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Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 488 in category Fabrication Technologies and Devices (newest first):

 

Ion generation and ion trapping in liquid crystals by means of nanomaterials

LCD-screensThe reorientation of elongated liquid crystalline molecules under the action of the applied electric field is a major physical effect enabling the use of liquid crystals in a variety of applications. To improve liquid crystal devices, new liquid crystal-forming materials are required. Recently, by merging liquid crystals and nanotechnology, a new, non-synthetic way to produce advanced liquid crystal materials was proposed. In short, it was achieved by dispersing various types of nanomaterials in liquid crystals.

Sep 4th, 2018

Nanotechnology makes for better hair care products and textile microfibers

clay-nanotubesNanotechnology researchers now have developed a natural and non-damaging hair surface engineering technique for making hair coloring formulations that do not use any chemical reactions but instead relies only on physical forces acting at a very close range. The same surface engineering approach is applicable to textile microfiber modifications because natural textiles like like wool, silk, cellulose, but also biomimetic synthetic textiles, have similar chemical composition.

Aug 30th, 2018

Crystalline structure 'a la carte' - Laser-assisted photoactivation of TiO2 films at room temperature and ambient air

crystalline_nanostructureAchieving high-quality crystalline TiO2 films at room-temperature remains one of today's most important technical challenges toward low-cost optoelectronic devices including photovoltaic cells and photocatalytic device architectures. A research team has now demonstrated a simple method for triggering the crystallization of a TiO2 sol-gel precursor at low-energies. With this technique, it is now possible to achieve 90% crystallinity without metallic dopants, at room temperature and in ambient air, using low-power laser-induced photoactivation of an amorphous TiO2 nanoparticle film.

Aug 23rd, 2018

Five ways that natural design could inspire human nanotechnology

butterflyThough nanotechnology is portrayed as a fairly recent human invention, nature is actually full of nanoscopic architectures. They underpin the essential functions of a variety of life forms, from bacteria to berries, wasps to whales. In fact, tactful use of the principles of nanoscience can be traced to natural structures that are over 500m-years-old. Below are just five sources of inspiration that scientists could use to create the next generation of human technology.

Aug 13th, 2018

Nature-inspired nanotechnology: skin-mimicking sensors

skin-inspired_sensorMimicking the exciting skin structure and function, researchers have designed hierarchical nanoporous and interlocked micro ridge structured polymers with gradient stiffness. The gradient elastic modulus of interlocked and micro ridge structured polymers effectively transfers the external stress and induces the large frictional contact between two polymeric layers, which facilitates their use in self-powered triboelectric sensors. Furthermore, the additional nanoporous structures in the micro ridge structured polymers lead to the effective variation of both volume and gap distance between opposing surfaces without the need of bulky spacers, resulting in ultrathin and flexible triboelectric sensors for applications in wearable electronics.

May 22nd, 2018

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.

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.

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.

May 1st, 2018