Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 268 in category All (newest first):

 

Unipolar barrier photodetectors based on van der Waals heterostructures

photodetectorPhotodetectors with blackbody response show significant applications in remote sensing and infrared imaging. However, up to now, few works have demonstrated excellent response to blackbody radiation (weak irregular radiation from a real object), which is essential to reliably evaluate their potential in practical detections. Researchers now have demonstrated van der Waals unipolar barrier photodetectors with nBn and pBp heterostructures. Designing unipolar barriers with conventional materials is challenging due to the strict requirements of lattice and band matching.

Jun 24th, 2021

Structural engineering on the atomic scale

graphene-defectsFor the enormous promises of graphene and other two-dimensional (2D) materials to be fulfilled, scientists need a much better understanding of how specific types of defects in the crystal structure, including those that change location over time, affect its properties. To do that, they first need to identify the location and type of defect and then be able to precisely alter the structure of 2D materials in order to tailor their properties for applications based on them. Addressing this issue, researchers now have demonstrated structural engineering and atomic-scale analysis of graphene up to a level that so far has not been possible.

Jun 17th, 2021

MXenes - game changers in the materials field

MxeneMXenes move nanotechnology from using a few 'wonder materials' to manipulation of hundreds and even thousands of 2D building blocks to assemble designer materials and devices. Those materials can contribute to solving the key problems in the fields of energy (generation, harvesting, storage), water (desalination, purification), food (longer storage, sensing of degradation/bacteria), environment (clean air and water) and medicine (treatment, diagnostics, artificial organs).

Jun 16th, 2021

van der Waals heterostructures harness ionic power from photo-induced ion transport

heterostructuresIn general, there are three types of driving force for ion transport: electric field; mechanical pressure; and concentration gradient. Recently, light has been propsoed as a fourth. Now, researchers report the incorporation of a transition metal dichalcogenides based van der Waals multilayer heterostructure into nanofluidic materials, and demonstrate a new photo-induced active ion transport phenomenon. This will inspire a broad range of fundamental research and practical application for light-controlled ionic circuits, artificial photosynthesis, biomimetic energy conversion, and so on.

Mar 4th, 2021

High-performance carbon composites made from stretch-bridged graphene sheets

graphene-sheetsIn order to exploit the remarkable mechanical properties of graphene for practical applications, nanoscale graphene sheets need to be assembled into much larger, macroscopic structures. However, there are two pivotal issues that make this task challenging: One is the inherently misaligned and wrinkled structure of graphene platelets; another is the weak interfacial interaction among graphene platelets. Both these problems greatly degrade the properties of macroscopic graphene assemblies such as sheets and fibers.

Feb 10th, 2021

MBenes - boron-analogues of MXenes - enable efficient electrochemical synthesis of ammonia

MBeneThe industrial production of ammonia mostly relies on the energy-intensive Haber-Bosch process, which causes significant environmental pollution. Researchers have now proposed that a class of 2D transition metal borides termed MBenes - the boron-analogues of MXenes - could be used as catalyst for ammonia production through electrochemical nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR). This work also provides a general design principle for further exploration of an even broader composition space of MBenes and other 2D NRR electrocatalysts.

Nov 17th, 2020

Graphene-based nanomaterials for the next generation cancer theranostics

cancer-nanotechnologyThe use of graphene-based materials in pharmaceutical nanotechnology has recently received more attention due to their unique chemical structure and physicochemical properties - including an ultra-high surface area, optical, thermal and electrical conductivities, and a good biocompatibility. They can also load large amounts of drug molecules on both sides of the single atom layer sheet. The next generation of cancer nanotheranostics employing graphene-based nanomaterials could address the many challenges associated with traditional chemotherapeutic agents, such as the issues surrounding poor solubility, harmful side effects, non-specific drug distribution, and multi-drug resistance.

Oct 9th, 2020

Growing large-area single-grain graphene layers

graphene-flakesResearchers demonstrate that single-grain growth of graphene crystals can be achieved over a large, macroscale, area. Specifically, the team shows that graphene flakes, nucleated over a polycrystalline graphene film, synchronize during growth so as to ultimately yield a common crystal orientation at the macroscale. The phenomenon of self-alignment of graphene grains during their growth, which the team discovered experimentally, has never been observed before - and at this time the scientists don't have a good model for the underlying physics which leads to this effect.

Sep 30th, 2020