Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Using liquid metals in nanotechnology

liquid-metalThe recent interest of nanotechnology researchers in liquid metals is based on the properties that differentiate them from common liquids such as water or organics. In addition to their chemical reactivity, the electronic behavior of these liquids, combined with the strong interatomic interactions throughout the bulk, lead to liquids with high densities, thermal and electrical conductivities, and optical reflectivity (over a wide range of wavelengths). This offers potential new approaches for the synthesis of nanomaterials and investigations of fundamental physics and chemistry at small length scales.

Jul 11th, 2019

Highly sensitive and controllable photodetector based on 2D BiOI nanosheets

2DmaterialRecently, the investigation of ternary layered compounds with 2D features has emerged. Compared to 2D elements and binary compounds, ternary layered compounds possess more tunability for physical and chemical properties due to more element species. Therefore, exploring the preparation methods and special properties of 2D ternary compounds is of great significance for enriching the 2D material library and expanding the application of 2D materials.

Jul 5th, 2019

E-skin with multiple sensors bring us closer to human-friendly soft robots

robotic-gripperElectronic skin (e-skin) technology will give prosthetics and soft robotics a finer sense of touch, of what's hard and soft, hot and cold, smooth and rough. Researchers have now demonstrated a soft robotic hand integrated with four tactile force sensors and one temperature sensor to give it similar sensitivity to a human hand. By integrating an e-skin, the tactile pressure to grab an object and the friction movement of an object from the hand can be monitored. Thanks to the arrangement of multiple tactile sensors, e-skin-integrated soft robotic hand also can monitor sliding of an object by detecting the time delay of the tactile force.

Jun 20th, 2019

Learning in artificial synapses tuned by light

synapseThere is a huge effort underway to use memristor devices in neuromorphic computing applications and it is now reasonable to imagine the development of a new generation of artificial intelligent devices with very low power consumption (non-volatile), ultra-fast performance and high-density integration. In new work,r esearchers were not only able to achieve to small switching effects in memristors using light, they take advantage of a percolating-like nanoparticle morphology to vastly increase the magnitude of the switching between electronic resistance states when light is incident on the device.

Jun 19th, 2019

Detecting intersubband polaritons in a single nanoantenna

nanoantennaElectronic transitions between confined states within a quantum well are widely used in optoelectronics. Familiar examples include quantum cascade lasers and quantum well infrared photodetectors, which can operate in a wide range of wavelengths, from the far- to near-infrared. There is growing interest in studying this phenomenon because it may enable novel devices such as polariton lasers and because the physics of ISB polaritons is relatively unexplored. Researchers now demonstrated that it is possible to study polaritons in a single isolated nanoantenna.

Jun 18th, 2019

Early cancer detection with sensory protein corona 'fingerprints'

haet-mapWhen nanoparticles enter the blood stream or other biological fluids, they are quickly surrounded by a layer of proteins. This so-called protein corona on the nanoparticles hinders interactions between the targeting ligands on the nanoparticles and their binding partners on the cells' surface. Different individuals may have a personalized protein corona owing to their distinct type, severity and period of disease, heterogeneity, individual genetic variations and environmental factors. By combining the concepts of disease-specific protein corona and sensor array technology, researchers now have created a label-free platform for the early detection and identification of diseases.

Jun 17th, 2019

Laser-induced graphene composites are eminently wearable

flexible-electronicsTo realize the commercial potential of graphene, for instance for wearable electronics, it is necessary to develop reliable, cost-effective and facile processes for the industry-scale fabrication of graphene-based devices. A novel solution involves the synthesis of high-performance stretchable graphene ink using a facile, scalable, and low-cost laser induction method for the synthesis of the graphene component. This also is the first example of using laser-induced graphene in the form for a powder preparation of graphene-based inks and subsequently for use in screen-printing of stretchable micro-supercapacitors.

Jun 14th, 2019

MOF-encapsulated DNA for gene therapy

gene-deliveryA critical challenge in gene therapy is the safe and effective delivery of genetic materials across cell membranes into target cells. Although viral systems have been the most effective method for delivering genetic matter into cells, they pose significant safety problems. Demonstrating a novel alternative delivery vector, researchers have developed a facile one-pot strategy to encapsulate plasmid DNA into nanoscale metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and a MOF-polymer system Experiments showed that pDNA molecules could be well distributed throughout the MOF nanostructures and benefited from effective protection against the enzymatic degradation.

Jun 13th, 2019