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Nanotechnology Spotlight

Behind the buzz and beyond the hype:
Our Nanowerk-exclusive feature articles

Showing Spotlights 41 - 48 of 1605 in category (newest first):


Active microfluidic chips inkjet-printed on normal paper

Paper could lead to low-cost innovative devices and applications is lab-on-a-chip technology. In new work, researchers in Korea have, for the first time, used paper as a platform material for actively actuating an electronic microfluidic chip. This novel, powered fluidic chip - known as an active paper open chip (APOC) - allows the full range of fluidic operations by implementing an electric input on paper via an electrowetting technique.

Posted: Jan 23rd, 2014

Nanopaper optimized for solar cells

transparentTransparent and flexible substrates are widely explored for flexible electronics and researchers have been working on techniques to develop thermally stable and biodegradable materials that are as easily printable as paper. Previously, we reported on a transparent and flexible nanopaper transistor. The same team has now reported a novel transparent paper substrate design optimized for solar cells. They introduced a novel transparent paper made of earth-abundant wood fibers that simultaneously achieves an ultrahigh transmittance and ultrahigh optical haze.

Posted: Jan 22nd, 2014

Water pinning nanostructures inspired by nature

dropIn the field on controlling liquid movement on surfaces, super water-repellent surfaces have been well-documented. In contrast, comparatively fewer reports are available on the design of water pinning surfaces. In new work, scientists have achieved polymer films with exceptionally high water pinning forces through nanoimprinted surface structures, without the incorporation of any chemical treatment. This work contributes to the field on water pinning surfaces by providing a simple geometrical rule-of-thumb design of nanostructures to engineer polymeric surfaces with tunable water pinning ability.

Posted: Jan 14th, 2014

Gold nanorods can mediate photodynamic effects at near-infrared light

gold_nanorodsNumerous previous research results have shown that gold nanorods (Au NRs) are able to effectively kill tumors upon irradiation with high laser doses, leading to hyperthermia-induced destruction of cancer cells (photodynamic therapy, PTT). In new work, researchers have demonstrated for the first time that bare gold nanorods alone can exert unprecedented photodynamic therapeutic (PDT) effects to result in cancer cellular deaths at low laser doses. Moreover, it appears that Au NRs-mediated PDT effects are far more effective in destruction of tumors in mice than the Au NRs-mediated PTT effects.

Posted: Jan 13th, 2014

Modulating molecular electronics with the help of chemical tailoring

molecular_electronicsExternal stimuli, such as light, mechanical force, magnetic field, electrical field and electrochemical potential, are all driving forces that can be utilized to modulate the structure or conformation of molecules, and therefore to affect the performance of functional molecular devices. In new work, researchers take advantage of synergetic modulation by multiple external controls to explore multi-modulable molecular devices with the help of chemical tailoring, which have not been addressed so far.

Posted: Jan 8th, 2014

Microsphere nanoscope enables super-resolution biological microscopy

microsphere_nanoscopeA conventional optical microscope equipped with an oil immersion objective can resolve objects no smaller than about 200 nanometers - a restriction known as the diffraction limit. The diffraction limit, which typically is half the width of the wavelength of light being used to view the specimen, represents the fundamental limit of optical imaging resolution. Breaking this limit is possible by very sophisticated techniques and costly instrumentation. Now, though, researchers in Switzerland have found that when putting a transparent dielectric particle on top of an object with nanoscale features, details of that object with a size as small as one fourth of the diffraction limit can be resolved using a conventional microscope objective.

Posted: Jan 7th, 2014

Nanotechnology for disaster relief and development cooperation

disaster_reliefIn the area of development cooperation which, like disaster relief, is often confronted with demands and scenarios that are hard to predict, nanotechnology based solutions can offer interesting perspectives for medical care, water treatment, agriculture and food, as well as rural infrastructure development in developing countries. A publication aims to inform managers and staff working in emergency response services and development cooperation as well as related institutions about the innovation potential of nanotechnology for their respective fields of work, and to highlight areas of overlap. The 84-page brochure also addresses companies and industry representatives that are already operating in this area or are interested in tapping in to this market.

Posted: Jan 6th, 2014

Nanotechnology spotlights - the best of 2013

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.

Posted: Jan 3rd, 2014