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Showing Spotlights 65 - 72 of 2139 in category (newest first):

 

Controlling the kinetics of ion-capturing/ion-releasing regimes in liquid crystals by means of nanoparticles

LCDNew work describes how to control the kinetics of ion-capturing/ion-releasing regimes in liquid crystals by means of nanoparticles. Various types of nanomaterials and alignment layers are considered major components of the next generation of advanced liquid crystal devices. While the steady-state properties of ion-capturing/ion-releasing processes in liquid crystals doped with nanoparticles and sandwiched between alignment films are relatively well understood, the kinetics of these phenomena remains practically unexplored.

Posted: Feb 9th, 2018

A rewritable metacanvas for photonic applications (w/video)

metacanvasThe metacanvas is a completely new generation of technology compared to all previous works. It is a tunable photonic devices based on vanadium dioxide that is lithography-free and fully reconfigurable. oth the patterns and the functionalities of the metacanvas can be arbitrarily reconfigured, which leads to many more degrees of freedom in metasurface design and functionalities. One piece of metacanvas is able to function as different optical components - hologram, phase-array, polarizer, modulator, etc. - at different times and on command, which has never been achieved in any of the previous VO2.

Posted: Feb 7th, 2018

On-demand liquid release from a sponge-like coating

nanofluidicsA novel approach to deliver liquids from a solid coating is both location- and time- controlled. The sponge-like coating can repeatedly absorb liquids and release them again. The type of release, either droplets or film, can be initiated by a short exposure with UV light. The uptake is accelerated by exposure with blue light. The principle of this coating is based on a photoresponsive liquid-filled smectic crystal network (LCN).

Posted: Feb 6th, 2018

Kirigami nanofluidic devices

kirigamiRecent research in nanofluidics has adopted reconstructed layered two-dimensional (2D) sheets (such as graphene oxide or clay) as a promising material platform for nanofluidics. These membranes contain a high volume fraction of interconnected 2D nanochannels. This nanochannel fabrication method is straightforward and scalable, and does not rely on lithography or etching. The researchers termed this process, which opens up a range of new opportunities for manipulating ionic transport by tailoring the shape of the films, kirigami nanofluidics.

Posted: Feb 2nd, 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

Nanomachines in living systems - on route to microcyborgs

nanobiotechnologyFrom interaction with bacteria, propulsion based on cells, in vivo medical applications to even intracellular applications, the rapidly expanding development of micro- and nanomachines with sizes comparable to or even smaller than mammalian cells, has led this field to advance from understanding of basic motion mechanisms to applications in living biosystems. A recent review highlights the recent efforts for and toward application of micro/nanomachines in living biosystems, including microorganisms, biological cells, and human body. Applications of micro- and nanomachines in living biosystems are reviewed from two aspects: their interaction with other microscopic organisms or biological units, and the efforts toward their application in the human body.

Posted: Jan 30th, 2018

Helical nanopropellers to measure local viscosity in a fluid

nanomotorResearchers find magnetic helical nanomachines that mimic the swimming characteristics of E. coli bacteria to be particularly promising because of their extremely small size and their capability of navigating in various biological fluids like human blood. New work extends the possibility of using helical nanomachines as a tool to measure the localized mechanical properties of a heterogeneous environment that is ubiquitous in biological systems. This technique can be useful to gain valuable insights into the physiological changes of a cell in response to a disease or a drug, leading to better therapeutics.

Posted: Jan 26th, 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