Dandelions are modest plants that are an excellent alternative source for a raw material of high demand: natural rubber, the fundamental ingredient in rubber products. Fraunhofer researchers have established the basis for the large-scale production of high quality rubber with Russian dandelion.
Most magnetic materials have a structure that is somewhat more complicated than a commercially available domestic magnet: They not only have a north and south pole, but a variety of sectors, often only a few nanometers in size, in each of which the magnetic axis points in a different direction. These sectors are referred to as domains.
A research group has successfully developed a nanoporous gold material with a regular, uniform pore arrangement using polymers as a template. Nanoporous materials, having internal pores of several-nanometers in diameter and a large surface-to-volume ratio, have the potential of producing novel chemical reactions, and thus have been vigorously studied in the pursuit of developing new catalyst and absorbent materials.
Northwestern Univ. scientists are experimenting with ways to eliminate a cancer-causing agent from gasoline by neutralizing the benzene compound found in gasoline. They developed a catalyst that effectively removed benzene from the other aromatic compounds in gasoline, making it cleaner and more efficient.
Synthesizing nanoscale materials takes place within high-tech laboratories, where scientists in full-body suits keep every grain of dust away from their sensitive innovations. However, scientists at Kiel Univ. proved that this is not always necessary. They have successfully been able to transfer the experience from furnace to laboratory while synthesizing nanoscale materials using simple and highly efficient flame technology.
The future of 3D printing is bright and full of exciting promise. But the most intriguing scenario for this technology isn’t in the manufacture of objects we see every day—that will only be a small niche in the 3D-printing industry. Instead, 3D printing will realize its full potential when it enables people to innovate and create all new objects and devices in a one-touch process.
The need for improved performance of devices has led to the development of 3-D stacking of chips. Through-silicon via (TSV) has emerged as a viable and preferred technology for achieving such high-performance devices due to its short wiring length and reduced resistance and capacitance (RC) delay. It also offers the most design flexibility, lower manufacturing costs and allows for integration of heterogeneous chips.
Friction is all around us, working against the motion of tires on pavement, the scrawl of a pen across paper and even the flow of proteins through the bloodstream. Whenever two surfaces come in contact, there is friction, except in very special cases where friction essentially vanishes, a phenomenon, known as “superlubricity,” in which surfaces simply slide over each other without resistance.
Nanofibers have a huge range of potential applications, from solar cells to water filtration to fuel cells. But so far, their high cost of manufacture has relegated them to just a few niche industries. MIT researchers describe a new technique for producing nanofibers that increases the rate of production fourfold while reducing energy consumption by more than 90%, holding out the prospect of cheap, efficient nanofiber production.
Like carbon dioxide in a fizzing glass of soda, most bubbles of gas in a liquid don't last long. But nanobubbles persist. These bubbles are thousands of times smaller than the tip of a pencil lead, and their stability makes them useful in a variety of applications, from targeted drug delivery to water treatment procedures. Researchers are studying the role methane nanobubbles might play in formation and dissociation of natural gas hydrate
Professors Gosselin and Therriault, along with their master's student, are not related to Spiderman. Nevertheless, these researchers have produced an ultra-tough polymer fiber directly inspired by spider silk. Three to eight microns in diameter, but five to 10 times tougher than steel or Kevlar: despite its lightness, spider silk has such remarkable elongation and stretch-resistance properties that humans have long sought to replicate it.
A lot of problems, associated with the mixing liquid in microchannels, could be solved via proper organization of the inhomogeneous slip on the walls of these channels. This is the conclusion made by the joint group of Russian and German scientists. This work is related to the field of microfluidics, which is promising and rapidly developing interdisciplinary field of research, studying the fluid flow in the microchannels.
Powder processors are constantly challenging their manufacturing staff to bring new formulations to full-scale production on a relatively short time scale. Pilot plant testing isn’t always possible given marketing pressure to launch products. Therefore, physical test methods used by R&D in the laboratory must accurately predict the “flowability” of the powder before initial startup.
Life without bright screens on our smartphones and TVs is hard to imagine. But in 20 years, one of the essential components of the liquid-crystal displays, or LCDs, that make many of our gadgets possible could disappear. To address the potential shortage of this component—the element indium—scientists report a new way to recover the valuable metal so it could be recycled.
Crystalline materials have atoms that are neatly lined up in a repeating pattern. When they break, that failure tends to start at a defect, or a place where the pattern is disrupted. But how do defect-free materials break? Until recently, the question was purely theoretical; making a defect-free material was impossible.
Take gold spirals about the size of a dime…and shrink them down about six million times. The result is the world’s smallest continuous spirals: “nano-spirals” with unique optical properties that would be almost impossible to counterfeit if they were added to identity cards, currency and other important objects.
Physicists have painted an in-depth portrait of charge ordering—an electron self-organization regime in high-temperature superconductors that may be intrinsically intertwined with superconductivity itself. In two complementary studies, researchers confirm that charge ordering forms a predominantly one dimensional ‘d-wave pattern.
A team of researchers from Université de Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and the Centre national de la recherche scientifique in France is the first to succeed in preventing two-dimensional layers of black phosphorus from oxidating. In so doing, they have opened the doors to exploiting their striking properties in a number of electronic and optoelectronic devices.
The electromagnetic radiation discharged by electronic equipment and devices is known to hinder their smooth operation. Conventional materials used today to shield from incoming electromagnetic waves tend to be sheets of metal or composites, which rely on reflection as a shielding mechanism.
Mechanical failure along a conductive pathway can cause the unexpected shutdown of electronic devices, ultimately limiting device lifetimes. In particular, wearable electronic devices, which inevitably undergo dynamic and vigorous motions—bending, folding or twisting—are much more liable to suffer from such conductive failures compared with conventional flat electronic devices.
Today’s computer chips pack billions of tiny transistors onto a plate of silicon within the width of a fingernail. Each transistor, just tens of nanometers wide, acts as a switch that, in concert with others, carries out a computer’s computations. As dense forests of transistors signal back and forth, they give off heat, which can fry the electronics, if a chip gets too hot.
Researchers from the Univ. of California, Los Angeles have developed an injectable hydrogel that helps skin wounds heal more quickly. The material creates an instant scaffold that allows new tissue to latch on and grow within the cavities formed between linked spheres of gel.
There’s an urgent demand for new antimicrobial compounds that are effective against constantly emerging drug-resistant bacteria. Two robotic chemical-synthesizing machines, named Symphony X and Overture, have joined the search. Their specialty is creating custom nanoscale structures that mimic nature’s proven designs. They’re also fast, able to assemble dozens of compounds at a time.
Researchers have developed a new way of making tough, but soft and wet, biocompatible materials, called “hydrogels,” into complex and intricately patterned shapes. The process might lead to injectable materials for delivering drugs or cells into the body; scaffolds for regenerating load-bearing tissues; or tough but flexible actuators for future robots, the researchers say.
A team led by DESY scientists has designed, fabricated and successfully tested a novel x-ray lens that produces sharper and brighter images of the nano world. The lens employs an innovative concept to redirect x-rays over a wide range of angles, making a high convergence power. The larger the convergence the smaller the details a microscope can resolve, but as is well known it is difficult to bend x-rays by large enough angles.