Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 57 - 64 of 2140 in category (newest first):

 

Energy-saving windows made from common glass and cheap nanocrystals

windowsOne of the main challenges for energy efficient technologies is to lower their cost by making cheap energy-efficient materials and devices by preferably using green manufacturing technologies. For example, commercial infrared-blocking windows, both passive and active, are simply too expensive (most of these IR-blocking windows contain an expensive silver coating) and they are not used in the majority of our homes. One approach to this problem involves creating passive infrared-blocking glasses using plasmonic nanocrystals. Researchers have demonstrated that nanocrystals of relatively inexpensive plasmonic materials show an overall good performance as IR-blocking elements.

Apr 27th, 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.

Apr 26th, 2018

How to eliminate a graphene oxide 'oil spill' accident

graphene-kaolin_complexCarbon nanomaterials, including graphene-based materials, are widely gaining popularity in practical applications of nanomanufacturing. As a result, it becomes more and more likely that the unwanted introduction of such materials into the environment may occur. In particular, aqueous habitats might be severely affected by any accidental carbon nanomaterials exposure. Researching these potential environmental toxicity effects, scientists have found that kaolin, a cheap and abundant clay, can act as a powerful antidote to remediate the toxic effects of graphene oxide.

Apr 25th, 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.

Apr 24th, 2018

Nanotechnology could give us battery-free electronic toys

rubber_duckA triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) utilizes charges arising from friction similar to the static we experience on dry winter days; and by nanostructuring the materials in a TENG device, the produced energy could be amplified by increasing the contact area of the surfaces. In a step toward the commercialization of triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) devices, researchers have presented a novel approach that uses TENG technology to develop battery-free, self-powered electronic toys.

Apr 23rd, 2018

An alternative to antibiotics - weakening superbugs' grip

bacterial_infectionThe growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains may pose grave risks for society: A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it. New research findings could point the way to new treatments for now-invincible bacterial foes, not by developing a new antibiotic that would kill these bacteria, but by making them weaker so that they get more easily attacked by our immune system. Understanding the physical mechanisms that underlie this persistent stickiness at the molecular level is instrumental to combat these invaders.

Apr 20th, 2018

One-dimensional quantum materials can deliver record-high current densities

nanoribbon_deviceThe advent of graphene resulted in a massive, world-wide, effort directed at investigation of other two-dimensional (2D) layered materials. One-dimensional (1D) bundled materials have received considerably less attention. Similar to the 2D layered materials with covalently bonded layers separated by the van der Waals gaps, the 1D materials consist of covalently bonded one-dimensional wires with van der Waals gaps between the wires. Researchers now have discovered that quasi-1D nanoribbons reveal an exceptionally high current density at the peak of the stressing DC current. This level of the current density exceeds that in any conventional metals like copper by almost two orders of magnitude.

Apr 19th, 2018

Nanotechnology takes steps towards artificial retinas

electronicSensory substitution with flexible electronics is one of the intriguing fields of research that takes place in nanotechnology labs around the world. In line with this focus on human senses, in the future artificial retinas integrated with the human body may not only repair damaged vision but also expand it to see a wider range wavelengths (e.g. ultraviolet light). Researchers now have demonstrated a new self-powered brain-linked vision electronic skin (e-skin) for mimicking the human retina. The general idea of our device design of brain-linked vision electronic skin is constructing an integrated flexible system including photodetector array, information analyzer, signal transmitter, and electricity power unit.

Apr 18th, 2018