Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 41 - 48 of 2558 in category All (newest first):


Microbatteries much smaller than a grain of rice for a smart dust future

micro-batteryOne of the challenges of realizing smart dust concepts, as well as nano- and microrobotics in general, is a lack of equally small on-chip power sources for ubiquitous anytime anywhere operation. Now, researchers have created an on-chip micro-Swiss-roll battery by using a self-assembly process known as micro-origami. The batteries are 3 mm in length and about 178 micros in diameter and the self-assembly mechanism allows for the parallel fabrication of multiple micro-Swiss rolls on the wafer in a single run.

Aug 5th, 2022

A nanofluidic osmotic energy generator

COF-nanoporesEnormous free-energy dissipation takes place when fresh river water mixes with salty sea water. This so-called osmotic energy, which normally goes to waste, can be harvested with nanostructured membranes that are put between the two types of water. Porous materials with intrinsic nano or sub-nanochannels, such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are considered good candidates for nanofluidic osmotic energy harvesting. Here, researchers demonstrate an ultrathin, self-standing COF with excellent stability at different salt differential concentrations, pH values, and temperatures.

Aug 2nd, 2022

Reducing food waste with novel biomaterials technologies

rotten-strawberryFood waste reduction offers multi-faceted wins for people and planet, improving food security, addressing climate change, saving money and reducing pressures on land, water, biodiversity and waste management systems. Numerous approaches are being taken to tackle the food waste problem. Some of them are technology-based with the goal of sustainably producing more food with less inputs and to minimize food waste from farm to fork. Particularly interesting is the case of precision agriculture, where nanotechnology and artificial intelligence (AI), combined with robotics, geolocalization, smart sensors, and big data analysis, could hold the key to unlocking global food security challenge.

Jul 28th, 2022

Novel platform allows five types of programmable optothermal manipulation of micro- and nanoparticles

round-particleResearchers have developed an optothermal platform with five manipulation modes - printing, tweezing, rotating, rolling, and shooting - using a single Gaussian laser beam. Switching between the different modes is achieved by simply tuning the optical power or the distance between laser and object, and can be automated through software programming. This novel multimodal manipulation technique relies on the coordination of multiple thermal forces instead of light-matter interactions, i.e., the mechanism of traditional optical tweezers.

Jul 25th, 2022

Solar power for space applications

solar-energy-in-spaceThe systems that generate power for spacecrafts either in Earth orbit or for other solar system and deep space destinations belong to the critical components of every mission. The huge improvements in photovoltaics over the past decades has paved the way for the exploitation of solar cells also for satellites traveling into deep space beyond Mars. 2D materials show a high potential for both PV and radiation-resistant materials and 2D materials-based solar cells will be a likely future technology for space applications.

Jul 19th, 2022

Engineering living hydrogels

hydrogelInspired by living biological systems, which can sense, process information, and actuate in response to changing environmental conditions, researchers are exploring engineered living hydrogels. The convergence of engineering, biology, and materials science over the past 20 years is providing unprecedented opportunities to integrate living cells into these hydrogels. This integration yields engineered living hydrogels with the capabilities of self-replication, self-regulation, and environmental responsiveness.

Jul 11th, 2022

Investigating water/oil interfaces with opto-thermophoretic tweezers

oil-bubblesSpontaneous charging of interfaces between water and hydrophobic media is a mysterious feature whose nature and origin - despite many efforts to explain them - are still not fully understood. Many spectroscopic results and interpretations along with computational work are not consistent with one another and a consensus on the nature and origin of interfacial charging has not been reached. A clear understanding of this puzzling phenomenon needs a variety of approaches from diverse perspectives, which, hopefully will all add up and be pieced together towards a complete description of the full picture.

Jul 7th, 2022

Nanotechnology-based mRNA vaccines: From the fight against COVID-19 to cancer immunotherapy and HIV vaccines

mrnaThe success of mRNA technology in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine has become a groundbreaking development in the fight against cancer, as well as in the development of new vaccines against many other infectious diseases, including HIV. Future nanotechnology-based mRNA vaccines could allow the delivery of multiple antigen-targeted vaccines in one vaccine lipid nanoparticle to protect against multiple diseases, thereby reducing the number of vaccines needed to prevent common vaccine-preventable diseases.

Jul 5th, 2022