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Nanotechnology & Material Science News and Discussions

nanotechnology nano microtechnology micro material science metamaterials graphene atomic engineering molecular manufacturing nanobots

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#761
Jessica

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Atomic switches by plasmonic heating of metallic contact points

by Thamarasee Jeewandara , Phys.org

Scientists have recently developed a light controlled nano-switch to lay groundwork for atomic device development in nanotechnology. They engineered the switches at the nanoscale in a first step toward fully integrated electronic device miniaturization. The multidisciplinary research was conducted by Weiqiang Zhang and co-workers, and an international team of collaborators. Results of the study are now published in Light: Science & Applications.

 

In the method developed by Zhang et al. light can be used to control electrical conductance at the junction between gold nano-electrodes by heating electrons at the electrode surface, in a technique known as 'plasmonic heating.' They validated the experimental mechanisms using simulations. The research team expanded electrodes via plasmonic heating to close the gap and turn the switch on, paving the way to build single-molecule transistors and nanopore-based biosensors at the nanoscale.

 

https://phys.org/new...ic-contact.html



#762
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Scientists invent 'transparent wood' in search for eco-friendly building material

New material could replace plastic or glass in construction of energy-efficient homes

Nicola Davis
@NicolaKSDavis
Wed 3 Apr 2019 05.00 EDT Last modified on Wed 3 Apr 2019 11.35 EDT


In an era of glass and steel construction, wood may seem old-school. But now researchers say they have given timber a makeover to produce a material that is not only sturdy, but also transparent and able to store and release heat.

The researchers say the material could be used in the construction of energy-efficient homes, and that they hope to develop a biodegradable version to increase its eco-friendly credentials as an alternative to plastic, glass or even cement.

“We prepared a material that is multifunctional – it can transmit light very well and also it can store heat. We combined these two functions in a single material,” said Céline Montanari of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Montanari is presenting the work at the spring national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Orlando.

To produce the material, the team built on previous work in which they took balsa wood and removed its lignin – a component of wood that gives it strength and colour. Acrylic, which is non-biodegradable and water-repellent, was introduced into the remaining tissues where it filled both the tiny pores left by the removal of lignin and the hollow vessels that carried water in the tree. That, said Montanari, not only helped maintain the wood’s structure but also restored its strength and improved its optical properties. The upshot was a frosted-looking wood-based material.

 


More:
https://www.theguard...ilding-material


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#763
Sciencerocks

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Researchers discover an economical way to produce high-performance thin films for electronics

by Delia Croessmann, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Researchers at Missouri S&T have found an unprecedented, economical method for creating high-performance inorganic thin films, or "epitaxial" films, used in the manufacture of semiconductors for flexible electronics, LEDs and solar cells.

 

The research is published today in Science in the paper titled "Spin Coating Epitaxial Films."

"We've come up with a super-easy method that has never been done before to make these films from a solution using commercial spin coaters," says Dr. Jay Switzer, the Donald L. Castleman/Foundation for Chemical Research Professor of Discovery in Chemistry at Missouri S&T. "This is an inexpensive and readily accessible route to single-crystal-like materials that should exhibit superior electronic and optical properties.

 

https://phys.org/new...lectronics.html



#764
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Graphene gives a tremendous boost to future terahertz cameras
 
APRIL 16, 2019
 
In a recent study, researchers developed a novel graphene-enabled photodetector that operates at room temperature, is highly sensitive, fast, has a wide dynamic range, and covers a broad range of THz frequencies. The researchers have achieved a solid understanding of how the PTE effect gives rise to a THz-induced photoresponse, which is valuable for further detector optimization.
 
Detecting terahertz (THz) light is extremely useful for two main reasons: First, THz technology is becoming a key element in applications regarding security (such as airport scanners), wireless data communication and quality control, to mention just a few. However, current THz detectors have limitations, including simultaneously meeting the requirements for sensitivity, speed, spectral range, and operating at room temperature. Second, terahertz light is a very safe type of radiation due to its low-energy photons, with more than 100 times lower energy than that of photons in the visible light range.
 
