Nanotechnology Spotlights

Nanoengineering: The skills and tools making technology invisible

molecular-layersNanoengineering is a branch of engineering that exploits the unique properties of nanomaterials - their size and quantum effects - and the interaction between these materials, in order to design and manufacture novel structures and devices that possess entirely new functionality and capabilities, which are not obtainable by macroscale engineering. The book 'Nanoengineering: The Skills and Tools Making Technology Invisible'...

Dec 04, 2019

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Transforming the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into graphene

grapheneResearchers have produced graphene by molten carbonate electrolytic splitting of CO2 to a nano-thin carbon product (carbon nanoplatelets) comprised of 25 to 125 graphene layers, and subsequent electrochemical exfoliation of the nanoplatelets to graphene in a carbonate soluble aqueous solution. The sole products of the carbon dioxide electrolysis are straightforward: high yield carbon nanoplatelets and oxygen. The carbon nanoplatelets...

Dec 02, 2019

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Observing flow distribution over curved surfaces

flow-sensorResearchers have demonstrated the first large-scale flexible thermal flow sensor array on a thin-film. This flow sensor - based on a calorimetric sensing mechanism - can not only monitor flow intensity but also flow direction. More importantly, these sensors can be attached onto curved surfaces for real-time flow monitoring. Flow separation is a common phenomenon affecting aircraft, wind turbine blades, micro aerials, and...

Nov 26, 2019

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From origin of life to materials genomics

microbubbleThe origin of early life and the basic building blocks such as DNA and RNA have been hypothesized to have resulted due to accumulation of precursors within hydrothermal vents. The thermal gradients result in the concentration of prebiotic molecules with the vents acting as reactors. Researchers have translated this concept of accumulation-mediated concentration to the micro- and nanoscale for intensified materials synthesis...

Nov 19, 2019

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Biliverdin nanoparticles pave the way for biodegradable imaging agents

nanoparticleNanoparticles have shown a lot of promise in biomedical applications. However, accumulation of nanoparticles in the liver is a major concern, and may be one of the greatest barriers to the widespread adoption of nanoparticles in the clinic. This is especially true for metallic nanoparticles, since the long-term effects of their accumulation in the liver has not been widely studied. A team of researchers has looked to nature...

Nov 18, 2019

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Enhancing wireless in vivo sensor readouts with 'divergent exceptional points'

RF-sensorRadio-frequency wireless sensors are essential components of smart objects and internet-of-things components. However, these passive microsensors suffer from poor quality of data and sensitivity due to the environments they operate in and the need for sensors with extremely small footprints. Researchers have recently shown that a wireless system locked to an exceptional point (EP) can enhance the sensitivity of passive wireless...

Nov 12, 2019

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Biodegradable microresonator implants for medical applications

microresonatorThe goal of the electronics industry has always been to build durable devices with stable performance that last a very long time. 'Transient electronics', however, are designed with the exact opposite goal: to dissolve harmlessly into their surroundings after functioning for a certain amount of time. The fabrication process and the in vivo powering of medical implants that are only made from biodegradable materials are two...

Nov 11, 2019

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Paving the way for inorganic perovskites' use in high-performance electronic applications

photodetectorNew work provides insight into the control over phase and ordering during halide perovskite epitaxial growth and expands the selection of photoactive materials for growing epitaxial halide perovskites that can be exploited in high-performance electronic applications. Hybrid organic-inorganic halide perovskite has attracted tremendous attention as an exceptional new class of semiconductors for solar harvesting, light emission,...

Nov 07, 2019

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3D printing batteries - an overview

microbatteryAs an advanced fabrication technique, 3D printing has been increasingly utilized to fabricate complex 3D objects via digitally controlled deposition of phase change and reactive materials and solvent-based inks. When it comes to batteries, 3D printing has several significant advantages compared with conventional battery fabrication technologies and it opens new avenues for the rapid fabrication of 3D-structured batteries with...

Nov 04, 2019

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