As a part of the White House Water Summit held yesterday on World Water Day, the Federal agencies participating in the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) announced the launch of a Nanotechnology Signature Initiative (NSI), Water Sustainability through Nanotechnology: Nanoscale Solutions for a Global-Scale Challenge.
Researchers develop microscopic components and assemble them to larger objects with the aid of laser tweezers. They are thus establishing methods that one day may be utilised to manufacture machines in dimensions of a few micrometres.
Nanoparticles and their sizes are commonly detected using specialized analytical techniques. If nanoparticles are lost in the analytical apparatus, they are not detected, and a 'false negative' result occurs.
Researchers have achieved a solar-to-hydrogen energy conversion efficiency of 1.1% using particulate photocatalyst sheets developed by the research group. The photocatalyst sheet can potentially produce a large quantity of solar hydrogen inexpensively owing to its scalability and low fabrication cost.
A process for providing sensitive semiconductors for solar water splitting ('artificial leaves') with an organic, transparent protective layer has been developed by researchers. The extremely thin protective layer made of carbon chains is stable, conductive, and covered with catalyzing nanoparticles of metal oxides. These accelerate the splitting of water when irradiated by light.
Researchers have made a better thermoplastic by replacing styrene with lignin, a brittle, rigid polymer that, with cellulose, forms the woody cell walls of plants. In doing so, they have invented a solvent-free production process that interconnects equal parts of nanoscale lignin dispersed in a synthetic rubber matrix to produce a meltable, moldable, ductile material that's at least ten times tougher than ABS, a common thermoplastic.
Micro and nanorobots that attack tumors with maximum precision using drugs: this is what the fight against cancer may look like in the future. A group of researchers are laying the foundations with magnetoelectric-controlled Janus machines.