Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

RSS Subscribe to our Nanotechnology Spotlight feed

Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 535 in category All (newest first):



hydrogelsHydrogels are fascinating natural or synthetic polymer materials that exhibit very versatile chemistries and physical or biological properties. They are 3D networks of either physically or chemically crosslinked polymers that resemble organic tissues and that can hold large amounts of water within their interlocked molecular network. These soft, translucent materials swell or shrink in response to water absorption or desorption and can hold a large amount of water without losing their structural integrity.

Aug 30th, 2021

The thinnest CD-RW

data-encryptionThe bottleneck in atomic-scale data storage area may be broken by a simple technique, thanks to recent innovative studies. Through a simple, efficient and low-cost technique involving the focused laser beam and ozone treatment, researchers can manipulate the properties of nanomaterials, thereby 'writing' information onto monolayer materials. The result is a demonstration of the thinnest light disk with rewritable data storage and encryption functionalities at the atomic level.

Jul 28th, 2021

Crystalline materials repair themselves, almost like living tissue (w/video)

color-imageScientists have discovered a new class of material which, when fractured, can repair themselves within milliseconds. The highly crystalline materials, when broken into pieces, can self-propel and re-join in the blink of an eye, and repair themselves so precisely that they become indistinguishable from the undisturbed materials. These new materials may find applications in various high-tech applications. During repair, fractured pieces travel with a honeybee wing-like motion with acceleration comparable to cars.

Jul 26th, 2021

Opto-refrigerative tweezers can dynamically manipulate objects at a laser-generated cold spot

optical-tweezerOptical tweezers used to trap nanoscale objects usually require a tightly focused laser beam with high optical intensity. The problem with all conventional laser-based optical manipulation techniques is that the laser light could cause photodamages and photothermal degradation to nanoparticles and biological samples. A novel solution to this problem creates a low-temperature spot in the solution and trap particles and molecules at the cold spot. This new technique can effectively avoid photothermal damages.

Jun 29th, 2021

A disposable living laser printed on chip for drug screening

laserScientists have created a new way to monitor subtle drug interactions between bacteria and antibiotics. By using a common office inkjet printer, researchers developed a disposable living laser on chip by encapsulating living bacteria inside. Strong laser emissions generated from bacteria inside the droplet will be dramatically enhanced during drug interactions. This breakthrough could enable more sensitive and high-throughput testing using micro-nano laser technology in the near future.

Mar 25th, 2021

Rolling 2D van der Waals heterostructures into 1D nanotubes

heterotubeThe properties ofvan der Waals heterostructures can be precisely controlled by twisting the stacked atomic layers, opening the way for the use of this unique degree of freedom for the nanoscale control of composite materials and nano-devices in future technologies. New work suggests that all 2D materials could also be rolled into their 1D counterparts and a plethora of function-designable 1D heterostructures could be realized. Unlike semiconductor nanowires or mono-elemental nanotubes, which are rolls of one type of material, these novel nanostructures would have very different, and customizable, properties.

Mar 2nd, 2021

Using living bacteria to design self-growing engineering materials

cubeIn another step towards engineered living materials, researchers combined living bacteria and 3D-printed materials to grow bionic mineralized composites with ordered microstructures. It provides an example of harnessing living bacteria to design self-growing materials and opens the door for a new class of engineering materials that can self-grow like living creatures. This manufacturing strategy can be easily extended by selectively controlling the activity of living organisms to synthesize unprecedented structural composites with ordered, hierarchical, and gradient microstructures.

Feb 23rd, 2021

Unique properties of 1D van der Waals materials - electromagnetic interference shielding with electrically insulating composites

nanofibersResearchers demonstrate composite materials with exceptional EMI shielding in the GHz and sub-THz frequency ranges while remaining electrically insulating. The composites use unusual fillers - chemically exfoliated bundles of quasi-one-dimensional van der Waals materials. The exceptional current conduction properties combined with extremely large aspect ratio of these composites couple strongly to high-frequency RF radiation while remaining electrically insulating in DC measurements.

Feb 18th, 2021