Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Observing thermal transport in carbon nanotube bundles

nanotubeIndividual single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have thermal conductivity that is several times higher than copper. However, once researchers start to assemble SWCNTs into macroscale composites, fibers or films, they notice that thermal conduction drops significantly. Employing in situ transmission electron microscopy, researchers visualized a colossal anisotropy of thermal conductivity of nanoscale materials. The team says that their methodology to visualize nanoscale thermal transport is not limited to carbon nanotubes.

Apr 6th, 2021

Rolling 2D van der Waals heterostructures into 1D nanotubes

heterotubeThe properties ofvan der Waals heterostructures can be precisely controlled by twisting the stacked atomic layers, opening the way for the use of this unique degree of freedom for the nanoscale control of composite materials and nano-devices in future technologies. New work suggests that all 2D materials could also be rolled into their 1D counterparts and a plethora of function-designable 1D heterostructures could be realized. Unlike semiconductor nanowires or mono-elemental nanotubes, which are rolls of one type of material, these novel nanostructures would have very different, and customizable, properties.

Mar 2nd, 2021

Femtosecond laser converts metallic to semiconducting carbon nanotube

carbon-nanotubeA novel method for fast and accurate local tuning of the optoelectronic properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes makes use of ultrafast-pulsed lasers. The method is based on localized two-photon oxidation of carbon nanotubes when the laser irradiates with energies far below the ablation threshold. At such low energies the nonlinear photochemical interaction of femtosecond laser and carbon atomic lattice prevent thermal effects.

Feb 8th, 2021

Carbon nanotubes pave the way for human breath analysis of lung disease

exhaling-breathBreath is one of the main sources of human health parameters that can be used for predicting the state of internal organs. Exhaled breath composition is very complex and the existence of disease marker molecules can be as low as one part per million. That means that using breath for health monitoring purposes requires highly sensitive tools with a recognition ability down to single molecules. Researchers developed a method for fast, on-site and still accurate breath analysis that does not need special preparation of breath samples. The method is based on an electronic nose platform that uses a set of single-walled carbon nanotube sensors deposited on flexible substrates and modified by different semiconducting organic molecules.

May 13th, 2020

Glioblastoma-coated nanotubes target and kill brain cancer cells

coated-cnanotubesResearchers exploited for the first time cellular self-recognition process for targeting glioblastoma cells with boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs), a biocompatible, yet inorganic, nanomaterial. The team loaded the BNNTs with doxorubicin, a powerful chemotherapy drug, and then functionalized them with glioblastoma cell membranes This targeting approach benefits from the ability of cancer cells to recognize each other due to similarities present on their membrane that make them different from healthy cells.

May 11th, 2020