Archive for the ‘nanotechnology’ category

Mar 3, 2017

Researchers remotely control sequence in which 2-D sheets fold into 3D structures

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, nanotechnology, satellites, solar power, sustainability

Inspired by origami, North Carolina State University researchers have found a way to remotely control the order in which a two-dimensional (2-D) sheet folds itself into a three-dimensional (3D) structure.

“A longstanding challenge in the field has been finding a way to control the sequence in which a 2-D sheet will fold itself into a 3D object,” says Michael Dickey, a professor of chemical and at NC State and co-corresponding author of a paper describing the work. “And as anyone who has done origami — or folded their laundry—can tell you, the order in which you make the folds can be extremely important.”

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Mar 3, 2017

Novel 3D manufacturing leads to highly complex, bio-like materials

Posted by in categories: engineering, nanotechnology

Washington State University researchers have developed a unique, 3D manufacturing method that for the first time rapidly creates and precisely controls a material’s architecture from the nanoscale to centimeters. The results closely mimic the intricate architecture of natural materials like wood and bone.

They report on their work in the journal Science Advances and have filed for a patent.

The work has many high-tech engineering applications.

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Mar 3, 2017

Big nanotechnology advance could spell end of deadly organ shortage

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Frozen organs could be brought back to life safely one day with the aid of nanotechnology, a new study finds. The development could help make donated organs available for virtually everyone who needs them in the future, the researchers say.

The number of donated organs that could be transplanted into patients could increase greatly if there were a way to freeze and reheat organs without damaging the cells within them.

In the new work, scientists developed a way to safely thaw frozen tissues with the aid of nanoparticles — particles only nanometers or billionths of a meter wide. (In comparison, the average human hair is about 100,000 nanometers wide.)

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Feb 27, 2017

Breakthrough Tech: Scientists Use Swarms of Nanorobots to Precisely Target Cancer Cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Researchers announce a potential breakthrough in using nanotechnology to fight cancer.

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Feb 27, 2017

Chiral superconductivity experimentally demonstrated for the first time

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology

(—Scientists have found that a superconducting current flows in only one direction through a chiral nanotube, marking the first observation of the effects of chirality on superconductivity. Until now, superconductivity has only been demonstrated in achiral materials, in which the current flows in both directions equally.

The team of researchers, F. Qin et al., from Japan, the US, and Israel, have published a paper on the first observation of chiral in a recent issue of Nature Communications.

Chiral superconductivity combines two typically unrelated concepts in a single material: Chiral materials have mirror images that are not identical, similar to how left and right hands are not identical because they cannot be superimposed one on top of the other. And superconducting materials can conduct an electric current with zero resistance at very low temperatures.

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Feb 26, 2017

Dream of energy-collecting windows is one step closer to reality

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

Researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of Milano-Bicocca are bringing the dream of windows that can efficiently collect solar energy one step closer to reality thanks to high tech silicon nanoparticles.

The researchers developed technology to embed the nanoparticles into what they call efficient (LSCs). These LSCs are the key element of windows that can efficiently collect solar energy. When light shines through the surface, the useful frequencies of light are trapped inside and concentrated to the edges where small solar cells can be put in place to capture the energy.

The research is published today in Nature Photonics.

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Feb 25, 2017

Nano-sized hydrogen storage system increases efficiency

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology, transportation


Lawrence Livermore scientists have collaborated with an interdisciplinary team of researchers including colleagues from Sandia National Laboratories to develop an efficient hydrogen storage system that could be a boon for hydrogen powered vehicles.

Hydrogen is an excellent energy carrier, but the development of lightweight solid-state materials for compact, low-pressure storage is a huge challenge.

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Feb 23, 2017

Product selectivity in plasmonic photocatalysis for carbon dioxide hydrogenation

Posted by in category: nanotechnology

Nice development — demonstrating that light can control product selectivity in complex chemical reactions can be performed reliably.

Atmospheric CO2 can be transformed into valuable hydrocarbons by reaction with H2, but CO is the favoured kinetic product. Here, Liu and co-workers show that plasmonic rhodium nanoparticles not only reduce the activation energy for CO2hydrogenation, but also photo-selectively produce methane.

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Feb 23, 2017

Lanthanide-Doped KLu2F7 Nanoparticles with High Upconversion Luminescence Performance: A Comparative Study

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology

Nice find on nanoparticles and energy transfer — important in scalable devices, energy conservation, etc.

The development, design and the performance evaluation of rare-earth doped host materials is important for further optical investigation and industrial applications. Herein, we successfully fabricate KLu2F7 upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) through hydrothermal synthesis by controlling the fluorine-to-lanthanide-ion molar ratio. The structural and morphological results show that the samples are orthorhombic-phase hexagonal-prisms UCNPs, with average side length of 80 nm and average thickness of 110 nm. The reaction time dependent crystal growth experiment suggests that the phase transformation is a thermo-dynamical process and the increasing F/Ln3+ ratio favors the formation of the thermo-dynamical stable phase — orthorhombic KLu2F7 structure. The upconversion luminescence (UCL) spectra display that the orthorhombic KLu2F7:Yb/Er UCNPs present stronger UCL as much as 280-fold than their cubic counterparts. The UCNPS also display better UCL performance compared with the popular hexagonal-phase NaREF4 (RE = Y, Gd). Our mechanistic investigation, including Judd-Ofelt analysis and time decay behaviors, suggests that the lanthanide tetrad clusters structure at sublattice level accounts for the saturated luminescence and highly efficient UCL in KLu2F7:Yb/Er UCNPs. Our research demonstrates that the orthorhombic KLu2F7 is a promising host material for UCL and can find potential applications in lasing, photovoltaics and biolabeling techniques.

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Feb 23, 2017

Spiky Nanostructures Capture Life’s Fine Details

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

A new day for imaging.

Optical microscopes that use lenses to bounce photons off objects have trouble distinguishing nanometer-scale objects smaller than the imaging beam’s wavelength, such as proteins and DNA. An innovative ‘hyperlens’ designed at A* STAR can overcome optical diffraction limits by capturing high-resolution information held by short-lived or evanescent waves lurking near a target’s surface.

Hyperlens devices — composed of thin stacks of alternate metal and plastic layers — have raised prospects for capturing living biological processes in action with high–speed optics. Key to their operation are oscillating electrons, known as surface plasmons, that resonate with and enhance evanescent waves that appear when photons strike a solid object. The narrow wavelengths of evanescent beams give nanoscale resolution to images when the hyperlens propagates the images to a standard microscope.

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