Nanotechnology Spotlights

Kelvin probe force microscopy - what is it? How does it work?

topography-imageKelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM), also known as surface potential microscopy, is one member of a suite of electrical characterization methods available in atomic force microscopes. It maps the contact potential difference between a surface and the cantilever, containing information about the surface potential and work function. KPFM is a surface-sensitive method that probes at and near the surface only. It is often used...

Oct 21, 2020

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Ultrasound-induced polymers

molecular-dynamicsResearchers have recently demonstrated that high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a promising, non-invasive stimulus with multiple superior and unique capabilities to induce localized heating and achieve temporal and spatial thermal effects in polymers. The team proposes a new manner of stimulating stimuli-responsive polymers. These polymers demonstrate promise for controlled drug delivery, sensing and biosensing, smart...

Oct 20, 2020

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Nanotechnology in fiction

nanobotThe ability to communicate new advances in science and technology has never been more important, and in that regard innovations with nanotechnology are growing more rapidly than ever with benefits to both society and the economy. However, for many consumers and the general public, the very idea of nanotechnology is both a wonder and an enigma. But how do we keep our society engaged with new nanotechnology at a time when everyone...

Oct 15, 2020

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Graphene-based nanomaterials for the next generation cancer theranostics

cancer-nanotechnologyThe use of graphene-based materials in pharmaceutical nanotechnology has recently received more attention due to their unique chemical structure and physicochemical properties - including an ultra-high surface area, optical, thermal and electrical conductivities, and a good biocompatibility. They can also load large amounts of drug molecules on both sides of the single atom layer sheet. The next generation of cancer nanotheranostics...

Oct 09, 2020

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Sperm-powered micro trucks

spermbotResearchers have developed a hybrid sperm micromotor, which can carry a payload and efficiently and controllably swim against flowing blood. Sperm-based micromotors hold several advantages, in particular their powerful propulsion generated by the beating of the sperm flagella. Sperm are also able to swim for several days with a drag force up to 100 pN. The most important feature of sperm micromotors to operate in the bloodstream...

Oct 08, 2020

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Shape shifting robots

robotBiology serves as an important proof-of-principle, and design challenge, for artificial intelligence and shape changing robots. Numerous organisms successfully exploit shape change as a mechanism for adaptation and survival. However, for robotics designers one fundamental question to start with is that it is unclear when and how robots should change their shape. A recent progress review provides an overview of the literature...

Oct 06, 2020

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Growing large-area single-grain graphene layers

graphene-flakesResearchers demonstrate that single-grain growth of graphene crystals can be achieved over a large, macroscale, area. Specifically, the team shows that graphene flakes, nucleated over a polycrystalline graphene film, synchronize during growth so as to ultimately yield a common crystal orientation at the macroscale. The phenomenon of self-alignment of graphene grains during their growth, which the team discovered experimentally,...

Sep 30, 2020

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Electromagnetic interference shielding with graphene composites for 5G-and-beyond communication technologies

graphene-EMI-shieldingAny working electronic device is the source of electromagnetic (EM) radiation. Device miniaturization and a consequent increase in the heat and electromagnetic (EM) wave emission in the electronic systems make the simultaneous heat management and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding crucially important. New research shows that the extremely high thermal conductivity of graphene and good electrical conductivity, even...

Sep 28, 2020

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Turning tiny algae into living micromotors controlled by light (w/video)

bacterial-nanomotorResearchers have demonstrated the creation of a living micromotor with multifunctional capability. The distinctive feature of this device is that it doesn't require synthetic materials and therefore avoid the problems of energy consumption and waste production generated during material synthesis. Using microalgal Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells as the sole material, the scientists made living and multifunctional micromotors...

Sep 23, 2020

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4D nanomedicine based on biodegradable and biocompatible nanoalloys: difficult as catching a comet!

cometImagine catching a comet. Now imagine the comet is as small as a few billionths of meters and it is made of elements from the periodic table that do not like each other; whose fate is that of separate in space and dissolve in biological environments or just in air. Before this happens, the elements are trapped in what is called a non-equilibrium alloy nanoparticle. Since this nanoalloy changes over time, it is not enough to...

Sep 21, 2020

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