Here are the 10 most popular Nanowerk Nanotechnology Spotlight articles of 2013. This year, the list includes nanotechnology in sports equipment, nanogenerators for energy harvesting, electronic skin, stealth coatings, green battery components, wearable textile batteries, two-dimensional materials beyond graphene, medical microrobots for drug delivery, chips inside cells to feel the pressure, and a list of graphene manufcaturers.
Measuring and mapping mechanical properties of live cells is of high importance in today's biological research. raditionally, force spectroscopy and force volume are the most commonly used modes to quantitatively measure mechanical forces at the nanometer scale. Unfortunately, both techniques have suffered from slow acquisition speed and a lack of automated tools to analyze the hundreds to thousands of curves required for good statistics. This application note reviews recent progress in mapping the properties of soft samples such as cells and gels with force volume and PeakForce QNM and the use of the newest NanoScope and NanoScope Analysis features to collect and analyze the data from these techniques.
Following extensive research in the field of bionano-interfaces, it is now well understood that the primary interaction of biological species with nanoparticles is strongly dependent to the long-lived protein corona, i.e. a strongly adsorbed protein layer at the surface of nanoparticles. The amount, composition, and exposure site of the associated proteins in the long-lived protein corona can define the biological response to the nanoparticles and hence reveal their biological fate. Scientists have now shown that laser plasmonic heat induction leads to significant changes in the protein corona composition at the surface of gold nanorods.
In microbial fuell cells, the anode material as the medium of electron transfer and as the support for biofilm formation is a key component that determines the effectiveness and efficiency of power generation. Generally, the anode will perform better if the anode material has a greater specific surface area and higher affinity for living bacterial cells. The direct carbonization of low-cost and naturally available materials provides a potential alternative to commercial anodes with high specific surface area. In new work, scientists demonstrate a new procedure to generate novel macroporous carbon prepared from a fibrous loofah sponge.
Researchers demonstrate a strategy for the fabrication of memristive nanodevices with stable and tunable performance by assembling ferritin monolayer inside a on-wire lithography-generated 12 nm gap. This work work uses the unique high iron loading capacity of Archaeoglobus fulgidus ferritin. The iron loading in the nanocages drastically impacts the performance of the memristive devices. The higher iron loading amount contributes to better memristive performance due to higher electrochemical activity of the ferric complex core.
Their unique combinations of liquid and solid-like properties allow liquid crystals to be used pervasively in the electro-optical display technology - known as liquid crystal display (LCD). In new work, researchers have observed that a dilute suspension of a small amount of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in a nematic liquid crystal (in the nematic LC phase the molecules are oriented in parallel but not arranged in well-defined planes) results in a significantly faster nematic switching effect on application of an electric field.
The government of Thailand, realizing the importance of nanotechnology to economic growth, established the National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC) in 2003 as one of four national research centers under the National Science and Technology Development Agency. With an annual budget of US$11 million, NANOTEC is the key research funding agency for nanotechnology in Thailand. NANOTEC is investing in nanotechnology as a means of differentiating and adding value so that domestic products can compete effectively.
Silicon offers a unique combination between mechanical and electrical properties making it one of the most developed materials in semiconductor industry. However, silicon is brittle and cannot be flexed, hindering its potential for high performance electronics that is flexible, stretchable or applied to irregular shapes. Researchers have now developed a pragmatic approach to achieve high performance integrated electronic systems, including thermoelectric energy harvesters, onto flexible silicon substrates.