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Nanoscale

— Electronics

World's smallest comic carved into a strand of human hair

By - May 8, 2014 8 Pictures
Advances in technology have given rise to an abundance of ways to share our stories. There's messaging services for the short and sharp, blogging platforms for the long-winded and, as it happens, single strands of human hair for microscopic comic strips. Created for the Exceptional Hardware Software Meeting (EHSM) in Germany next month, "Juanita Knits the Planet" is the world's smallest comic strip, detailing a day in the life of Juanita, a ten micron-tall girl-turned-robot. Read More
— Science

Nanoparticles found to violate second law of thermodynamics

By - April 3, 2014 2 Pictures
It may be a little late for April Fool’s, but your skepticism is nonetheless warranted when reading that researchers have shown nanoparticles to disobey a fundamental law of physics which dictates the flow of entropy and heat in, it was believed, any situation. Specifically, researchers from three universities theoretically proposed then demonstrated that a nanoparticle in a state of thermal non-equilibrium does not always behave as larger particles might under the same conditions, with implications for various fields of research. Read More
— Science

Black silicon slices and dices bacteria

By - November 27, 2013 2 Pictures
Originally discovered by accident in the 1980s, black silicon is silicon with a surface that has been modified to feature nanoscale spike structures which give the material very low reflectivity. Researchers have now found that these spikes can also destroy a wide range of bacteria, potentially paving the way for a new generation of antibacterial surfaces. Read More
— Science

Grad students build nanometer-resolution atomic force microscope using Lego and 3D printing

By - October 3, 2013 4 Pictures
Scanning atomic force microscopes, first introduced into commerce in 1989, are a powerful tool for nanoscale science and engineering. Capable of seeing individual atoms, commercial AFM prices range between US$10K and $1M, depending on the unit's features and capabilities. During the recent LEGO2NANO summer school held at Tsinghua University in Beijing, a group of Chinese and English students succeeded in making a Lego-based AFM in five days at a cost less than $500. Read More
— Science

Nanoscale lithography breakthrough uses Scotch tape

By - September 17, 2013 3 Pictures
Researchers from the University of Minnesota and Seoul National University have developed a new lithographic method with the help of a very low-tech tool: Scotch Magic tape. This new method, which promises to enhance our ability to fabricate nanostructures, has been used to build highly nonlinear optical materials consisting of sheets of 25 micron (0.001 in) metal blocks separated by nanometer-wide insulating channels. As light squeezes through these channels, incompletely understood plasmonic effects enable novel optical behavior. Read More
— Science

“Mini Lisa” demonstrates potential of nanomanufacturing technique

By - August 6, 2013 6 Pictures
Arguably the world’s most famous painting, da Vinci's Mona Lisa has now been copied onto the world’s smallest canvas at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Associate Professor Jennifer Curtis' "Mini Lisa" is one-third the width of a human hair, with details as small as one-eighth of a micron. Mini Lisa demonstrates the flexibility of a new nanolithography technique that can vary the surface concentration of molecules on very small portions of a substrate. Read More
— Science

Unlocking color mechanism of peacock’s feathers could lead to next-gen color displays

By - February 7, 2013 3 Pictures
Structural color, which is the foundation that makes things like a peacock's tail feathers appear iridescent, has been an area of study for scientists as they try to adapt it for use in everyday technologies – only without the “rainbow effect” that makes the colors unstable depending on the angle of view. Now, Researchers at the University of Michigan have mimicked the peacock's color mechanism in an approach that could lead to high resolution reflective color displays and have implications for data storage, cryptography and counterfeiting. Read More
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