Archive for the ‘nanotechnology’ category

Aug 12, 2018

UCLan unveils world’s first graphene skinned plane

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, business, engineering, nanotechnology, robotics/AI, transportation

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has unveiled the world’s first graphene skinned plane at an internationally renowned air show. Juno, a three-and-a-half-metre wide graphene skinned aircraft, was revealed on the North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) stand as part of the ‘Futures Day’ at Farnborough Air Show 2018.

The University’s aerospace engineering team has worked in partnership with the Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute (NGI), Haydale Graphene Industries (Haydale) and a range of other businesses to develop the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which also includes graphene batteries and 3D printed parts.

Billy Beggs, UCLan’s Engineering Innovation Manager, said: The industry reaction to Juno at Farnborough was superb with many positive comments about the work we’re doing. Having Juno at one the world’s biggest air shows demonstrates the great strides we’re making in leading a programme to accelerate the uptake of graphene and other nano-materials into industry.

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Aug 4, 2018

Nanotube “Rebar” Makes Graphene Even Stronger

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics, space

You may know graphene as a pseudo-legendary substance that could potentially revolutionize science and space travel and all sorts of things. If you don’t, you should get educated is pretty ridiculous. Simply made from carbon arranged into perfect one atom thing sheets makes the material one of the strongest ever observed. And, now, researchers at Rice University have found that so-called “rebar” graphene is dramatically tougher.

Graphene is much stronger than steel. In fact, an elephant could stand on a pencil and that pressure couldn’t break through a thin sheet of the material. But, because it is arranged in sheets, it can still be ripped if damaged from the right angle. But the researchers figured that reinforcing the structure, as we do with steel bars in concrete structures, l could help prevent damage.

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Jul 28, 2018

XTPL ultra-precise Nanometric Printer receives Honorable Mention at Display Week 2018 I-Zone

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science, nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability, wearables

Closing in on molecular manufacturing… received an honorable mention from I-Zone judges for its innovative product that prints extremely fine film structures using nanomaterials. XTPL’s interdisciplinary team is developing and commercializing an innovative technology that enables ultra-precise printing of electrodes up to several hundred times thinner than a human hair – conducive lines as thin as 100 nm. XTPL is facilitating the production of a new generation of transparent conductive films (TCFs) that are widely used in manufacturing. XTPL’s solution has a potentially disruptive technology in the production of displays, monitors, touchscreens, printed electronics, wearable electronics, smart packaging, automotive, medical devices, photovoltaic cells, biosensors, and anti-counterfeiting. The technology is also applicable to the open-defect repair industry (the repair of broken metallic connections in thin film electronic circuits) and offers cost-effective, non-toxic, flexible industry-adapted solutions.

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Jul 25, 2018

Nanotech powers this super-sensitive microphone

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology

The trouble with microphones is that they don’t just hear — they have to listen. Powering the mic and its signal processor means using energy, and energy means a battery, and a battery means charging. This new microphone-like system hears more like the way our own ears do, requiring little or no power, and could help fill the world with voice-responsive machines. (If that’s something we really want.)

The device is called a “triboelectric auditory sensor,” and it works via what’s called the triboelectric effect — essentially when two surfaces rub together and create a charge. They’re still trying to figure out why this happens, but what matters to engineers is that it happens reliably.

Triboelectric nanogenerators have been around for a few years, creating power by having two compatible materials interact with each other at super-small scales. While they’re tiny and highly efficient, they don’t actually produce a lot of power. Researchers from Chongqing University found that, fortunately, you don’t need a lot of power for the purposes of detecting sound.

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Jul 25, 2018

Tiny robot could be game-changer in fight against tuberculosis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

Robots like this, nanobots that can work in the body, should be the main focus for curing all disease. And instead of focusing on Drug Delivery, have the nanobots just go in and attack or fix the problem themselves.

A Brock University research team has created a microscopic robot that has the potential to identify drug resistance to tuberculosis faster than conventional tests.