 
 
88Z95LZ.jpg


#765
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New polymer films conduct heat instead of trapping it

by Jennifer Chu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Polymers are usually the go-to material for thermal insulation. Think of a silicone oven mitt, or a Styrofoam coffee cup, both manufactured from polymer materials that are excellent at trapping heat.

 

Now MIT engineers have flipped the picture of the standard polymer insulator, by fabricating thin polymer films that conduct heat—an ability normally associated with metals. In experiments, they found the films, which are thinner than plastic wrap, conduct heat better than many metals, including steel and ceramic.

The team's results, published in the journal Nature Communications, may spur the development of polymer insulators as lightweight, flexible, and corrosion-resistant alternatives to traditional metal heat conductors, for applications ranging from heat dissipating materials in laptops and cellphones, to cooling elements in cars and refrigerators.

"We think this result is a step to stimulate the field," says Gang Chen, the Carl Richard Soderberg Professor of Power Engineering at MIT, and a senior co-author on the paper. "Our bigger vision is, these properties of polymers can create new applications and perhaps new industries, and may replace metals as heat exchangers."

 

https://phys.org/new...04-polymer.html



#766
Zaphod

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Scientists discover a game-changing way to remove salt from water
The technology could have massive implications for the future of our drinking water.
BY CLAIRE REILLY
MAY 7, 2019 11:43 PM PDT

The planet is warming, industries are pumping more salt water into the environment and when the water wars are upon us, drinking water will be more valuable than gold (you heard it here first).

That's why the ability to quickly and easily desalinate water has long been a goal of scientists around the world. And now, a group of researchers from Columbia University believe they've found a way to do it.

The process is called Temperature Swing Solvent Extraction and it's designed to purify hypersaline brines (water that contains a high concentration of salts, making it up to seven times as salty as seawater). This kind of waste water is produced by industrial processes and during oil and gas production, and it poses a major pollution risk to groundwater.

The research team, led by Ngai Yin Yip, a Columbia Engineering assistant professor of earth and environmental engineering, mixed a solvent (dyed red) in with a sample of hypersaline brine (dyed blue).

What's most exciting about the process is its implications. The team was able to remove up to 98.4% of the salt, which is comparable to the current "gold standard" process, reverse osmosis. But unlike reverse osmosis or other methods of desalination, this process doesn't require high temperatures or high pressures -- just a low-grade heat of less than 70 C (158 F).

 

 

 
 

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#767
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We should cover the Sahara in trees and farms using desalinated water.

 

sucks to be a camel but biodiversity of forests is much better than deserts. 



#768
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We should cover the Sahara in trees and farms using desalinated water.

 

sucks to be a camel but biodiversity of forests is much better than deserts. 

 

This is being talked about more and more lately.

 

https://www.futureti...2018/09/8-2.htm


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#769
Yuli Ban

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"We propose to demonstrate a first-generation molecular printer, a prototype system for atomically precise manufacturing that seeks to produce materials and devices with each atom in its designated position." - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in DNA Nanotechnology at University of Oxford

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in DNA Nanotechnology applied to Molecular Additive Manufacture.
We propose to demonstrate a first-generation molecular printer, a prototype system for atomically precise manufacturing that seeks to produce materials and devices with each atom in its designated position. The molecular printer will use externally programmed motion to enable construction by site-specific chemical additions and modifications to a workpiece. We envision first-generation molecular printers implemented as DNA origami frameworks constructed with sub-nanometre precision by self-assembly. These prototypes will be actuated by cycles of DNA strand displacement and will achieve positioning accuracies on the order of one nanometre. They will allow exploration of the potential of molecular additive manufacture, with the aim of initiating a process of technological development which will continue until atomically precise construction becomes a practical manufacturing technology. This project is a collaboration with Professor William Shih, Harvard University.
The successful candidate will develop techniques for the design, construction, and characterisation of synthetic DNA nanomachines capable of molecular additive manufacture with nanometre precision.
Applicants should possess, or be very close to completion a PhD in a relevant research field.
Previous experience in molecular self-assembly and nanostructure fabrication, single-molecule biophysics, molecular engineering or other relevant research field will be an advantage.
Candidates are expected to demonstrate competence in: management of research activities; development of scientific techniques and experimental protocols; use of specialist scientific equipment; contribution of research ideas; testing hypotheses and analysis of data; collaboration on all aspects of research, including preparation of scientific reports, journal articles and presentation of papers and posters.
The postholder will have the opportunity to teach.


