Nanotechnology News

Light-Capturing Nanomaterials to Boost Efficiency of Photovoltaic Solar Cells

July 23, 2015

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Light-Capturing Nanomaterials Boost Efficiency and Reduce Costs of Photovoltaic Solar Cells

A new method to incorporate light-capturing nanomaterials into future solar-panel designs could make it easier for engineers to boost the efficiency and reduce the costs of photovoltaic solar cells. Although the domestic solar-energy industry grew by 34 percent in 2014, fundamental technical breakthroughs are needed if the U.S. is to meet its national goal of […]

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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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New Technology Could Transform Solar Energy Storage

July 21, 2015

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This New Technology Could Transform Solar Energy Storage

Chemists at UCLA have developed a new technology that is capable of storing solar energy for up to several weeks — an advance that could change the way scientists think about designing solar cells. The materials in most of today’s residential rooftop solar panels can store energy from the sun for only a few microseconds […]

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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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Rapid Fabrication of Nanoscale Geometric Grids Using Lasers

June 23, 2015

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Rapid Fabrication of Nanoscale Geometric Grids Using Lasers

Rapid creation of multi-layered, self-assembled nanoscale grids with fully customizable shapes and compositions is possible using new technique developed by scientists at Brookhaven Lab. Down at the nanoscale, where objects span just billionths of a meter, the size and shape of a material can often have surprising and powerful electronic and optical effects. Building larger […]

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Controlling Surface Topography with Particle-Enhanced Soft Composites

June 11, 2015

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MIT Researchers Produce Soft Material with Controllable Surface Textures

Using a material that is composed of two different polymers with different degrees of stiffness, researchers have developed a soft material with controllable surface textures that can be varied by squeezing. An MIT team has developed a way of making soft materials, using a 3-D printer, with surface textures that can then be modified at […]

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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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New Process for 3D Printing of Highly Stretchable and Tough Hydrogels

June 2, 2015

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3D Printed Hydrogels

Researchers from MIT have developed a new process that uses 3D printing to produce complex hydrogel structures that are “extremely tough and robust.” Researchers have developed a new way of making tough — but soft and wet — biocompatible materials, called “hydrogels,” into complex and intricately patterned shapes. The process might lead to injectable materials […]

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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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New High Speed Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing Process for Graphene

May 21, 2015

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High Speed Roll to Roll Manufacturing of Graphene

Engineers from MIT and the University of Michigan have developed a new manufacturing process that could help bring graphene and other 2D materials to commercial products. Graphene is a material with a host of potential applications, including in flexible light sources, solar panels that could be integrated into windows, and membranes to desalinate and purify […]

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