Nanoscience News

Engineers Develop Optical Devices That Shape Light in Exotic Ways

September 1, 2015

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Ultrathin Optical Devices Shape Light in Exotic Ways

Engineers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology have developed innovative flat, optical lenses that are capable of manipulating light in ways that are difficult or impossible to achieve with conventional optical devices. The new lenses are not made of glass. Instead, silicon nanopillars are precisely arranged into a honeycomb pattern […]

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Berkeley Lab Uses Solar Energy and Renewable Hydrogen to Produce Methane

August 26, 2015

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Researchers Use Solar Energy and Renewable Hydrogen to Produce Methane

A team of scientists has developed a hybrid artificial photosynthesis system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane. A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) developing a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have achieved another milestone. Having […]

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“Proximity Magnetism” Could Be a Building Block for Quantum Computers

August 18, 2015

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MIT Physicists Observe an Unusual Magnetic Behavior

Researchers reveal an unusual magnetic behavior that could be used to probe a variety of exotic physical phenomena, and could ultimately be used to produce key components of future quantum computers. An exotic kind of magnetic behavior, driven by the mere proximity of two materials, has been analyzed by a team of researchers at MIT […]

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Researchers Reveal Why Black Phosphorus May Surpass Graphene

August 15, 2015

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Phosphorene – The natural successor to Graphene?

In a newly published study, researchers from the Pohang University of Science and Technology detail how they were able to turn black phosphorus into a superior conductor that can be mass produced for electronic and optoelectronics devices. The research team operating out of Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), affiliated with the Institute for […]

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Aluminum “Yolk-and-Shell” Nanoparticle Boosts Capacity and Power of Lithium-ion Batteries

August 14, 2015

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Yolks and Shells Improve Lithium-Ion Batteries

New research from MIT and Tsinghua University in China reveals that an aluminum “yolk-and-shell” nanoparticle could boost the capacity and power of lithium-ion batteries. One big problem faced by electrodes in rechargeable batteries, as they go through repeated cycles of charging and discharging, is that they must expand and shrink during each cycle — sometimes […]

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Scientists Reveal New Insights into the Coupling between Wetting and Catalytic Activity

August 6, 2015

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Reactivity of Perovskites with Water: Role of Hydroxylation in Wetting and Implications for Oxygen Electrocatalysis

In a newly published study, researchers reveal new insights into the coupling between wetting and catalytic activity and suggest that catalyst hydrophobicity should be considered in aqueous oxygen electrocatalysis. Two key physical phenomena take place at the surfaces of materials: catalysis and wetting. A catalyst enhances the rate of chemical reactions; wetting refers to how […]

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Nanoparticles and UV Light Clean Up Environmental Pollutants

July 22, 2015

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Nanoparticles Clean Up Environmental Pollutants

A new study from MIT shows how nanoparticles can clean up environmental pollutants, revealing that nanomaterials and UV light can “trap” chemicals for easy removal from soil and water. Many human-made pollutants in the environment resist degradation through natural processes, and disrupt hormonal and other systems in mammals and other animals. Removing these toxic materials […]

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Hybrid Boron Nitride Nanostructures Will Keep Small Electronics Cool

July 21, 2015

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White Graphene Structures Excel at Thermal Management for Electronics

Researchers from Rice University have completed the first theoretical analysis of how 3D boron nitride might be used as a tunable material to control heat flow in small electronics devices. The research by Rouzbeh Shahsavari and Navid Sakhavand appears this month in the American Chemical Society journal Applied Materials and Interfaces. In its two-dimensional form, […]

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Niobium Nanowire Yarns Make High-Performance Supercapacitors

July 7, 2015

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Niobium Nanowire Improves Supercapacitors

Using yarns made from niobium nanowire, researchers at MIT have developed a new approach to making supercapacitors. Wearable electronic devices for health and fitness monitoring are a rapidly growing area of consumer electronics; one of their biggest limitations is the capacity of their tiny batteries to deliver enough power to transmit data. Now, researchers at […]

