Technology

Aluminum nanoparticles could improve electronic displays

Whether showing off family photos on smartphones or watching TV shows on laptops, many people look at liquid crystal displays (LCDs) every day. LCDs are continually being improved, but almost all currently use color technology that fades over time. Now, a team reports in ACS Nano that using aluminum nanostructures could provide a vivid, low-cost alternative for producing digital color. ... Read More »

Tiny ‘flasks’ speed up chemical reactions

A cluster of gold nanoparticles under a transmission electron microscope. Empty spaces between the nanoparticles can serve as nanoflasks, as suggested by the drawing Credit: Weizmann Institute of Science Miniature self-assembling “flasks” created at the Weizmann Institute may prove a useful tool in research and industry. The nanoflasks, which have a span of several nanometers, or millionths of a millimeter, ... Read More »

Stretchable, transparent heater made from metallic glass

The stretchable, transparent heater could be used to warm the human body (where the black wrist strap can control temperature) or to defrost car mirrors. Credit: Byeong Wan An, et al. ©2015 American Chemical Society (Phys.org)—Researchers have fabricated a stretchable and transparent electrode that can be used for applications such as heating parts of the body and defrosting the side ... Read More »

Researchers gauge quantum properties of nanotubes, essential for next-gen electronics

(a, b) MIM capacitance images overlaid on top of AFM 3-D surface topography of an array of CVD grown aligned SWNTs on quartz substrates. Each sample has a 3.5 nm dielectric layer of (a) MgO and (b) SiO2. The impact of the increased ε for …more How do you get to know a material that you cannot see? That is ... Read More »

New technique could facilitate use of gold nanoparticles in electronic, medical applications

A gold nanoparticle, brought into contact to a DNA nanostructure, sticks to chemical patches. Scientists then dissolve the assembly, separating the DNA nanostructure into its component strands and leaving behind the DNA imprint on the gold nanoparticle. Credit: Thomas Edwardson Gold nanoparticles have unusual optical, electronic and chemical properties, which scientists are seeking to put to use in a range ... Read More »

Mechanical properties of nanomaterials are altered due to electric field, researchers find

TeYu Chien, a UW assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, uses a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope in his lab to observe nanomaterials. Chien is the lead author of a paper that appears in the journal …more Mechanical properties of nanomaterials can be altered due to the application of voltage, University of Wyoming researchers have discovered. The researchers, ... Read More »

Unique two-level cathode structure improves battery performance

Scanning and transmission electron micrographs of the cathode material at different magnifications. These images show that the 10-micron spheres (a) can be hollow and are composed of many smaller nanoscale particles (b). Chemical …more Building a better battery is a delicate balancing act. Increasing the amounts of chemicals whose reactions power the battery can lead to instability. Similarly, smaller particles ... Read More »

Two-stage power management system boosts energy-harvesting efficiency

Triboelectric nanogenerators use a combination of the triboelectric effect and electrostatic induction to generate small amounts of electrical power from mechanical motions such as rotation, sliding or vibration. Credit: Zhong Lin Wang Laboratory A two-stage power management and storage system could dramatically improve the efficiency of triboelectric generators that harvest energy from irregular human motion such as walking, running or ... Read More »

DNA ‘building blocks’ pave the way for improved drug delivery

The ‘lock’ DNA (red) of the closed nanopore binds with the ‘key’ DNA (green) to open the channel. Credit: Jonathan Burns et al. Nature Nanotechnology, DOI 10.1038/nnano.2015.279 DNA has been used as a ‘molecular building block’ to construct synthetic bio-inspired pores which will improve the way drugs are delivered and help advance the field of synthetic biology, according to scientists ... Read More »

How photonics can reshape the spectrum of light, and rehabilitate Edison’s light bulb along the way

A nanophotonic incandescent light bulb demonstrates the ability to tailor light radiated by a hot object. Credit: MIT Traditional light bulbs, thought to be well on their way to oblivion, may receive a reprieve thanks to a technological breakthrough. Incandescent lighting and its warm, familiar glow is well over a century old yet survives virtually unchanged in homes around the ... Read More »