The light that a luminescent particle emits is usually less energetic than the light that it absorbs. Some applications require the emitted light to be more energetic, but this so-called upconversion process has been observed in only a small handful of materials. Researchers in Singapore have recently succeeded in expanding this list of upconversion materials by using different lanthanides at different stages of conversion.
Metal nanoparticles could play a key role in next-generation light detectors, optical circuits, and cancer therapies. For these future technologies to be realized, it is important to understand what happens when nanoparticles are caused to undergo vibrations, and the consequent scattering of light that can occur due to oscillations. Researchers in Singapore have now analyzed the effect of different environments on individual gold nanoparticles.
Pressure-treated wood is a valuable invention, but the chemicals used to preserve it from decay can leach out, where they can be toxic to bugs, fungi and other creatures. A team of Michigan Technological University scientists has used nanotechnology to keep the chemicals inside the wood where they belong.
A newly developed combination device for infrared spectroscopy has allowed researchers in Germany to conduct highly precise measurements of the vibration frequency of oxide materials at the surface. Surface defect analyses have previously been well-documented for metals, but materials such as titanium dioxide haven’t before been studied in such detail.
Combining two strategies that are designed to improve the results of cancer treatment—angiogenesis inhibitors and nanomedicines—may only be successful if the smallest nanomedicines are used. A new study by researchers at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital has found that normalizing blood vessels within tumors can actually block the delivery of larger nanotherapy molecules.
Researchers at the University of Central Florida have developed a novel technique that may give doctors a faster and more sensitive tool to detect pathogens associated with inflammatory bowel disease. The new nanoparticle-based technique also may be used for detection of other microbes that have challenged scientists for centuries because they hide deep in human tissue and are able to reprogram cells to successfully evade the immune system.
Using light-harvesting nanoparticles to convert laser energy into plasmonic nanobubbles, researchers at Rice University, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Baylor College of Medicine are developing new methods to inject drugs and genetic payloads directly into cancer cells. In tests on drug-resistant cancer cells, the researchers found that delivering chemotherapy drugs with nanobubbles was up to 30 times more deadly to cancer cells than traditional drug treatment.
Drugs made of protein have shown promise in treating cancer, but they are difficult to deliver because the body usually breaks down proteins before they reach their destination. To get around that obstacle, a team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers has developed a new type of nanoparticle that can synthesize proteins on demand.
Nanotechnology offers powerful new possibilities for targeted cancer therapies, but the design challenges are many. Northwestern University scientists now are the first to develop a simple but specialized nanoparticle that can deliver a drug directly to a cancer cell's nucleus—an important feature for effective treatment.
Targeted therapeutic nanoparticles that accumulate in tumors while bypassing healthy cells have shown promising results in an ongoing clinical trial, according to a new paper. The nanoparticles feature a homing molecule that allows them to specifically attach cancer cells, and are the first such target particles to enter human clinical studies.
University of California, Los Angeles researchers are now able to peer deep within the world's tiniest structures to create 3D images of individual atoms and their positions. Their research presents a new method for directly measuring the atomic structure of nanomaterials.
Chemists at Brown University have created a triple-headed metallic nanoparticle that reportedly performs better and lasts longer than any other nanoparticle catalyst studied in fuel-cell reactions. The key is the addition of gold: It yields a more uniform crystal structure while removing carbon monoxide from the reaction.
A team from the University of Arkansas and University of Utah have discovered a new method of making nanoparticles and nanofilms to be used in developing better electronic devices. The researchers' nanoparticles, made of gold and deposited onto silicon substrates by unique chemical process, are nontoxic and inexpensive to make.
Much like wheat flour and cornstarch, the industrial-scale processing of nanomaterials creates a type of dust that can combust with little energy. In fact, a recent study shows that only 1/30th of the energy that caused a deadly 2008 sugar dust explosion in Georgia would be needed to ignite typical nanomaterials, such as aluminum.
A mixture of current drugs and carbon nanoparticles shows potential to enhance treatment for head and neck cancers, especially when combined with radiation therapy, according to new research by Rice University and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Amalgams, which are alloys of mercury and other metals, have been used for over 2,500 years in the production of jewelry and for the extraction of metals like silver and gold in mining operations. These days, the inverse process is of greater interest: the removal of mercury from wastewater by amalgamation with precious metals in the form of nanoparticles.
A team of researchers from Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology and Suntech Power Holdings have developed the world's most efficient broadband nanoplasmonic solar cells, clocking in at an absolute efficiency of 8.1%. The technology relies on the addition of nucleated nanoparticles that capitalize on a plasmonic effect.
Microscopic channels of gold nanoparticles have the ability to transmit electromagnetic energy that starts as light and propagates from "dark plasmons," according to researchers at Rice University. Rice researchers have shown how even disordered collections of nanoparticles in arrays as thin as 150 nm can be turned into waveguides and transmit signals an order of magnitude better than previous experiments were able to achieve.
Since its discovery 15 years ago, lithium iron phosphate has become one of the most promising materials for rechargeable batteries because of its stability, durability, safety, and ability to deliver a lot of power at once. It has been the focus of major research projects around the world. But despite this widespread interest, the reasons for lithium iron phosphate’s unusual charging and discharging characteristics have remained unclear. Until now.
Some of the recent advancements in nanotechnology depend critically on how nanoparticles move and diffuse on a surface or in a fluid under non-ideal to extreme conditions. Georgia Institute of Technology has a team of researchers dedicated to advancing this frontier.
Rice University scientists have created a nano-infused oil that could greatly enhance the ability of devices as large as electrical transformers and as small as microelectronic components to shed excess heat. Research in the laboratory of Rice materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan could raise the efficiency of such transformer oils by as much as 80% in a way that is both cost effective and environmentally friendly.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River National Laboratory have successfully shown that they can replace useful little particles of monosodium titanate (MST) with even tinier nano-sized particles, making them even more useful for a variety of applications.
When gold vanishes from a very important location, it usually means trouble. At the nanoscale, however, it could provide more knowledge about certain types of materials. A recent discovery that enables scientists to replace gold nanoparticles with dummy "spacers" has allowed scientists to create materials with never-before-seen structures, which may lead to new properties.
Custom modifications of equipment are an honored tradition of the research laboratory. In a recent paper, two materials scientists at NIST describe how a relatively simple mod of a standard scanning electron microscope enables a roughly 10-fold improvement in its ability to measure the crystal structure of nanoparticles and extremely thin films.
With the help of military colleagues, University of Buffalo researchers have shown that embedding charged quantum dots into photovoltaic cells can improve electrical output by enabling the cells to harvest infrared light, and by increasing the lifetime of photoelectrons.