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Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 483 in category Fabrication Technologies and Devices (newest first):


A full gamut of colors in all-dielectric, cheap, and large-scale artificial butterfly wings

butterfliesMost approaches to making artificial structural colors rely on low-throughput fabrication techniques, use expensive noble metal materials, and are limited to microscopic footprints. To address these limitations, an international team of researchers has demonstrated high-throughput fabrication of all-dielectric mesoporous materials with macroscopic footprints and colorimetric signatures spanning the whole gamut of visible colors. Inspired by the butterfly wing coloration, the researchers completely avoided the use of noble metals, and instead realized structural colors in cheap and abundant dielectric materials, which are completely transparent in the bulk form.

Posted: May 11th, 2018

A smart skin for marine biology research

smart_skinFrequently, research by marine biologists depends on weighty and invasive sensory and telemetry equipment to understand and assess various aspects of the marine ecosystem. Researchers generally employ invasive attachment techniques to attach these devices to animals, sometimes restricting their natural movements. These tagging systems can be quite abrasive and not so forgiving on the animals. An alternative is a newly developed developed smart skin that integrates the main desired sensor arrays for continuously logging salinity/conductivity, temperature and depth in deep oceans.

Posted: May 7th, 2018

A nano squeegee to clean nano sheets

squeegeeBy precisely stacking various 2D materials in a predetermined sequence on top of each other, researchers create van der Waals heterostructures that, due to their unique interlayer coupling, have special optoelectronic properties. Unfortunately, the study of 2D monolayers is plagued by trapped contaminants in between the 2D sheets as well as between the 2D sheets and the underlying substrate. These contaminants make it difficult to obtain precise and reproducible experimental observations. A simple technique for removing these contaminants in a process similar to a squeegee.

Posted: May 1st, 2018

Multiple electromagnetic responses from accordion-like plasmonic nanorods

plasmonic_nanorodsWell-defined complex nanostructures for metamaterials with unique optical properties - such as negative refractive index, strong artificial optical activity and perfect absorption - are usually prepared by top-down approaches, including direct laser writing, multiple e-beam lithography, and membrane projection lithography. In a recent breakthrough, scientists have combined block copolymer self-assembly and an anodized aluminum oxide template to fabricate unique complex nanostructures over a large (centimeter) area.

Posted: Apr 26th, 2018

A second skin with switchable wettability

direct_laser_writingCreating smart superhydrophobic (i.e. extremely water-repellent) surfaces is of increasing importance in cutting-edge applications such as self-cleaning, anti freezing, anticorrosion, anti biofouling, water/oil separation, and microfluidics. Researchers now managed to demonstrate a skin-like superhydrophobic surface, which can be switched into different wetting properties by simple body motion. This active surface enables on-demand manipulation of water droplets without energy supply or external appliance.

Posted: Apr 24th, 2018

Flexible data storage based on organic nanomaterials

flexible_memoryNext-generation electronic devices will be highly portable, wearable - even transplantable - lightweight, and most likely self-powered. Among the various functional block required for these systems (such as displays, sensors, actuators, etc), some of the most important components are novel flexible data storage systems that possess nonvolatile ability, high-density storage, high-switching speed, and reliable endurance properties. Especially organic memories have been considered as the most promising candidates to be used in various portable and wearable systems in future due to their remarkable advantages of nonvolatile memory features, low cost, easy fabrication, and flexibility.

Posted: Apr 9th, 2018

Batch-assembly of reconfigurable, multimodal 3D electronics (w/video)

e-whiskersWhiskers on animals allow them to build a rich understanding of their environment by feeling objects or even the flow of fluids. Many animals can also actively sweep, or 'whisk', their whiskers, enabling them to gather complex information about the architecture of their environment. Researchers have replicated this whisking action by exploiting the shape memory effect of a polymer substrate, which can be dynamically repositioned by modulating the temperature and air flow across the electronic whiskers (e-whiskers).

Posted: Apr 3rd, 2018

Single crystalline epitaxy of all inorganic lead-free halide perovskite paves the way for high-performance electronics

quantum_well_systemHalide perovskites have attracted tremendous interest due to their fascinating optoelectronic properties. Driven by the concerns of toxicity derived from lead and instability caused by organic components, researchers have turned to all-inorganic lead-free halide perovskites. However, compared to hybrid lead perovskite, lead-free compositions usually demonstrate poor crystallinity, low ordering, and high defects that suppress the performance of optoelectronic devices. Scientists now have deployed a new approach to grow all inorganic lead-free halide perovskites.

Posted: Mar 29th, 2018