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Nanodiamonds enable progress in retinal prostheses

Research groups in several countries are making progress in retinal prosthesis development. If they achieve their aims, patients who have gone blind, due to loss of their photoreceptors, could recover a better simplified form of vision than with available prostheses. One of the groups shows that diamonds could lead the way.

Posted: Jun 13th, 2011

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Seeding method allows functionalized metal-organic frameworks to be grown rapidly with precise structural control

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are highly porous, ordered networks consisting of inorganic centers linked by organic moieties. Their large surface areas make them attractive for various uses including catalysis, gas storage, and as filtration and purification membranes. Such industrial applications, however, require large-scale, well-controlled synthetic routes, which for MOFs have proved difficult to achieve. Dario Buso and Paolo Falcaro from the CSIRO in Australia have now led a group of researchers in developing a seeding method that can trigger MOF formation in a spatially controlled way whilst simultaneously allowing functionalization of the framework.

Posted: Jun 13th, 2011

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Resistive memory built with exposed, planar nanowires provides insights into resistive switching

Resistive memory is known to rely on the formation and destruction of nanoscale, filamentary conductive pathways between the electrodes. However, the exact nature of these pathways is not completely understood, particularly for materials in which positive charge carriers are responsible for conduction, known as 'p-type' materials. Takeshi Yanagida, Tomoji Kawai and colleagues at Osaka University in Japan and Konkuk University in Korea have now revealed key details of resistive switching in p-type devices.

Posted: Jun 13th, 2011

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First-of-its-kind hydrogel and new mix-and-match block copolymer 'smart' biomaterials for drug delivery and biomedical applications

Researchers from Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), an institute of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have invented new 'smart' biomaterials including a unique hydrogel that has an on-off switch to precisely control its density and a new modular block copolymer that can be tailored to be triggered by specific temperatures.

Posted: Jun 13th, 2011

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Researchers develop a living laser

It sounds like something out of a comic book or a science fiction movie - a living laser - but that is exactly what two investigators at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed. The researchers describe how a single cell genetically engineered to express green fluorescent protein can be used to amplify the light particles called photons into nanosecond-long pulses of laser light.

Posted: Jun 12th, 2011

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Scientists demonstrate first telecommunications wavelength quantum dot laser grown on a silicon substrate

A new generation of high speed, silicon-based information technology has been brought a step closer by researchers in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at UCL and the London Centre for Nanotechnology. The team's research provides the first demonstration of an electrically driven, quantum dot laser grown directly on a silicon substrate with a wavelength suitable for use in telecommunications.

Posted: Jun 12th, 2011

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Prototype demonstrates success of advanced new energy technology

With the completion of a successful prototype, engineers at Oregon State University have made a major step toward addressing one of the leading problems in energy use around the world today - the waste of half or more of the energy produced by cars, factories and power plants.

Posted: Jun 10th, 2011

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New grant to study ways of building nanoscale solid oxide fuel cells

A team of scientists and engineers led by University of Illinois at Chicago engineering professor Christos Takoudis will use a $475,000 National Science Foundation grant to study ways of building nano-scale solid oxide fuel cells that operate efficiently at intermediate-range temperatures.

Posted: Jun 10th, 2011

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