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Nanoscale

The world's first molybdenite microchip has been successfully tested in Switzerland.

Back in February, Darren Quick wrote about the unique properties of Molybdenite and how this material, previously used mostly as a lubricant, could actually outshine silicon in the construction of transistors and other electronic circuits. In brief: it's much more energy efficient than silicon, and you can slice it into strips just three atoms thick - meaning that you can make transistors as much as three times smaller than before, and make them flexible to boot. Well, the technology has now been proven with the successful testing of the world's first molybdenite microchip in Switzerland. Does this mean Lausanne will become known as "Molybdenite Valley?"  Read More

Researchers have developed a nanoneedle that releases quantum dots directly into the nucle...

We recently saw the potential for nanoneedles and quantum dots to treat skin cancer, however researchers at the University of Illinois have gone one step further. They have created a nanoneedle (an incredibly small needle) that allows them to peak into the nucleus of a cell. When subjected to an electrical charge, the needle injects quantum dots into the nucleus of a living cell. These quantum dots (nanoscale crystals with unique properties in terms of light emission) can be used to monitor microscopic processes and cellular conditions, aid the diagnosis of disease, and track genetic information from within the nucleus.  Read More

Schematic diagram of a thin film organic solar cell shows the top layer, a patterned, roug...

Research has already shown that at the nanoscale, chemistry is different and the same is apparently true for light, which Engineers at Stanford University say behaves differently at scales of around a nanometer. By creating solar cells thinner than the wavelengths of light the engineers say it is possible to trap the photons inside the solar cell for longer, increasing the chance they can get absorbed, thereby increasing the efficiency of the solar cell. In this way, they calculate that by properly configuring the thicknesses of several thin layers of films, an organic polymer thin film could absorb as much as 10 times more energy from sunlight than predicted by conventional theory.  Read More

Researchers have found that localized heating through a microscope tip can modify the prop...

Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology have documented a major breakthrough in the production of nanocircuitry on graphene, a material that many envision as the successor of silicon for our electronics needs. Using thermochemical nanolithography (TCNL), the team found that the electrical properties of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) can be easily tuned to reliably produce nanoscale circuits in a single, quick step.  Read More

Hollow microneedles open the door to new techniques for diagnosing and treating a variety ...

A research team at North Carolina State University has created incredibly small microneedles to be used in the treatment of medical conditions by inserting nanoscale dyes called quantum dots into the skin. This new procedure could advance a doctor’s ability to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, including skin cancer.  Read More

Scanning electron microscopy image of nanocomposite film (Image: Rensselaer/Ravindra C.Pan...

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the bacteria responsible for antibiotic resistant infections, poses a serious problem in hospitals, where patients with open wounds, invasive devices and weakened immune systems are at greater risk of infection than the general public. In a move that could significantly reduce this risk, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a nanoscale coating for surgical equipment, hospital walls, and other surfaces which safely eradicates MRSA.  Read More

A new technique could help reveal how nanoparticles, such as these titanium oxide nanotube...

At the nanoscale chemistry is different and nanoparticles don’t behave like normal particles. Nanoparticles tend to be more chemically reactive than ordinary-sized particles of the same material, making it hard to predict how they will act under different conditions and raising serious questions about the use of such particles – particularly inside the human body. Researchers have now developed a method for predicting the ways nanoparticles will interact with biological systems – including the human body – that could improve human and environmental safety in the handling on nanomaterials, and have applications for drug delivery.  Read More

Georgia Tech professor Zhong Lin Wang holds an improved nanogenerator containing 700 rows ...

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created the world's first self-powered sensors at the nanometric scale. Tiny generators embedding thousands of nanowires produce electricity whenever the wires are subjected to mechanical strain, and can be used to power microscopic sensors without the need for batteries.  Read More

The smallest superconductor, measuring just .87 nanometer wide. (Image: Saw-Wai Hla and Ke...

The world of superconductors just became a much smaller place. Scientists taking part in an Ohio University led study have discovered the world’s smallest superconductor – a sheet of four pairs of molecules measuring less than one nanometer (that's 0.000001 millimeter) wide, potentially paving the way for next – generation nanoscale electronics.  Read More

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

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