could help prevent heat strokes. The research team behind this invention demonstrated a completely new, versatile strategy to integrate pH sensing elements with high quality, physically transferable PDMS freestanding nanosheets. These sensor stickers can adhere to the skin without any glue. The simple structure of this sensor...

Mar 19, 2020

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Flexible electronics made with wood-based nanotechnology

printed-electronicsResearchers have developed a method to produce a wood-derived, fully bio-based, and environmentally friendly flexible electronic circuit. They tailored the wood nanostructure to create a wood film with high transparency, flexibility, and strong mechanical properties. This material compares favorably with previously published two-dimensional cellulose-based materials developed for electronics or structural applications. This...

Mar 12, 2020

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Direct laser-writing of graphene on Kevlar makes protective clothing 'smart'

electronicsResearchers report the direct writing of laser-induced graphene on a Kevlar textile. The transformation of Kevlar into graphene can be attributed to the photothermal effect induced by CO2 laser irradiation. Specifically, this resulted in high localized temperature, leading to the ablation and depolymerization of the Kevlar fiber. The remaining carbon atoms are recombined and 'recrystallized' into graphene. Based on this technique,...

Mar 11, 2020

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Super lightweight foam uses sunlight to harvest water from evaporation

rising-vaporAround the world, research teams are addressing the rising global demand of water via the development of sustainable and straightforward technologies that make use of what nature has to offer. Researchers have now reported a hydrophilic and self-floating photothermal foam that shows high-rate evaporation without additional components, enabling an elegant and simple approach for water harvesting through solar evaporation. This...

Mar 10, 2020

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The analogy between electrolytes and ion-generating nanomaterials in liquid crystals

liquid-crystalsBoth display and non-display applications of liquid crystals rely on advanced liquid crystal materials. Liquid crystal materials with new functionalities can be produced by dispersing nanomaterials in liquid crystals, resulting in a mixture of nano-dopants and liquid crystals. These novel, nanotechnology-based materials very often exhibit unusual properties. For that reason, nanomaterials in liquid crystals are a hot topic...

Mar 04, 2020

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