Introducing the Gizmag Store

Nanoscale

Safety first ... the reactor core of the Gosgen Nuclear Power Plant (Photo: Kernkraftwerk ...

One of the key challenges when designing nuclear reactors is finding materials that can withstand the massive temperatures, radiation, physical stress and corrosive conditions of these extreme environments. Exposure to high radiation alone produces significant damage at the nanoscale, so scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, have been working on a mechanism that allows nanocrystalline materials to heal themselves after suffering radiation-induced damage. This gives hope for materials that will improve the reliability, safety and lifespan of nuclear energy systems.  Read More

The new process breaks the chemical bonds in water using waste energy (Image: Jose Manuel ...

We recently looked at a breakthrough in using sunlight to create hydrogen but now scientists have found a way to use ambient noise to turn water into usable hydrogen fuel. The process harvests small amounts of otherwise-wasted energy such as noise or stray vibrations from the environment to break the chemical bonds in water and produce oxygen and hydrogen gas.  Read More

Material scientists at the Nano/Bio Interface Center of the University of Pennsylvania hav...

Turning sunlight into electrical power is all but a new problem, but recent advancements made by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have given a new twist to the subject. While not currently aimed at solar panel technology, their research has uncovered a way to turn optical radiation into electrical current that could lead to self-powering molecular circuits and efficient data storage.  Read More

Are we rushing to embrace the potential benefits of nanotechnology without considering the...

We talk a lot about the wonders of nanotechnology here at Gizmag. After all it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement surround the technology when it promises to revolutionize practically every area of human endeavor. Among its long list of anticipated benefits are new medical treatments; stronger, lighter materials; improved energy production, storage and transmission; and more effective pollution monitoring and prevention, just to name a few. But nanotechnology is not just something set to come about in some far off future – it is happening now. In fact, the odds are there is a product either containing, or made using nanoparticles sitting in your house right now. But the big question is, are they safe?  Read More

Scientists at the University of Adelaide, Australia, have devised a way to squeeze light b...

Scientists at the University of Adelaide, Australia, have put the squeeze on light. By discovering that light within optical fibers can be squeezed into much tighter spaces than was previously believed possible, the researchers at the University's Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) have claimed a breakthrough that could change the world's thinking on light’s capabilities, especially when it comes to its use in telecommunications, such as fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), computing and other light sources.  Read More

The nanoscale resonators developed at Cornell can exert relatively strong forces on tiny p...

Scientists at Cornell University report they can now use a light beam carrying a single milliwatt of power to move objects and even change the optical properties of silicon from opaque to transparent at the nanometric scale. Such an advancement could prove very useful for the future of micro-electromechanical (MEMS) and micro-optomechanical (MOMS) systems.  Read More

'Acoustic tweezers' enable flexible on-chip manipulation and patterning of cells using sta...

Researchers from Penn State University have found a way to precisely manipulate tiny objects using sound rather than optical instruments with a quick, energy-effective and technologically-simple technique that could have important applications in the fields of nanotechnology and biological research.  Read More

Schematic of light being compressed and sustained in the 5 nanometer gap (left) and an ele...

Breakthroughs are coming thick and fast – or should that be thin and fast – in the field of nanoscale lasers. It wasn’t even a month ago that we reported on the development of a laser emitting 'metal-semiconductor-metal sandwich', made up of a semiconductor as thin as 80 nanometers laying between 20-nanometer dielectric layers. But now researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have reached a new milestone in laser physics by creating the world's smallest semiconductor laser, capable of generating visible light in a space smaller than a single protein molecule.  Read More

Scanning electron microscope images (b and c) show that the gold core and the thickness of...

Researchers at Cornell, Purdue and Norfolk State University have reported the successful creation of a 'spaser', a new kind of nanoscale laser that breaks dimensional limits previously thought to be insurmountable, leading the way to significantly faster and more efficient computer processing and data transfer rates.  Read More

The nano-capsules in the electroplated layer contain a fluid that is released if the layer...

Human skin has an amazing capacity to heal itself from scratches and cuts, so it’s not surprising that scientists are looking at transferring the self-healing properties of skin to industrial materials. Efforts to embed tiny liquid-filled capsules that rupture when a scratch occurs to spill healing agents into the damaged area of electroplated coatings have previously been hampered by the size of these capsules. But now researchers have developed a process for producing electroplated layers with nano-capsules that measure only a few hundred nanometers in diameter that could solve the problem.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 26,500 articles