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Nanoparticles Shut Down Cancer Growth

July 3, 2015

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Nanoparticles Shut Down Cancer Growth

Using nanoparticles to deliver a nucleic acid (siRNA) into tumor cells in mouse models, scientists from UCLA and City of Hope have become the first to inhibit the mechanism that drives cancer growth. When scientists develop cancer therapies, they target the features that make the disease deadly: tumor growth, metastasis, recurrence and drug resistance. In […]

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MIT Chemists Develop a Quantum-Dot Spectrometer

July 1, 2015

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MIT Chemists Design a Quantum-Dot Spectrometer

Researchers from MIT have designed a quantum-dot spectrometer that is small enough to function within a smartphone, enabling portable light analysis. Instruments that measure the properties of light, known as spectrometers, are widely used in physical, chemical, and biological research. These devices are usually too large to be portable, but MIT scientists have now shown […]

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LiquiGlide Nonstick Coating Coming to Consumer Goods

June 30, 2015

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LiquiGlide Nonstick Coating Ready for Consumer Goods

You won’t have to shake, rattle and roll those last drops of condiments out of the bottle anymore. LiquiGlide, a liquid-impregnated coating that acts as a slippery barrier between a surface and a viscous liquid, has just been licensed to a major consumer-goods company. The days of wasting condiments — and other products — that […]

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Engineers Develop a Computer That Operates on Water

June 9, 2015

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A Computer That Operates on Water Droplets

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a synchronous computer that operates using the unique physics of moving water droplets. Their goal is to design a new class of computers that can precisely control and manipulate physical matter. Computers and water typically don’t mix, but in Manu Prakash’s lab, the two are one and the same. […]

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Researchers Developed a Frictional Interface at the Atomic Level

June 8, 2015

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New Technique Could Boost Development of Nanomachines

Scientists from MIT have developed a frictional interface at the atomic level. The new technique tunes friction between two surfaces, to the point where friction can vanish. Friction is all around us, working against the motion of tires on pavement, the scrawl of a pen across paper, and even the flow of proteins through the […]

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New Technique Increases Nanofiber Production Rate Fourfold

June 5, 2015

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Researchers Demonstrated a Systematic Way to Produce Nanofibers

Scientists from MIT have demonstrated a systematic way to produce nanofibers through electrospinning that boosts production while cutting energy consumption by 92 percent. Nanofibers — polymer filaments only a couple of hundred nanometers in diameter — have a huge range of potential applications, from solar cells to water filtration to fuel cells. But so far, […]

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A New Fundamental Understanding of Thermal Transport

June 3, 2015

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New Tool Measures Phonon Collisions

Engineers from MIT have developed a new device that measures the distance between phonon collisions, providing more nuanced picture of heat production in microelectronics. Today’s computer chips pack billions of tiny transistors onto a plate of silicon within the width of a fingernail. Each transistor, just tens of nanometers wide, acts as a switch that, […]

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Graphene Layer Quadruples Rate of Condensation Heat Transfer

June 1, 2015

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Graphene Quadruples Rate of Condensation Heat Transfer

New research from MIT shows that a graphene layer one atom thick could quadruple rate of condensation heat transfer in generating plants. Most of the world’s electricity-producing power plants — whether powered by coal, natural gas, or nuclear fission — make electricity by generating steam that turns a turbine. That steam then is condensed back […]

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CLAIRE – A New Breakthrough Technique for Non-invasive Nano-scale Imaging

May 26, 2015

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Scientists Develop New Technique for Non-invasive Nano-scale Imaging

Researchers have developed a new non-invasive nanoscale imaging technique that allows them to convert electron microscopy into a non-invasive imaging modality for studying soft materials and providing spectrally specific information about them on the nanoscale. Soft matter encompasses a broad swath of materials, including liquids, polymers, gels, foam and – most importantly – biomolecules. At […]

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