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Nanotechnology: yay or nay?

The LA Times will run a daily piece in its opinion section this week discussing nanotechnology. All week, Aatish Salvi and George Kimbrell debate the promises, ethical concerns and applications of nanotechnology.

Posted: Feb 25th, 2008

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Engineers demonstrate a new type of optical tweezer

Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) demonstrated a new type of optical tweezer with the potential to make biological and microfluidic force measurements in integrated systems such as microfluidic chips. The tweezer, consisting of a Fresnel Zone Plate microfabricated on a glass slide, has the ability to trap particles without the need for high performance objective lenses.

Posted: Feb 25th, 2008

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Novel materials research nets physicist NSF CAREER award

A University of Arkansas physics professor will create and explore novel interface-controlled materials at the nanoscale to explore their physical properties, many of which are not attainable in bulk materials. His research in this area earned him a $410,735 CAREER award from the National Science Foundation to continue the research, which was cited by Science magazine as one of the top 10 breakthroughs of 2007.

Posted: Feb 25th, 2008

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Position sensors: magnets know their place

Non-contact position sensors are small but important parts of many modern machines. Researchers have used a phenomenon known as magnetoresistance to develop a practical, low-cost position sensor that performs better than existing designs. Commercial production will follow this year.

Posted: Feb 22nd, 2008

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Special coating greatly improves solar cell performance

The energy from sunlight falling on only 9 percent of California's Mojave Desert could power all of the United Statesā?? electricity needs if the energy could be efficiently harvested, according to some estimates. Unfortunately, current-generation solar cell technologies are too expensive and inefficient for wide-scale commercial applications. A team of Northwestern University researchers has developed a new anode coating strategy that significantly enhances the efficiency of solar energy power conversion.

Posted: Feb 22nd, 2008

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Switchyard for single electrons

Scientists of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) achieved to transfer very small charge 'packets', comprising a well-defined number of few electrons, between metallic electrons precisely by using a single-electron pump.

Posted: Feb 22nd, 2008

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Electron filmed for first time ever

Now it is possible to see a movie of an electron. The movie shows how an electron rides on a light wave after just having been pulled away from an atom.

Posted: Feb 22nd, 2008

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Nanotechnology makes a big difference to rapid prototyping and manufacturing

Leading suppliers of materials for rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing are finding that nanoparticles can dramatically alter the properties of finished components. Paul Stevens from engineer LIVE looks at what is available on the market and how another nanotechnology-based process is enhancing the properties of parts built from standard materials.

Posted: Feb 21st, 2008

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