A new way of splitting layered materials to give atom thin “nanosheets” has been discovered. This has led to a range of novel two-dimensional nanomaterials with chemical and electronic properties that have the potential to enable new electronic and energy storage technologies.
For almost two decades, cardiologists have searched for ways to see dangerous blood clots before they cause heart attacks. Now, researchers at Washington Univ. School of Medicine in St. Louis report that they have designed nanoparticles that find clots and make them visible to a new kind of X-ray technology.
Gallium nitride (GaN) material holds promise for emerging high-power devices that are more energy efficient than existing technologies—but these GaN devices traditionally break down when exposed to high voltages. Now researchers at North Carolina State Univ. have solved the problem, introducing a buffer that allows the GaN devices to handle 10 times greater power.
Researchers in France recently published a study showing that molybdenum has distinct advantages over traditional silicon or graphene for use in electronics applications. In addition to being an effective semiconductor, this abundant mineral is easy to use in nanotechnology and could used to fashion very small transistors, LEDs, and solar cells.
Until now, fusing two transparent plastic components together by laser welding has been impossible. Researchers in Germany have cleared this hurdle by choosing the right wavelength: 1700 nm. The process is still limited, but the benefits to lab-on-a-chip technology should be substantial.
Through molecular dynamics simulations, Rice University engineers have defined the ground rules for the rotor motion of molecules attached to a gold surface. An understanding of these mechanics is crucial for designing nanomachines because it’s the same type of motion found in nature, from bacteria to human beings.
Using the rough equivalent of a waffle iron, Stanford engineers have fashioned the first-ever plasmonic dye-sensitized solar cell. The imprinted nanodomes promote a plasmonic effect, in which electrons are harvested in a dense waves rather than single particles. The goal is a more efficient, thinner solar cell.
Rice Univ. bioengineers and physician-scientists at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital have successfully destroyed tumors of human brain cancer cells in the first animal tests of a minimally invasive treatment that zaps glioma tumors with heat. The tests involved nanoshells, light-activated nanoparticles that are designed to destroy tumors with heat and avoid the unwanted side effects of drug and radiation therapies.
By replacing key atoms in a gadolinium-germanium magnetic compound with lutetium and lanthanum atoms, researchers at Ames Laboratory have been able to tune its ferromagnetic properties in a measurably way. It’s one of the newest examples of materials by design on the atomic level.
The ability of some forms of plankton and bacteria to build an extra natural layer of nanoparticle-like armor has inspired chemists at the Univ. of Warwick to devise a simple way to give drug bearing polymer vesicles (microscopic polymer based sacs of liquid) their own armored protection.
Cheaper, lighter, and more energy-efficient broadband devices on communications satellites may be possible using metamaterials to modify horn antennas, according to engineers from Penn State and Lockheed Martin Corp.
A little disorder goes a long way, especially when it comes to harnessing the sun’s energy. Scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory jumbled the atomic structure of the surface layer of titanium dioxide nanocrystals, creating a catalyst that is both long lasting and more efficient than most materials in using the sun’s energy to extract hydrogen from water.
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Formulated for structural applications in extreme environments with temperatures from -80 degrees F to +425 degrees F, Master Bond Supreme 33 has superior resistance to thermal cycling, thermal shock and impact.
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have formed a startup company and are working with a medical device firm to design a prototype treatment system that would use magnetic nanoparticles engineered to capture cancer cells. Added to fluids removed from a patient's abdomen, the magnetic nanoparticles would latch onto the free-floating cancer cells, allowing both the nanoparticles and cancer cells to be removed by magnetic filters before the fluids are returned to the patient's body.
Touchscreens are in—although the technology still has its price. The little screens contain rare and expensive elements. This is the reason why researchers at Fraunhofer are coming up with an alternative display made of low-priced renewable raw materials available all over the world. The researchers are presenting touchscreens that contain carbon nanotubes at the nano tech 2011 fair in Tokyo.
Scientists can now manufacture a synthetic version of the self-healing sticky substance that mussels use to anchor themselves to rocks in pounding ocean surf and surging tidal basins. A patent is pending on the substance, whose potential applications include use as an adhesive or coating for underwater machinery or in biomedical settings as a surgical adhesive or bonding agent for implants.
Northwestern Univ. researchers have developed a new technique for rapidly prototyping nanoscale devices and structures that is so inexpensive the "print head" can be thrown away when done.
In the quest to develop flexible plastic electronics, one of the stumbling blocks has been creating transistors with enough stability for them to function in a variety of environments while still maintaining the current needed to power the devices. Now, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology describe a new method of combining top-gate organic field-effect transistors with a bilayer gate insulator. This allows the transistor to perform with incredible stability while exhibiting good current performance.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have developed a novel system for delivery of growth factors to chronic wounds such as pressure sores and diabetic foot ulcers. They fabricated nanospheres containing keratinocyte growth factor. When suspended in a fibrin gel, these nanoparticles improved the healing of deep skin wounds in diabetic mice.
Light-emitting diode lighting relies on gallium nitride thin films to create the diode structure that produces light. A new technique that places voids in the film to prevent naturally occurring defects from traveling through the rest of the film reduces overall defects and makes the GaN film more efficient.
With current systems that use paper test strips, pH or blood sugar can be measured, but more complex chemical assays can’t be perfomed. Purdue researchers have now, however, introduced “paper microfluidics” by etching patterns by laser using readily available hydrophobic paper.
DYMAX Corporation has released a new adhesive featuring a built-in cure indicator for appliance assembly and other industrial plastic-bonding applications.
Researchers from Boston College, MIT, Clemson University and the University of Virginia have used nanotechnology to achieve a 60-90% increase in the thermoelectric figure of merit of a common bulk semiconductor compound. The materials preparation method is reportedly low-cost and readily scalable.
Researchers at Northwestern Univ. recent reported that piezoelectricity in GaN and ZnO nanowires, which is already well-documented, is in fact enhanced by as much as two orders of magnitude as the diameter of the nanowires’ decrease. This finding could have lasting effects on products that harvest electricity.