Nanotechnology Spotlights

Energetic ferroelectrics

electricity-generationResearchers demonstrated that two dissimilar materials - molecular energetic materials and ferroelectrics - can be combined to obtain a chemically driven electrical energy source with high-power density. They obtained chemically driven electrical energy with a high specific power of 1.8 kW/kg and achieve an estimated detonation velocity comparable to trinitrotoluene (TNT) and hexanitrostilbene (HNS). Such a power source could...

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Spiky rose thorns inspire nanoengineered antiviral herpes treatment

spikey-nanoparticlesResearchers have developed an antiviral dressing material with visible-light-activated sterilizing properties that enables physical and chemical protection against viral agents like Herpes simplex. They re-engineered a common additive agent found in sunscreen (zinc oxide) to be self-sterilizing within a non-woven fibrous mats for herpes virus treatment. The self-sterilizing function creates a 'green' associated oxidant hydrogen...

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Living optical fibers expand the use of photonics for bioengineering

optical-fiberAn interdisciplinary approach that integrates optics, bioengineering, and nanotechnology has led to the fabrication of a living optical hydrogel fiber with many applications, including cancer models, physical force sensing, and covid detection, among others. This work represents a simple and low-cost approach to fabricating optical fibers made from biological materials. These fibers can be easily modified for specific applications...

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New strategy achieves electric insulator polyethylene with high thermal conductivity and dielectric strength

Polymer dielectrics are widely used as an insulating material in advanced electronics and electric power systems that require operation at high temperatures and high breakdown conditions. The miniaturization and higher power of modern electronics generate lots of heat, which needs to be dissipated quickly to avoid device malfunction or breakdown. This increased heat also leads to the temperature rise of insulating materials,...

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2D Materials cut sharper

etched-geometric-shapes-in-bluePrecise patterning of 2D materials is a route to computation and storage using 2D materials, which can deliver potentially better performance and much lower power consumption compared to the technology of today. Researchers now demonstrate an etching process that makes it possible to downsize nanostructures to the 10-20 nm range and obtain smooth edges, sharp corners, and feature sizes significantly below the resolution limit...

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Hydrogels

hydrogelsHydrogels are fascinating natural or synthetic polymer materials that exhibit very versatile chemistries and physical or biological properties. They are 3D networks of either physically or chemically crosslinked polymers that resemble organic tissues and that can hold large amounts of water within their interlocked molecular network. These soft, translucent materials swell or shrink in response to water absorption or desorption...

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Intracellular activation of RNA interference upon DNA-driven organization of quantum dot assemblies

quantum-dot-assembliesIn addition to the plethora of functions such as storage of genetic information and regulation of its expression, DNA and RNA are also highly programmable biomaterials. DNA can be utilized to design short complementary sequences to be used as the linkers which bring together and organize other biological and inorganic materials. Quantum dots are one such inorganic candidate. Researchers now utilized DNA for the precise assembly...

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A ground-breaking modeling toolkit to predict current of new type of memory

computer-memoryResistive-switching memory (RSM) is an emerging candidate for next-generation memory and computing devices, such as storage-class memory devices, multilevel memories and as a synapse in neuromorphic computing. A significant challenge in the global research efforts towards better energy technologies is efficient and accurate device modeling. Now, researchers have created a new modeling toolkit which can predict the current...

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Modulation of negative differential resistance in black phosphorus transistors

wavy-colorsNegative differential resistance (NDR), which describes a decrease in electrical current as the applied bias increases, has always been one of the hottest topics in solid-state electronic devices since L. Esaki first demonstrated this phenomenon in heavily-doped Ge p-n junctions in 1958. Researchers now report the modulation of a unique room-temperature NDR effect with high peak current in ambipolar black phosphorus transistors....

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Highly efficient separator coating for lithium-sulfur batteries

membrane-coatingLithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries are a promising alternative to lithium-ion batteries because - at least theoretically - they can render 3-6 times higher energy density. In developing Li-S battery technology, researchers have borrowed many components from the mature lithium-ion battery, such as the separator. However, because the working mechanism of Li-S cells is fundamentally different, there is a need for a suitable separator...

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