Currently, most graphene-based innovations are not yet at the level of large-scale commercial production. But public and private investments into graphene and its applications in products are large and whichever production methods eventually turn out to be successful, exposure to humans or the environment somewhere along the value chain or life-cycle of the material or product should be anticipated timely. A new review paper offers suggestions on how potential nanospecific safety issues can be addressed, by who and at what stage of the innovation process.
Hydrogen bond base pairing forces are essential for the mechanisms associated with DNA stability. Despite attracting great research attention, this fundamental interaction has eluded a precise physical description so far since its electrical origin has not been quantified yet. Researchers now have proposed characterization by means of electrical forces, providing a framework for universal characterization of hydrogen bonds. In this way, they provide technical arguments to support that hydrogen bonds are well distinguishable and their role in biological events require a proper specific intrabond description.
Just like traditional paper origami that results in complicated 3D structures from 2D paper, graphene origami allows the design and fabrication of carbon nanostructures that are not naturally existing but of desirable properties. In a new report, researchers describe how p-type and n-type doping of 2D sheets like graphene in selected areas could be exploited as two 'colors' to guide the sheets into preferred folded shapes where complementarily doped areas maximize their mutual overlap.
Among the important parameters in optical lithography is the spatial resolution you can get and the time you need to draw your pattern. Systems with regular and fixed patterns can be extremely fast but those systems are based on masks. Mask production is a time consuming and expensive process. So-called mask-less systems can draw unorganized patterns directly on substrates, at the cost of longer process times. Researchers now have presented a new lithographic approach with a high-resolution, low-cost technique based on nanosphere lithography.
Chemical engineering researchers have reported the usage of activated carbon prepared from tea leaves, improving the mass transport phenomenon (33 % performance improvement) in an operating direct methanol fuel cell, owing to its pore structure characteristics. The cell performance underwent drastic changes in the mass transport region of the fuel cell polarization curve, comparable to the standard membrane electrode assembly. This is attributed to the pore structure of this framework aiding in enhanced water removal, as a result more air molecules react with the platinum catalyst sites finally improving the fuel cell performance.
Electrocatalysis offers important opportunities for clean fuel production, but uncovering the chemistry at the electrode surface remains a challenge. Here, this work exploits a single-nanosheet device to perform in-situ measurements of water oxidation electrocatalysis and reveal a crucial interaction with oxygen. The obtained in-depth understanding could provide valuable clues for catalysis system design and the in-situ measurement could be also useful to analyze other interfacial reaction processes.
Nanotechnology materials are going to open new realms of possibility for flexible and stretchable monitoring gadgets that are wearable directly on the skin. Here we look at the latest developments in a class of electronic devices, commonly referred to as electronic skin, epidermal electronics, or electronic tattoos, from the materials, devices, and medical applications perspectives. While such devices can also be used for prosthetics and rehabilitation, optogenetics, and human-machine interfaces, this review focuses on the properties of the materials that enable skin-mounted sensors for use as diagnostic tools in the medical field.
Researchers have focused on nanocellulose as a novel biomaterial with industrial and scientific applications, which range from the creation of new kinds of commercially useful materials and uses in medical technology all the way to the food and pharmaceutical industries. Engineers now have developed a new use for nanofibrillated cellulose by combining it with carbon nanotubes to form strong, conductive microfibers through a 3D-printing process. The team's 3D-printed wood nanocellulose-carbon nanotube microfibers combine high electrical conductivity and mechanical strength, which can be potentially used in wearable electronics with high performance and low cost.