Nanotechnology Spotlights

Probing plant health status using flexible sensor systems

plant-sensorResearchers report an integrated multimodal flexible sensor system comprising a room humidity sensor, a leaf humidity sensor, an optical sensor, and a temperature sensor that can tap into potential physiological health issues of plants. Using stacked ZIS nanosheets as the kernel sensing media, the flexible sensor can not only perceive light illumination at a fast response, but also monitor the humidity with a perdurable steady...

Aug 12, 2020

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Nanocoatings could prevent bird-strikes

birdstrikeTo birds, trees and sky reflected in glass appear to be habitat. They fly into windows at high speeds, and the loss of life is staggering. Unlike humans, most birds can see UV light. It therefore stands to reason that applying UV-reflecting coatings or patterns on windows and glass buildings can be particularly advantageous to prevent bird strikes. Tuning the UV reflectance properties of window glass (or any other surface...

Aug 11, 2020

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Bilateral interface engineering for efficient and stable perovskite QLEDs

QLEDPerovskite QLEDs possess the features of wide gamut and real color expression; that's why they have been considered as very promising candidates for next-generation high-quality lighting and displays. However, device efficiency and stability of perovskite QLEDs has always been a major challenge. Researchers now report a new passivation technique that greatly enhances device performance and stability compared to single interface...

Aug 10, 2020

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Using machine intelligence to find the charge density wave phases of any 2D material

machine-learningCharge density wave (CDW) is a quantum mechanical phenomenon, which induces distortion in the crystal structures of some low-dimensional (1D or 2D) metals, when the temperature is reduced. Such distorted crystal structure is known as CDW phase and its resistivity is much higher than the original symmetric phase. Since the switching between symmetric and CDW phase can also be made by the application of external electric field,...

Aug 06, 2020

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3D-printed nanoscale color pixels improve brightness control

display-pixelsResearchers have fabricated nanoscale color pixels that utilize three-dimensional space to improve and control the brightness of individual pixels with nanoscale lateral dimensions. Specifically, this novel method utilizes 3D printing of vertically freestanding nanostructures containing red, green, or blue light-emitting quantum dots embedded in polymer nanowires. The emission brightness of the pixels linearly increases with...

Aug 05, 2020

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A low-temperature bubble-generating system for enhanced surface capture of proteins

microbubblesConventional optothermal microbubble assisted bio-sensing is not suitable for protein sensing due to the high temperatures over 100 dgrees C. To overcome this problem, researchers have demonstrated a proof-of-concept study that reduces the working temperature of bubble generation simply by introducing a volatile, water-immiscible liquid into an aqueous medium. This enables the generation of bubbles at a much lower temperature...

Jul 27, 2020

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A virus-based colorimetric sensor

sensorResearchers have turned to M13 bacteriophages as a sensing layer for colorimetric sensors. M13 is a nanoscale, benign virus with a shape that closely resembles collagen fibers. It can change its structure by shrinking or expanding in response to a changing surrounding environment. By using a highly lossy resonant promoter as the substrate, the spin-coated M-13 virus layer exhibits strong resonance even with ultrathin thickness...

Jul 24, 2020

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Drawing photodetectors on paper

photodetectorResearchers have fabricated photodetectors on paper by mimicking the action of drawing/writing with a pencil on standard paper. The results indicate that this process can be employed with other layered materials like the semiconducting molybdenum disulfide to fabricate electronic devices on paper. There are many layered materials (so called van der Waals materials) that have similar mechanical properties to graphite and thus...

Jul 23, 2020

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A new breakthrough in lithium-silicon batteries

nanocompositeResearchers have discovered a novel 'sandwiched' silicon electrode structure that can withstand 500 cycles and deliver capacities three times larger than graphite. They used freestanding sheets made of carbon nanotubes - bucky papers - for sandwiching silicon nanoparticles. These nanotubes form a quasi-three-dimensional structure and hold silicon nanoparticles together even after 100 cycles and mitigate electrical resistance...

Jul 22, 2020

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