Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 508 in category Fabrication Technologies and Devices (newest first):

 

Observing flow distribution over curved surfaces

flow-sensorResearchers have demonstrated the first large-scale flexible thermal flow sensor array on a thin-film. This flow sensor - based on a calorimetric sensing mechanism - can not only monitor flow intensity but also flow direction. More importantly, these sensors can be attached onto curved surfaces for real-time flow monitoring. Flow separation is a common phenomenon affecting aircraft, wind turbine blades, micro aerials, and underwater vehicles. Owing to its unsteady flow profile, such separation is usually undesirable because either the airfoil efficiency decreases or large pressure fluctuations emerge. Consequently, precise monitoring is crucial to reduce or even prevent the flow separation effect.

Nov 26th, 2019

From origin of life to materials genomics

microbubbleThe origin of early life and the basic building blocks such as DNA and RNA have been hypothesized to have resulted due to accumulation of precursors within hydrothermal vents. The thermal gradients result in the concentration of prebiotic molecules with the vents acting as reactors. Researchers have translated this concept of accumulation-mediated concentration to the micro- and nanoscale for intensified materials synthesis and genomics. Utilizing a laser-induced micro bubble trap, their strategy, termed as unified spatiotemporal synthesis and structuring (US3), combines the conventionally discrete aspects of synthesis and patterning.

Nov 19th, 2019

Paving the way for inorganic perovskites' use in high-performance electronic applications

photodetectorNew work provides insight into the control over phase and ordering during halide perovskite epitaxial growth and expands the selection of photoactive materials for growing epitaxial halide perovskites that can be exploited in high-performance electronic applications. Hybrid organic-inorganic halide perovskite has attracted tremendous attention as an exceptional new class of semiconductors for solar harvesting, light emission, lasing and thin-film electronics. However, the toxicity of lead devices and lead manufacturing combined with the instability of organic components have been two key barriers to widespread application. Tin-based inorganic halide perovskites have been considered promising substitutes for their lead analogues.

Nov 7th, 2019

3D printing batteries - an overview

microbatteryAs an advanced fabrication technique, 3D printing has been increasingly utilized to fabricate complex 3D objects via digitally controlled deposition of phase change and reactive materials and solvent-based inks. When it comes to batteries, 3D printing has several significant advantages compared with conventional battery fabrication technologies and it opens new avenues for the rapid fabrication of 3D-structured batteries with complex architectures and high performance. In next generation futuristic 3D printed energy architectures batteries and supercapacitors could be printed in virtually any shape.

Nov 4th, 2019

Fabricating nano- to macroscale hierarchical porous structures in a 3D printer

3D-printingHierarchical structures, spanning multiple length scales from nano- to macroscales, are very common in nature; but only in recent years have they been systematically studied in materials science, in order to understand the specific effects they can have on the mechanical properties of various systems. Researchers have developed a straightforward, cost-efficient, and fast route to fabricate hierarchical porous structures in a 3D printer. With this technique they can process nanoporous materials and fabricate structures from nanometer to centimeter scale.

Oct 22nd, 2019

Hydrogel paint - hydrogel coatings off the shelf

paintAs a coating, hydrogels bring many advantages to regular solid surfaces, uniting the superior properties of the substrate with the superior properties of the hydrogel. However, making hydrogel coatings outside a laboratory environment can be difficult. Inspired by the economics of paint manufacturing, we have developed a technique for hydrogel coating preparation that breaks the process up into several steps. This step-wise synthetic pattern, decoupling polymerization from crosslinking and interlinking, divides the labor between the hydrogel coating maker and its user.

Oct 8th, 2019

Liquid metal networks as an ideal platform for stretchable electronics

particlesA novel and very promising design strategy for stretchable electronics is based on liquid metals; specifically the use of the oxide shell of liquid gallium alloys to fabricate polymerized liquid metal networks (Poly-LMNs). The novel attribute of these Poly-LMNs is that they increase in conductivity as they are elongated, resulting in the measured resistance across the conductor remaining nearly unchanged as they are stretched to 700% their original length. The implication of this effect is that a circuit can now be designed with a stretchable Poly-LMN wire that won?t change its resistance when stretched.

Oct 3rd, 2019

Inspired by nacre, epoxy-graphene layered nanocomposites are tough and self-monitoring

nanocompositeTo make epoxy-graphene nanocomposites, the graphene nanosheets are commonly mixed homogeneously with the epoxy matrix. However, one of the problems that bedevils these nanocomposites is the issue of agglomeration of the nanofillers. Researchers now report that they have sucessfully tackled this dispersion problem by constructing a continuous graphene-based scaffold. The results show that the team's novel strategy boosts the fracture toughness to about 3.6 times that of pure epoxy.

Sep 25th, 2019