Nanotechnology Spotlights

Roll-to-roll fabrication of flexible printed perovskite solar cells under ambient conditions

flexible-solar-cellResearchers have been able to successfully replace the expensive metal layer of the top electrode of perovskite solar cells with a less-expensive carbon-based electrode that can also be applied using roll-to-roll techniques. This new electrode deposition method involves the deposition of carbon and silver on a detachable plastic (PET) substrate first, with the dried electrode then pressed onto the top of the perovskite...

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MXene with its X factor may help downscaling 2D transistors

transistorResearchers show how MXenes' rich chemistry can be used to create doping-free 2D transistors with intrinsically low resistive contacts while maintaining balance mode operation. With a suitable functional termination, MXenes can become a semiconductor or a metal with a different work function. The researchers exploit this unique property of MXene to propose a Schottky barrier transistor, which can be implemented with...

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Self-powered bioelectronic face mask measures glucose levels

face_maskNew research describes the first example of self-powered bioelectronics on a mask that can measure the biological glucose signal with continuous energy. In their work, the researchers demonstrate a 3-in-1 mask device that can 1) harvest energy (a biofuel cell); 2) store energy (a supercapacitor); and 3) indicate glucose concentration (a biosensor). The small biofuel cells can harvest energy from the sweat on a person's...

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A memristive forming strategy for lowering the contact resistances of two-dimensional semiconductors

Two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors, like transition-metal dichalcogenides, have become a competitive alternative to traditional semiconducting materials in the post-Moore era, and caused worldwide interest. However, before they can be used in practical applications, some key obstacles must be resolved. One of them is the large electrical contact resistances at the metal-semiconductor interfaces. Researchers have...

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Van der Waals infrared photodetectors based on 'optical' and 'electrical' combined manipulations

photodetectorBlackbody response is highly desired in two-dimensional (2D) infrared photodetectors, which determines their practical applications. However, limited by the thickness and complex defects of 2D materials, 2D photodetectors still suffer from problems such as low quantum efficiency and large dark current. Researchers now demonstrate fully depleted self-aligned van der Waals (vdW) photodetectors based on a heterosandwiched...

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Scientists create a heterostructure of diversely behaving atomic layers within a single bulk material

crystal-structureResearchers have developed a new method to create interlayered bulk materials, comprising atomically-thin layers with highly diverse electronic properties - from insulating to superconducting. The atomistic quantum mechanical simulations and electron microscopy imaging illuminate the origin of this spectacularly diverse behavior between adjacent layers of a single material. Its alternating layered structure makes...

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Harvesting energy - drop by drop

dropletsRain can be considered as prolific a sustainable energy source like energy scavenging from solar or wind. Consequently, droplet-driven energy harvesting devices - which offer a simple structure with low-cost materials requirements - have received considerable attention from the global research community. A recent review comprehensively discusses various methods for harvesting water droplets with their future potential...

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How nanotechnologies are shaping the future of warfare

Throughout human history, technological progress has been inseparably intertwined with advances in military weaponry. Through the ages we can see how new inventions revolutionized both the living standards of society and the advancement of warfare technology. Today, the rapid emergence and confluence of nanotechnologies, biotechnologies and information technologies in the past two decades is having a huge impact...

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In-memory mathematical operations with spin-orbit torque devices

photographerResearchers introduce spin orbit torque (SOT) devices to experimentally realize in-memory analogue mathematical operations such as summation, subtraction and four-quadrant multiplication, to implement general-purpose applications such as image or signal processing for edge computing. In addition to nonvolatility and scalability, the CMOS-compatible SOT technique further possesses low energy consumption, high speed...

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Identifying favorable immunological profiles suitable for personalized treatments with RNA nanoparticles

nucleic-acid-nanoparticleTherapeutic nucleic acids (TNAs) and nucleic acid nanoparticles (NANPs) are designed to enact specific intracellular responses beneficial for various biomedical applications. TNAs become especially attractive to researchers and clinicians since their functional versatility, programmability and modularity show great promise for treating disorders such as viral infections, cancers, and genetic disorders. Scientists...

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