Ruthless with bacteria, harmless to human cells. New, durable antibacterial coatings of nanocomposites will in future help to improve the hygiene of sportswear, and used in medicine, will reduce the rate of infections and shorten the times of in-patient hospital admissions.
Greater magnetic sensitivity is also useful in many scientific areas, such as the identification of biomolecules such as DNA or viruses. This research must often take place in a warm, wet environment, where clean conditions or low temperatures are not possible. Scientists address this concern by developing a diamond sensor that operates in a fluid environment.
Platinum has traditionally been used as the electrocatalyst in electrolysers that store electric energy as chemical compounds. However, platinum is a rare and expensive metal. Now, researchers have succeeded in developing a substitute to it that is cheap and effective.
Researchers have exploited gold nanotubes with controlled length and tunable absorption in the near-infrared (NIR) region for applications as photothermal conversion agents and in vivo photoacoustic imaging contrast agents. They developed a length-controlled synthesis to fabricate gold nanotubes with well-defined shape, high crystallinity, and tunable NIR surface plasmon resonance.
Researchers found that silver nanowires can be made almost indestructible and highly bendable by covering the minuscule wire with silicon dioxide. The new material can be used for making next generation optical cables, which until now have been easily fractured if bent. The new material 'memorizes' its original position and regenerates when needed.
Researchers have discovered through the in situ observation of the behavior of photoexcited carriers on the surface of a titanium dioxide crystal used as a photocatalyst that the carrier (electron and positive hole) lifetime on the crystal surface is an important factor to determine the catalytic activity.