In biology, materials science and the energy sciences, structural information provides important insights into the understanding of matter. The link between a structure and its properties can suggest new avenues for designed improvements of synthetic materials or provide new fundamental insights in biology and medicine at the molecular level.
Nanoparticles are specifically adapted to the particular application by Small Molecule Surface Modification (SMSM). Thereby surfaces of workpieces or mouldings are expected to exhibit several different functions at one and the same time.
A plastic used in filters and tubing has an unusual trait: It can produce electricity when pulled or pressed. This ability has been used in small ways, but now researchers are coaxing fibers of the material to make even more electricity for a wider range of applications from green energy to 'artificial muscles'.
New types of membrane adsorbers remove unwanted particles from water and also, at the same time, dissolved substances such as the hormonally active bis-phenol A or toxic lead. To do this, researchers imbed selective adsorber particles in filtration membranes.
The breakthrough findings allow better understanding of the counterintuitive behaviour of water at the molecular scale and are important for development of more efficient technologies including filtration, desalination and distillation.
Carbon nanotube fibers may provide the best way to communicate directly with the brain. The fibers have proven superior to metal electrodes for deep brain stimulation and to read signals from a neuronal network. Because they provide a two-way connection, they show promise for treating patients with neurological disorders while monitoring the real-time response of neural circuits in areas that control movement, mood and bodily functions.