Flexible sensors hold great promise for various innovative applications in fields such as medicine, healthcare, environment, and biology. Over the past decade, the development of flexible and stretchable sensors for various functions has been accelerated by rapid advances in materials, processing methods, and platforms. For practical applications, new expectations are arising in the pursuit of highly economical, multifunctional, biocompatible flexible sensors.
With a focus on using eco-friendly materials such as fabrics worn in daily life (nylon, jeans, cotton, etc.), researchers have developed and demonstrated an innovative product for scavenging biomechanical energy. The team's Smart Mobile Pouch Triboelectric Nanogenerator (SMP-TENG) can generate electricity from lateral sliding and vertical contact and separation with freestanding fabrics; it also can serve as a self-powered emergency flashlight and self-powered pedometer.
With their special structure and large surface area, MOFs open up new opportunities in drug delivery. The ability to exchange the metal centers and organic linkers even provide an extensive library of MOF materials. As a result, the integration of small guest molecules within the MOF pores, such as small molecule drugs and biomolecules, have shown promise for delivery applications to treat diseases. A recent review article discusses current proceedings on integrating diverse biomolecules within MOFs.
Many of the electronic devices we use in our daily life rely on liquid crystal display (LCD) technologies. LCDs get their name from the special liquid crystal solution that is contained between two thin glass plates inside the display. An electric field applied across the liquid crystal layer changes optical properties of the liquid crystals thus enabling their use in displays. A new paper reports several interesting size effects including monotonous and non-monotonous dependence of the total concentration of mobile ions in liquid crystals on the thickness of the cell and/or on the concentration of nanoparticles.
The ultimate challenge of nanotechnology is to control the structure of matter with atomic precision. The better we are at shaping and structuring material on a small scale, the more powerful technology we can dream of. Unfortunately, the atomic scale is entirely out of range for conventional patterning. Researchers now report that they have achieved nanoscale self-assembly within a two-dimensional layer. Dosing of ethylene and borazine near a hot iridium surface, leads for self-organising of a two-dimensional superlattice of graphene dots.
Ionizing radiation (e.g. X-rays) is widely used in the treatment of cancer, but can cause significant damage to healthy cells. The overarching goal of radiotherapy is to safely, accurately and efficiently deliver ionizing radiation in order to treat diseases, typically cancer. A novel sensor technology can help medical physicists and oncologists effectively plan fractionated radiotherapy in the clinic, reduce accidental overexposures, and reduce radiation-induced toxicity.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a fabrication method that creates structures from digital models. Unlike conventional fabrication methods, 3D printing processes are bottom-up fabrication methods which are based on the incremental addition of layers of materials. Recently, 3D-printing has also been shown to be advantageous to catalytic applications since a printing approach can achieve better control of the fine structure of the target material. It is expected that 3D printing fabrication will provide new solutions for preparing catalysts with new structures in a more economical and energy-efficient way.
As two-dimensional (2D) materials gain more and more importance - thanks to their exotic electronic properties and abundant active sites - the development of high-yield, efficient, fast and low-cost synthesis methods to advance these materials from the laboratory to industry has become an urgent issue. Now, researchers have developed a general and rapid molten salts method that can synthesize various ion-intercalated 2D metal oxides and hydroxides, such as cation-intercalated manganese oxides, cation-intercalated tungsten oxides, and anion-intercalated metal hydroxides.