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls drug “a formidable obstacle” to treatment and prevention of a disease that killed 240,000 people in 2016.

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Jul 24, 2018

Beyond silicon: $1.5 billion U.S. program aims to spur new types of computer chips

Posted by in categories: computing, military, nanotechnology, particle physics, policy

Silicon computer chips have been on a roll for half a century, getting ever more powerful. But the pace of innovation is slowing. Today the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced dozens of new grants totaling $75 million in a program that aims to reinvigorate the chip industry with basic research into new designs and materials, such as carbon nanotubes. Over the next few years, the DARPA program, which supports both academic and industry scientists, will grow to $300 million per year up to a total of $1.5 billion over 5 years.

“It’s a critical time to do this,” says Erica Fuchs, a computer science policy expert at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore made the observation that would become his eponymous “law”: The number of transistors on chips was doubling every 2 years, a time frame later cut to every 18 months. But the gains from miniaturizing the chips are dwindling. Today, chip speeds are stuck in place, and each new generation of chips brings only a 30% improvement in energy efficiency, says Max Shulaker, an electrical engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Fabricators are approaching physical limits of silicon, says Gregory Wright, a wireless communications expert at Nokia Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey. Electrons are confined to patches of silicon just 100 atoms wide, he says, forcing complex designs that prevent electrons from leaking out and causing errors. “We’re running out of room,” he says.

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Jul 22, 2018

Fastest-spinning manmade object clocks 60 billion rpm

Posted by in category: nanotechnology

The fastest-spinning manmade object has been created in a lab at Purdue University. This microscopic rotor is made up of two silica nanoparticles stuck together to form a “dumbbell,” and by hitting it with laser light the team has sent it spinning at a blistering 60 billion rpm.

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Jul 22, 2018

This tiny robot could have big impacts on the future of nanotechnology

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, robotics/AI

A robot mere molecules long is helping engineers create new nanotechnology one bit at a time.

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Jul 16, 2018

X-rays burst chemo-filled nanobubbles for targeted cancer drug delivery

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) have developed a new targeted treatment for cancer. Chemotherapy drugs are wrapped in “nano-bubbles” called liposomes, which are then injected into the desired part of the body and made to release their payload on demand, by applying X-ray radiation.

Liposomes are regularly used to protect drugs and carry them to where in the body they’re needed. Over the years, we’ve seen them used to protect insulin doses from the harsh environment of the gut long enough for it to enter the bloodstream, disarm bacteria without using antibiotics, and escort cancer-killers to tumors.

“Liposomes are already well established as an extremely effective drug-delivery system,” says Wei Deng, lead author of the study. “Made out of similar material as cell membranes, these ‘bubbles’ are relatively simple to prepare, can be filled with appropriate medications and then injected into specific parts of the body. The issue however, is in controlling the timely release of the drug from the liposome.”

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Jul 13, 2018

Method of making oxygen from water in zero gravity raises hope for long-distance space travel

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, space travel

In the new study, the researchers dropped the full experimental set up for photocatalysis down a 120m drop tower, creating an environment similar to microgravity. As objects accelerate towards Earth in free fall, the effect of gravity diminishes as forces exerted by gravity are cancelled out by equal and opposite forces due to the acceleration. This is opposite to the G forces experienced by astronauts and fighter pilots as they accelerate in their aircraft.

The researchers managed to show that it is indeed possible to split water in this environment. However, as water is split to create gas, bubbles form. Getting rid of bubbles from the catalyst material once formed is important – bubbles hinder the process of creating gas. On Earth, gravity makes the bubbles automatically float to the surface (the water near the surface is denser than the bubbles, which makes them buyonant) – freeing the space on the catalyst for the next bubble to be produced.

In zero gravity this is not possible and the bubble will remain on or near the catalyst. However, the scientists adjusted the shape of nanoscale features in the catalyst by creating pyramid-shaped zones where the bubble could easily disengage from the tip and float off into the medium.

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