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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#770
Raklian

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But a proposal and solicitation for candidate applications aren't exactly an announcement they have a working prototype. 

 

Nonetheless, sounds like they think it's feasible with the technology we have now. The next few years should be very interesting.


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What are you without the sum of your parts?

#771
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Oyster Shells Inspire Scientists To Create Glass That's Much Harder to Shatter

 

http://blogs.discove...der-to-shatter/

 

Extract:

 

(Discover) Crack open an oyster shell and the inner face shimmers in a rainbow of kaleidoscopic colors. This smooth material, known as mother-of-pearl, is beautiful and resilient – so resilient that it has inspired the creation of virtually shatterproof glass. 

 

“Our bioinspired glass is 2-3 times more impact resistant than laminated glass and tempered glass — the ‘standards’ for impact-resistant transparent materials,” says McGill University engineer Francois Barthelat, who led the new research.

 

…On the microscopic level, mother-of-pearl looks like it’s made out of tiny building blocks. Under force, the mineral blocks can slide apart from each other. The sliding allows the material to take on substantial blows without breaking.

 

…The new glass performs seemingly flawlessly. It’s transparent, does not produce any image distortions and instead of breaking under high stress, it bends. It also outperforms Plexiglass, two types of tempered glass and laminated glass in its impact resistance, the researchers report Thursday in the journal Science. All while being just as strong as laminated glass.

 

… “Our fabrication method is relatively easy and scalable,” Barthelat says. “One could make industrial volumes of this material very easily and at a reasonable cost.”

Oyster-Shell.jpg

Credit:  Lizard/Shuttershock


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#772
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World's smallest MRI performed on single atoms
 
1 July 2019
 
Researchers at the Center for Quantum Nanoscience (QNS) within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) at Ewha Womans University have made a major scientific breakthrough by performing the world's smallest magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In an international collaboration with colleagues from the US, QNS scientists used their new technique to visualize the magnetic field of single atoms.
 
An MRI is routinely done in hospitals nowadays as a part of imaging for diagnostics. MRI's detect the density of spins - the fundamental magnets in electrons and protons - in the human body. Traditionally, billions and billions of spins are required for an MRI scan. The new findings, published today in the journal Nature Physics, show that this process is now also possible for an individual atom on a surface. To do this, the team used a Scanning Tunneling Microscope, which consists of an atomically sharp metal tip that allows researchers to image and probe single atoms by scanning the tip across the surface.
 
 
 
205080_web.jpg

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#773
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MIT researchers have developed Artificial “muscles” which can lift 650 times their own weight, and might be used to control robotic or prosthetic limbs.

They were able to produce contracting fibers by imitating the coiling-and-pulling mechanism of plants like cucumber.

Watch this video for details.


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#774
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New laws of attraction: Scientists print magnetic liquid droplets

by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Inventors of centuries past and scientists of today have found ingenious ways to make our lives better with magnets—from the magnetic needle on a compass to magnetic data storage devices and even MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) body scan machines.

 

All of these technologies rely on magnets made from solid materials. But what if you could make a magnetic device out of liquids? Using a modified 3-D printer, a team of scientists at Berkeley Lab have done just that. Their findings, to be published July 19 in the journal Science, could lead to a revolutionary class of printable liquid devices for a variety of applications from artificial cells that deliver targeted cancer therapies to flexible liquid robots that can change their shape to adapt to their surroundings.

"We've made a new material that is both liquid and magnetic. No one has ever observed this before," said Tom Russell, a visiting faculty scientist at Berkeley Lab and professor of polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst who led the study. "This opens the door to a new area of science in magnetic soft matter."

