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Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 17 - 24 of 485 in category Fabrication Technologies and Devices (newest first):

 

Nanocoating wiggles surface clean

self-cleaning_coatingResearchers have developed a nanocoating that wipes off dust and sand from a surface by an electrical trigger, e.g. to clean solar panels in desert like conditions. This novel coating forms dynamic surface undulations fuelled by an alternating electric field. This new approach is based on resonance enhanced microscopic (di)electric coupling of polar mesogens to the electric field. Further applications could be removal of water droplets on car screens; dust removal from lenses and other optical systems; and controlling friction at or between surfaces.

Posted: Feb 12th, 2018

3D printing of living responsive devices

3D-printingResearchers have demonstrated a new paradigm in 3D-printing by using genetically programmed living cells as active components to print living materials and devices. The living cells are engineered to light up in response to a variety of stimuli. When mixed with a slurry of hydrogel and nutrients, the cells can be printed, layer by layer, to form three-dimensional, interactive structures and devices. These printed large-scale high-resolution living materials accurately respond to signaling chemicals in a programmed manners.

Posted: Jan 31st, 2018

Sculpting liquids

Countless commercial and industrial products are routinely produced by manufacturing processes where solid parts are molded through injecting molten polymer into a cast and removing the finished shape once cooled. This process is well understood for solid materials. If the characteristics and properties of a liquid are of interest, e.g., ion transport or mobility, the ability to structure liquids into complex shapes becomes highly desirable. It would open a wide range of potential applications in areas such as all-liquid reaction vessels, energy storage materials, all-liquid electronic devices, and microfluidic devices. Researchers now have developed a very simple route to structure liquids by all-liquid molding.

Posted: Jan 22nd, 2018

Manipulating colloids with mobile nanotweezers

helical_nanostructureResearchers have merged two important technologies of nanomanipulation - plasmonic tweezers and magnetically driven microbots - in order to overcome their individual limitations and achieve new functionalities that did not exist before. This technique is applicable to different types of particles in various fluids. The resulting mobile nanotweezers' performance combines the best of both worlds: capturing, maneuvering, and positioning sub micrometer objects of various materials at low illumination intensities, high speeds, and with great control.

Posted: Jan 17th, 2018

Taking ice lithography to the next level

nanostructureResearchers have discovered that ices of simple organic molecules such as alcohols and nonane (main component of diesel) can be nanopatterned by a focused electron beam. The entire 3D lithography process takes place in a single vacuum instrument and avoids exposing users to chemicals and the need for cleanrooms. With organic ice resist (OIR) technology, nanolithography can be made accessible to more scientists. The short-term implication of this work is to provide researchers with a new nanoscale 3D printing technology. The long-term implications might have a revolutionary impact on semiconductor production and computing.

Posted: Dec 14th, 2017

Wearable health monitoring with stretchable nanogenerators

stretchable_piezoelectricsSo far, most of the developed self-powered piezoelectric devices are rigid or have limited lateral stretchability and could not be used to harvest energy from lateral strain, which greatly limits their applications on large strain deformation. In new work, researchers have successfully fabricated a piezoelectric nanocomposite device with good transparency, high stretchability, and self-powered sensing characteristics. Attached to the human body, it can harvest biomechanical energy and monitor physiological signals.

Posted: Dec 4th, 2017

Facile fabrication of dual nanopatterns with block copolymer lithography

nanolithographyBlock copolymer lithography is a cost-effective, parallel, and scalable nanolithography for the densely packed periodic arrays of nanoscale features, whose typical dimension scale is beyond the resolution limit of conventional photolithography. The directed self-assembly of block copolymers is one of the most promising techniques to enable the continued miniaturization of integrated circuits due to low cost, high speed, and simplicity of the process. Researchers have now designed for a novel block copolymer capable of easily changing its nanodomains at selective area and finally succeeded in development of dual nanopatterns.

Posted: Nov 27th, 2017

Designing lubricant-infused surfaces with the help of predictive models

condensationLiquid-impregnated coating technologies involve nanoscale texturing of a surface, which is then coated with a - usually lubricating - liquid. A lubricant infused surface is comprised of a textured solid surface into which a lubricating fluid is spontaneously wicked. Lubricant infused surfaces can exhibit excellent fluid repellency if designed properly. Scientists now have developed a model to determine which lubricant infused surfaces will work and which will fail based on material properties.

Posted: Nov 23rd, 2017