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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
Sciencerocks

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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
wjfox

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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.
 
 
 
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#765
Sciencerocks

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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
Alislaws

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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
wjfox

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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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