Vertical scanning interferometry is a well-established zero-contact surface characterization technique, but the analysis involved in interpreting the data is complex and computationally intensive. Wee Keat Chong at the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology and co-workers have now developed a computationally efficient model for this technique.
A team of researchers has made nano-sized sensors that detect volatile organic compounds - harmful pollutants released from paints, cleaners, pesticides and other products - that offer several advantages over today's commercial gas sensors, including low-power room-temperature operation and the ability to detect one or several compounds over a wide range of concentrations.
A new paper by researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Cancer Institute's Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL) proposes not only a sort of gold nanoparticle "testbed" to explore how the tiny particles behave in biological systems, but also a paradigm for how to characterize nanoparticle formulations to determine just what you're working with.
US Patent 7,964,143 discloses a nanoprobe array technique that allows for an array of individual, vertically-oriented nanotubes to be assembled at precise locations on electrical contacts using electrophoresis. The location of each nanotube in the array is controlled by a nanoscale electrostatic lens fabricated by a process commonly used in the manufacture of integrated circuits.
In a recent publication in Physical Review Letters, physicists at the University of Arizona propose a way to translate the elusive magnetic spin of electrons into easily measurable electric signals. The finding is a key step in the development of computing based on spintronics, which doesn't rely on electron charge to digitize information.
Researchers at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. recently found a way to improve electricity generating fuel cells, potentially making them more efficient, powerful and less expensive. Specifically, they discovered a way to speed up the flow and filtering of water or ions, which are necessary for fuel cells to operate.
Using barium oxide nanoparticles, researchers have developed a self-cleaning technique that could allow solid oxide fuel cells to be powered directly by coal gas at operating temperatures as low as 750 degrees Celsius. The technique could provide a cleaner and more efficient alternative to conventional power plants for generating electricity from the nation's vast coal reserves.
Every day, concrete structures crack and erode prematurely due to Alkali Silica Reactivity (ASR), a chemical reaction that causes fissures in the material as it sets. Jon Belkowitz, a doctoral student at Stevens Institute of Technology, plans to put an end to this problem through his study of chemical reactions within concrete at the nanoscale.
Argonne's Center for Electrical Energy Storage is one of three Argonne-led Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) that were established in 2009 thanks to a special block grant from the U.S. Department of Energy that sought to establish five-year interdisciplinary programs focused around discrete scientific challenges.
The term "nanotechnology" covers a multitude of different technologies, and so a differentiated view of it is needed. This is the opinion of ETH Zurich Professor Christofer Hierold, whose research is in nanotechnology. He says that, to avoid risks and hazards, these must be analysed for each specific example of materials, structures and their applications.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a novel method of disguising nanoparticles as red blood cells, which will enable them to evade the body's immune system and deliver cancer-fighting drugs straight to a tumor.