Archive for the ‘nanotechnology’ category

Sep 15, 2016

Carbon-coated iron catalyst structure could lead to more-active fuel cells

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics, transportation

Abstract: Fuel cells have long held promise as power sources, but low efficiency has created obstacles to realizing that promise. Researchers at the University of Illinois and collaborators have identified the active form of an iron-containing catalyst for the trickiest part of the process: reducing oxygen gas, which has two oxygen atoms, so that it can break apart and combine with ionized hydrogen to make water. The finding could help researchers refine better catalysts, making fuel cells a more energy- and cost-efficient option for powering vehicles and other applications.

Led by U. of I. chemistry professor Andrew Gewirth, the researchers published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Iron-based catalysts for oxygen reduction are an abundant, inexpensive alternative to catalysts containing precious metals, which are expensive and can degrade. However, the process for making iron-containing catalysts yields a mixture of different compounds containing iron, nitrogen and carbon. Since the various compounds are difficult to separate, exactly which form or forms behave as the active catalyst has remained a mystery to researchers. This has made it difficult to refine or improve the catalyst.

Sep 15, 2016

“Hairy” Nanorods Offer Simpler Production Process

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology

Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new strategy for crafting one-dimensional cellulose nanorods using a wide range of precursor materials.

Sep 15, 2016

Meet the nanobots that could combat cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

An international team have developed nanobots that travel in the bloodstream and tackle cancer from the inside.

Sep 15, 2016

Your Thoughts Could Activate a Tiny Robot Inside Your Own Brain

Posted by in categories: health, nanotechnology, neuroscience, robotics/AI


For the first time, Israeli researchers have developed a system that lets a human use brain waves to control nanobots in a cockroach. How could that help your health?

Sep 15, 2016

Levitating nanoparticle improves ‘torque sensing’

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics, quantum physics

Researchers have levitated a tiny nanodiamond particle with a laser in a vacuum chamber, using the technique for the first time to detect and measure its “torsional vibration,” an advance that could bring new types of sensors and studies in quantum mechanics.

The experiment represents a nanoscale version of the torsion balance used in the classic Cavendish experiment, performed in 1798 by British scientist Henry Cavendish, which determined Newton’s gravitational constant. A bar balancing two lead spheres at either end was suspended on a thin metal wire. Gravity acting on the two weights caused the wire and bar to twist, and this twisting — or torsion — was measured to calculate the gravitational force.

In the new experiment, an oblong-shaped nanodiamond levitated by a laser beam in a vacuum chamber served the same role as the bar, and the laser beam served the same role as the wire in Cavendish’s experiment.

Sep 14, 2016

Scientists develop revolutionary heart attack sensor

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, nanotechnology

An international collaboration of scientists involving a team of researchers at Manchester led by Dr. David J. Lewis has developed a tiny electric sensor, which could potentially improve patient survival rates by telling doctors if a person has had a heart attack.

Cardiovascular diseases account for around 30 per cent of adult deaths in the 30–70 year age group, which is greater than the combined deaths from all types of cancer. The ability to diagnose cardiac disease is therefore of utmost concern to doctors. When someone has a heart attack, certain chemicals are released into their bloodstream in elevated amounts, and blood tests are therefore the key to diagnosis.

Lewis, from Manchester’s School of Materials, has worked with his colleagues and a team at India’s Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST) since 2014 to develop a nanoscale sensor made from ‘few-layer black phosphorus’, a new 2D material, which was coated in Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)/genetic material. The immobilised DNA binds to a chemical called myoglobin, which increases in blood plasma after a heart attack and can be detected and measured by a simple electrical test. This could have a major impact, as it is potentially the most rapid, sensitive, selective and accurate method currently available to detect if someone has elevated levels of myoglobin – the measurement of which is one of the methods used in hospitals to check if someone has suffered a heart attack. The researchers predict that its eventual introduction into the clinic could potentially improve patient survival rates after an attack.

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Sep 14, 2016

Journey to the Centre of the Cell: Nano-Rods and Worms Wriggle Best

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, transportation

Interesting read.

When it comes to delivering drugs, nanoparticles shaped like rods and worms are the best bet for making the daunting journey to the centre of a cell, new Australian research suggests.

A new study published in Nature Nanotechnology has answered a long-standing question that could lead to the design of better drug delivery vehicles: how nanoparticle shape affects the voyage through the cell.

Continue reading “Journey to the Centre of the Cell: Nano-Rods and Worms Wriggle Best” »

Sep 14, 2016

UCLA chemists report new insights about properties of matter at the nanoscale

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology

UCLA’s new method to smaller molecule machines.

UCLA nanoscience researchers have determined that a fluid that behaves similarly to water in our day-to-day lives becomes as heavy as honey when trapped in a nanocage of a porous solid, offering new insights into how matter behaves in the nanoscale world.

“We are learning more and more about the properties of matter at the nanoscale so that we can design machines with specific functions,” said senior author Miguel García-Garibay, dean of the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences and professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

Continue reading “UCLA chemists report new insights about properties of matter at the nanoscale” »

Sep 13, 2016

Early cancer detection: Russian researchers on verge of breakthrough

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

TheTribune: NEW DELHI: Russian researchers have developed a nanotechnology tool for early diagnosis of cancer and are planning to launch clinical trials of the product in 2018.

Sep 13, 2016

High-efficiency THz nano-detectors

Posted by in category: nanotechnology

Mechanically stacked two-dimensional Van-der-Waals heterostructures have been engineered to devise Terahertz frequency nano-detectors by using a flake of black phosphorus (BP) trapped between two layers of hexagonal boron nitride (hBN).

An international collaboration between researchers from Italy, USA, France and Poland brought together the benefits of heterostructure architecture and the potential of 2D layered nanomaterials to build THz photon sensors that operate over the 0.3−0.65 THz range, at low temperatures, with excellent signal to noise ratio values. They accomplished this by reassembling the thin isolated atomic planes of hexagonal borum nitride (hBN) with a few layer phosphorene (black phosphorus (BP)) in mechanically stacked hBN/BP/hBN heterostructures.

Artificial semiconductor heterostructures have an important role in modern electronic and photonic technologies, due to their effectiveness for manipulation and control of carriers from the visible to the THz range. Even though they are incredibly versatile, they usually require challenging production procedures due to the need of clean and abrupt interfaces. These characteristics are a major challenge for having high-efficiency devices at room temperature like source, detectors or modulators, especially in the far-infrared. With the emergence of two-dimensional (2D) layered materials, like graphene and phosphorene, as reliable, flexible and versatile alternatives for detectors operating at THz with low signal to noise ratio, this challenge was finally overcome.

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