 

https://phys.org/new...d-droplets.html


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#775
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Physicists discover new quantum trick for graphene: magnetism

by Ker Than, Stanford University

 

Sometimes the best discoveries happen when scientists least expect it. While trying to replicate another team's finding, Stanford physicists recently stumbled upon a novel form of magnetism, predicted but never seen before, that is generated when two honeycomb-shaped lattices of carbon are carefully stacked and rotated to a special angle.

 

The authors suggest the magnetism, called orbital ferromagnetism, could prove useful for certain applications, such as quantum computing. The group describes their finding in the July 25 issue of the journal Science.

 

https://phys.org/new...-magnetism.html


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#776
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Scientists just created the world's thinnest gold and it's two atoms thick

 

August 6, 2019

 

The newest form of gold created in a lab is the thickness of two atoms, according to a new study. It's only 0.47 nanometers thick, which is one million times thinner than a human finger nail.

 

Researchers are calling it gold nanoseaweed because of its shape.

 

The study published Tuesday in the journal Advanced Science.

This makes it the thinnest unsupported gold ever created and it could be used in electronics and medical devices going forward.

 

The gold is made up of two layers of atoms stacked on top of each other. But don't let the thin structure fool you. Researchers say it's 10 times more efficient than gold nanoparticles that are currently used.

 

https://edition.cnn....-scn/index.html

 

 

oYvSuzi.jpg


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#777
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New retroreflective material could be used in nighttime color-changing road signs

by University at Buffalo

 

A thin film that reflects light in intriguing ways could be used to make road signs that shine brightly and change color at night, according to a study that will be published on Aug. 9 in Science Advances.

 

The technology could help call attention to important traffic information when it's dark, with potential benefits for both drivers and pedestrians, researchers say.

The film consists of polymer microspheres laid down on the sticky side of a transparent tape. The material's physical structure leads to an interesting phenomenon: When white light shines on the film at night, some observers will see a single, stable color reflected back, while others will see changing colors. It all depends on the angle of observation and whether the light source is moving.

 

https://phys.org/new...nging-road.html



#778
caltrek

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Chemists make first-ever ring of pure carbon

 

https://www.nature.c...586-019-02473-z

 

Extract:

 

(Nature) Long after most chemists had given up trying, a team of researchers has synthesized the first ring-shaped molecule of pure carbon — a circle of 18 atoms.

 

The chemists started with a triangular molecule of carbon and oxygen, which they manipulated with electric currents to create the carbon-18 ring. Initial studies of the properties of the molecule, called a cyclocarbon, suggest that it acts as a semiconductor, which could make similar straight carbon chains useful as molecular-scale electronic components.

 

(Przemyslaw) Gawel (of  the University of Oxford, UK) and his collaborators have now created and imaged the long-sought ring molecule carbon-18. Using standard ‘wet’ chemistry, his collaborator Lorel Scriven, an Oxford chemist, first synthesized molecules that included four-carbon squares coming off the ring with oxygen atoms attached to squares. The team then sent their samples to IBM laboratories in Zurich, Switzerland, where collaborators put the oxygen–carbon molecules on a layer of sodium chloride, inside a high-vacuum chamber. They manipulated the rings one at a time with electric currents (using an atomic-force microscope that can also act as a scanning-tunelling microscope), to remove the extraneous, oxygen-containing parts. After much trial-and-error, micrograph scans revealed the 18-carbon structure. “I never thought I would see this,” says Scriven.

 

The IBM researchers showed that the 18-carbon rings had alternating triple and single bonds. Theoretical results had disagreed over whether carbon-18 would have this kind of structure, or one made entirely of double bonds.

 

Alternating bond types are interesting because they are supposed to give carbon chains and rings the properties of semiconductors. The results suggest that long, straight carbon chains might be semiconductors, too, Gawel says, which could make them useful as components of future molecular-sized transistors.

d41586-019-02473-z_17070750.png


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: nanotechnology, nano, microtechnology, micro, material science, metamaterials, graphene, atomic engineering, molecular manufacturing, nanobots

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