Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 2215 in category All (newest first):


Intercalation energy tuning improves performance of multivalent ion batteries

interlayer_spacingAqueous rechargeable batteries based on earth abundant materials are promising alternatives to lithium-ion batteries, which are plagued by safety and environmental concerns. These batteries utilize water-based electrolytes, which are safe, low-cost, and environment-friendly, but also possess a much higher ionic conductivity than that of the organic electrolytes. In new work, researchers report an effective and general strategy to transform inactive intercalation hosts into efficient zinc ion storage materials through intercalation energy tuning.

Apr 26th, 2019

[email protected] nanotube heterojunctions as promising material for photodetectors

nanotubeResearchers demonstrate, for the first time, a [email protected] ([email protected]) heterostructure used as a working material in a photoelectrochemical-type photodetector. Specifically, [email protected] nanotube heterojunctions synthesized by epitaxial growth of selenium on tellurium nanotubes exhibit a largely enhanced self-powered photoresponse, significantly improved photocurrent density, and photoresponsivity compared to those of Te or Se nanomaterials.

Apr 25th, 2019

Perfectly-absorbing photoconductive metasurface significantly improves THz detection

THz-detectorTerahertz (THz) frequencies, which occupy a middle ground between microwaves and infrared light, are seen as the future of wireless communications because they offer a higher bandwidth capacity for data transmission than currently used microwave radiation. Researchers have improved the photoconductive switch, a key optoelectronic element in THz technology, with a perfectly-absorbing photoconductive metasurface. The perfect absorption within this metasurface allows to make the active region of THz wave detectors significantly thinner in comparison to conventional detectors. Apart from reducing the size of THz detectors, it also improves their efficiency.

Apr 24th, 2019

Estimating the occurrence of nanomaterials in the environment

nanomaterialsTo perform a risk assessment of nanomaterials in the environment, information on the exposure, i.e. the amounts that are present in the environment, is essential. In contrast to many other known pollutants, the concentrations of nanomaterials in environmental systems cannot be measured directly. In this situation, exposure modelling is a solution to estimate the environmental exposure with synthetic nanomaterials. In order to predict the amount of a nanomaterial in a certain environmental compartment (environmental exposure) present in a certain area, two basic types of models are required - material flow analysis and environmental behaviour modelling.

Apr 23rd, 2019

Quantum-material-based proton-irradiation-immune electronics for space travel

two-terminal-deviceProton radiation damage is an important failure mechanism for electronic devices in near-Earth orbits and deep space. The future of space exploration depends crucially on the development of new electronic technologies that are immune to space radiation, which consists primarily of protons, electrons, and cosmic rays. The penetrating energetic radiation of deep space produces negative impacts on not only biological entities but also the electronic systems of space vehicles. Researchers have now demonstrated two-dimensional charge-density-wave devices with a remarkable immunity to bombardment with protons.

Apr 22nd, 2019

Triboelectric nanogenerators for next-generation wearable health monitoring

nanogeneratorDozens of nanotechnology research groups worldwide are working on the development of triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) for harvesting energy from mechanical vibrations. The huge interest in TENGs stems from their ability to convert ambient mechanical energy into electricity for powering wearable electronics, energy generation using sound, sensor networks, removing air pollution with nanogenerator-enhanced air filters, implantable medical devices, and other small systems. A recent article comprehensively reviews the recent advances in TENG-based health monitoring.

Apr 12th, 2019

Polymer composite film for ultrafast photonics

sprayPolymer composite films, particularly those based on polymers and layered nanomaterials, are attractive materials for exploiting the properties of multiple materials for applications in electronics and photonics. Recently, scientists have found that beta-lead oxide quantum dot /polystyrene composite films exhibit excellent stability in high humidity and strong saturable absorption response from visible to the near-infrared region. This makes them an attractive material for practical applications in optoelectronic devices in marine environments and other harsh condition, such as humid weather.

Apr 8th, 2019

'Air chargeable' zinc-ion energy storage devices

air-gap-batteryResearchers propose a highly integrated system of an 'air charging' zinc-ion capacitor/battery. By scavenging energy from pervasive air, a zinc-ion capacitor/battery can be conveniently and easily charged without applying an additional power source. The system possesses a simply structure that consists of a flexible bifunctional U-shaped electrode (with the dual function of energy harvesting and storage), a zinc-metal electrode in middle, and two different polyelectrolytes (PAM and PANa) sandwiched between the metal zinc and the electrode.

Apr 5th, 2019