Open menu

Nanotechnology Spotlight

Behind the buzz and beyond the hype:
Our Nanowerk-exclusive feature articles

Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

RSS Subscribe to our Nanotechnology Spotlight feed

Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 2049 in category (newest first):


Fabricating high-performance microsupercapacitors using fractal electrode designs

fractalsThe wearable power sources required for wearable and implantable electronic devices are limited by the size of the gadgets they power. Microsupercapacitors are newly emerging miniaturized high-power microelectrochemical energy-storage devices that can deliver high power density, fast charge and discharge, and a superior cycling lifetime. A new study shows that electrode fractal design is a viable strategy for improving the performance of integrated microsupercapacitors that use thin-film electrodes at no extra processing or fabrication cost.

Posted: Nov 20th, 2017

A single-atom catalyst supported on monolayers for nitrogen fixation

nitrogen_fixationSingle-atom catalysts (SACs) have emerged as a new frontier in heterogeneous catalysis, and demonstrated distinguishing performances for various reactions due to their high catalytic activity with a significantly reduced amount of metals used. However, the catalytic performance of SACs for nitrogen fixation and conversion has been rarely explored. Scientists now have proposed a quite promising single-atom-based electrocatalyst for N2 reduction to NH3 under ambient conditions.

Posted: Nov 17th, 2017

Flexible microbattery enables smart dental braces

dental_braceResearchers have demonstrated a novel approach toward smart orthodontics based on near-infrared red light from a mechanically flexible LED powered by flexible bio-safe batteries all integrated in a single 3D-printed dental brace. Integration of electronic devices in 3D printed dental aligners is a pragmatic approach towards implementing a flexible electronic technology in personalized advanced healthcare, particularly in orthodontics. Key to this smart brace is the use of a high-performance flexible solid-state microbattery.

Posted: Nov 16th, 2017

Powering a piezoelectric nanogenerator with onion skin bio waste

onionSelf-powered nanotechnology based on one type of nanogenerators - piezoelectric nanogenerators - aims at powering nanodevices and nanosystems using the energy harvested from the environment in which these systems are suppose to operate. This offers a completely new approach for harvesting mechanical energy using organic and inorganic materials. Researchers have now reported a novel bio-piezoelectric nanogenerator using naturally abundant, self-aligned cellulose fibrous untreated onion skin as efficient piezoelectric material.

Posted: Nov 15th, 2017

Thin-film transistors get wavy

flexible_electronicsFor enhanced visualization experience, high resolution display technology with fast frame rate to suppress the motion blur at that resolution is essential. In modern display technologies, which are mostly active matrix display system, there are planar thin film transistors (TFTs) which enable both high resolution and fast imaging. Scaled TFTs can provide high resolution. Fast switching can be facilitated by the scaling as well as high mobility channel material. In new work, researchers have shown that both high resolution and fast frame rate display technology is possible, irrespective of the active channel material.

Posted: Nov 14th, 2017

Atomic tuning of electrocatalysts

Efficient electrocatalysts lie at the heart of a series of significant energy conversion and storage technologies, and atomically precise understanding of the influences of component dopants is crucial for looking into the reaction mechanism and controlled synthesis of the desired electrocatalysts. Graphitic carbon nitride is a promising electrocatalytic material owing to its intrinsically high N content and abundant edge sites. This material has been researched towards some of the most significant electrocatalytic reactions including oxygen reduction/evolution reaction and hydro evolution reaction. New work has comprehensively explored the influences of component elements within graphitic carbon nitride motiety for electrocatalytic reactions.

Posted: Nov 13th, 2017

Nanotechnology materials inspired by nature

The remarkable properties of some natural materials have motivated many researchers to synthesize biomimetic nanocomposites and other nanostructured materials that attempt to reproduce Nature's achievements. Recent research has indicated that the amplification of natural materials' mechanical properties far beyond those of the components that comprise them originates mainly from: 1) a hierarchical micro-/nanoscale architecture and 2) abundant effective interface interactions. A new progress report provides insight into the development of bio-inspired structural materials.

Posted: Nov 10th, 2017

CNT/MOF nanocomposites enhance the performance of humidity sensors

nanocompositeMetal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are well-ordered, lattice-like crystals. The nodes of the lattices are metals, which are connected by organic molecules. Their size-controllable nanopores, special structure and large surface area make MOFs very attractive materials for next-generation, highly sensitive gas sensors. In new work, researchers demonstrate a process that can be used for developing low-cost and highly sensitive gas sensors. By increasing the sensitivity, the amount of gas sensitive material and device size can be reduced which in turn would reduce the overall cost of the device and energy consumption.

Posted: Nov 7th, 2017