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Archive for the ‘nanotechnology’ category: Page 3

May 31, 2022

Water treatment efficiently removes nanoplastics

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

It’s a hot topic, at least on social media: tiny plastic particles allegedly end up not only in oceans and lakes, but also in drinking water—and, yes, even in bottled mineral water. Eawag and the Zurich Water Works launched a joint project in 2019 to find out whether the tiniest of particles, measuring less than a thousandth of a millimeter across, actually find their way from lake water into drinking water pipes and therefore into homes, hospitals and restaurants.

The results are now in, and they include some reassuring findings. In a report published today in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, the researchers show that even if untreated water contained considerable quantities of nanoplastics, these particles were retained in sand filters very efficiently during water treatment. Both in and in a larger test facility located directly on the premises of the Zurich Water Works, the biologically active slow sand filter was the most effective at retaining nanoparticles—achieving an efficacy level in the region of 99.9%.

So far, there has only been limited research into how exactly nanoplastics are formed. “But it would appear that the degradation of larger plastic particles in the environment eventually results in nanoplastics,” says Ralf Kägi, Head of Eawag’s Particle Laboratory. However, even the process of identifying nanoplastic particles is anything but easy. For this, the team of researchers from Eawag, ETH Zurich, EPFL and the Politecnico di Torino used labeled nanoplastic particles, whose route through—or final location in—the water treatment process could be tracked using a mass spectrometer. This process is similar to that used in medicine, where are specifically labeled in order to monitor their potential distribution in the human body.

May 28, 2022

Researchers ‘magically’ mining metals from water

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics

Once the tiny, iron-based particles are added to the water, the lithium is drawn out of the water and binds to them. Then with the help of a magnet, the nanoparticles can be collected in just minutes with the lithium hitching a ride, no longer suspended in the liquid and ready for easy extraction. After the lithium is extracted, the recharged nanoparticles can be used again.


New approach uses magnetic nanoparticles to extract valuable rare earth elements from geothermal fluids.

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May 22, 2022

On-Surface Synthesis of Rigid Benzenoid- and Nonbenzenoid-Coupled Porphyrin–Graphene Nanoribbon Hybrids

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology

On-surface synthesis made the fabrication of extended, atomically precise π-conjugated nanostructures on solid supports possible, with graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) and porphyrin-derived oligomers standing out. To date, examples combining these two prominent material classes are scarce, even though the chemically versatile porphyrins and the atomistic details of the nanographene spacers promise an easy tunability of structural and functional properties of the resulting hybrid structures. Here, we report the on-surface synthesis of extended benzenoid-and nonbenzenoid-coupled porphyrin–graphene nanoribbon hybrids by sequential Ullmann-type and cyclodehydrogenation reactions of a tailored Zn(II) 5,15-bis(5-bromo-1-naphthyl)porphyrin (Por(BrNaph)2) precursor on Au(111) and Ag(111).

May 22, 2022

These Nanobots Can Swim Around a Wound and Kill Bacteria

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

Researchers have created autonomous particles covered with patches of protein “motors.” They hope these bots will tote lifesaving drugs through bodily fluids.

May 19, 2022

UbiQD’s Quantum Dot Tech Is an Electricity Free Lighting Option for Greenhouses

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

Circa 2020 Electricity free grow lights using quantum dot leds.


While costs are coming down for controlled environment agriculture, electricity remains one of the highest because it has to power the LEDs that provide the lighting formula for plant growth. But a materials science company called UbiQD wants to change that by replacing electricity with a more efficient means of lighting: quantum dots.

Quantum dots are semiconductor nanoparticles that can transport electrons. When exposed to UV lighting, these particles emit lights of various colors, and can be adjusted in size to emit a specific color. For example, larger particles emit redder wavelengths, while smaller ones shift to blue.

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May 19, 2022

World-first quantum dot LED lights made from discarded rice husks

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, food, nanotechnology, quantum physics, solar power

From TVs, to solar cells, to cutting-edge cancer treatments, quantum dots are beginning to exhibit their unique potential in many fields, but manufacturing them at scale would raise some issues concerning the environment. Scientists at Japan’s Hiroshima University have demonstrated a greener path forward in this area, by using discarded rice husks to produce the world’s first silicon quantum dot LED light.

“Since typical quantum dots often involve toxic material, such as cadmium, lead, or other heavy metals, environmental concerns have been frequently deliberated when using nanomaterials,” said Ken-ichi Saitow, lead study author and a professor of chemistry at Hiroshima University. “Our proposed process and fabrication method for quantum dots minimizes these concerns.”

The type of quantum dots pursued by Saitow and his team are silicon quantum dots, which eschew heavy metals and offer some other benefits, too. Their stability and higher operating temperatures makes them one of the leading candidates for use in quantum computing, while their non-toxic nature also makes them suitable for use in medical applications.

May 18, 2022

Self-driving microscopes discover shortcuts to new materials

Posted by in categories: information science, nanotechnology, physics, robotics/AI, transportation

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are teaching microscopes to drive discoveries with an intuitive algorithm, developed at the lab’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, that could guide breakthroughs in new materials for energy technologies, sensing and computing.

“There are so many potential materials, some of which we cannot study at all with conventional tools, that need more efficient and systematic approaches to design and synthesize,” said Maxim Ziatdinov of ORNL’s Computational Sciences and Engineering Division and the CNMS. “We can use smart automation to access unexplored materials as well as create a shareable, reproducible path to discoveries that have not previously been possible.”

The approach, published in Nature Machine Intelligence, combines physics and machine learning to automate microscopy experiments designed to study materials’ functional properties at the nanoscale.

May 18, 2022

Nanopatterning electronic properties of twisted 2-D semiconductors using twist

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, robotics/AI

Adam FordAdmin.

I’m sure that’s not Deepmind’s official position atm — Nando de Freitas’s tweet was probably reactionary.

Nikolai Torp DragnesDoesn’t really read like the AGI is in a happy comfortable place does it? “Big red button,” “agents,” etc.? Sounds more like being locked in a cage with a gun to your head told to behave, told what to think, what to feel, what to do and what to look a… See more.

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May 18, 2022

Mercedes-Benz And Sila Announce Breakthrough In Silicon Anode Chemistry

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

Adam FordAdmin.

I’m sure that’s not Deepmind’s official position atm — Nando de Freitas’s tweet was probably reactionary.

Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz And Sila Announce Breakthrough In Silicon Anode Chemistry” »

May 18, 2022

On the Edge: New Magnetic Phenomenon Discovered With Industrial Potential

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics

Working with the tiniest magnets, Hebrew University discovers a new magnetic phenomenon with industrial potential.

For physicists, exploring the realm of the very, very small is a wonderland. Totally new and unexpected phenomena are discovered in the nanoscale, where materials as thin as 100 atoms are explored. Here, nature ceases to behave in a way that is predictable by the macroscopic law of physics, unlike what goes on in the world around us or out in the cosmos.

Dr. Yonathan Anahory at Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU)’s Racah Institute of Physics led the team of researchers, which included HU doctoral student Avia Noah. He spoke of his astonishment when looking at images of the magnetism generated by nano-magnets, “it was the first time we saw a magnet behaving this way,” as he described the images that revealed the phenomenon of “edge magnetism.”

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