Archive for the ‘nanotechnology’ category

Nov 2, 2019

Nanotechnology breakthrough enables conversion of infrared light to energy

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

Capturing infrared light for solar cell applications.

Invisible infrared light accounts for half of all solar radiation on the Earth’s surface, yet ordinary solar energy systems have limited ability in converting it to power. A breakthrough in research at KTH could change that.

A research team led by Hans Ågren, professor in at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, has developed a film that can be applied on top of ordinary , which would enable them to use in energy conversion and increase efficiency by 10 percent or more.

Continue reading “Nanotechnology breakthrough enables conversion of infrared light to energy” »

Nov 2, 2019

Discovery may help derail Parkinson’s ‘runaway train’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, nanotechnology

Researchers at the University of Dundee have made a discovery they believe has the potential to put the brakes on the ‘runaway train’ that is Parkinson’s disease.

The team, based at the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU) in the School of Life Sciences, have discovered a new enzyme that inhibits the LRRK2 . Mutations of the LRRK2 gene are the most common cause of genetic Parkinson’s.

Enzymes are molecular machines that regulate the required to maintain healthy functioning life. They can also be targeted by drugs to increase or decrease the level of certain activity –in this instance the LRRK2 pathway.

Oct 31, 2019

Chinese scientists develop new material for treatment of liver cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, nanotechnology

Photo shows how the new nanomaterial can be used to treat liver cancer in mice. Experimental results prove that the material is efficient and safe in fighting tumors.(Photo provided to Xinhua)

Chinese scientists have invented a nanomaterial which has been proved effective in fighting liver tumors, providing new hope for cancer patients.

NANJING, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) — Chinese scientists have developed a nanometer material that can be used for liver cancer treatment, according to the Suzhou Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences Wednesday.

Oct 30, 2019

Dielectric metasurfaces for next-generation holograms

Posted by in categories: computing, holograms, information science, nanotechnology, particle physics, transportation

Metasurfaces are optically thin metamaterials that can control the wavefront of light completely, although they are primarily used to control the phase of light. In a new report, Adam C. Overvig and colleagues in the departments of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at the Columbia University and the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, U.S., presented a novel study approach, now published on Light: Science & Applications. The simple concept used meta-atoms with a varying degree of form birefringence and angles of rotation to create high-efficiency dielectric metasurfaces with ability to control optical amplitude (maximum extent of a vibration) and phase at one or two frequencies. The work opened applications in computer-generated holography to faithfully reproduce the phase and amplitude of a target holographic scene without using iterative algorithms that are typically required during phase-only holography.

The team demonstrated all-dielectric holograms with independent and complete control of the amplitude and phase. They used two simultaneous optical frequencies to generate two-dimensional (2-D) and 3D holograms in the study. The phase-amplitude metasurfaces allowed additional features that could not be attained with phase-only holography. The features included artifact-free 2-D holograms, the ability to encode separate phase and amplitude profiles at the object plane and encode intensity profiles at the metasurface and object planes separately. Using the method, the scientists also controlled the surface textures of 3D holographic objects.

Light waves possess four key properties including amplitude, phase, polarization and optical impedance. Materials scientists use metamaterials or “metasurfaces” to tune these properties at specific frequencies with subwavelength, spatial resolution. Researchers can also engineer individual structures or “meta-atoms” to facilitate a variety of optical functionalities. Device functionality is presently limited by the ability to control and integrate all four properties of light independently in the lab. Setbacks include challenges of developing individual meta-atoms with varying responses at a desired frequency with a single fabrication protocol. Research studies previously used metallic scatterers due to their strong light-matter interactions to eliminate inherent optical losses relative to metals while using lossless dielectric platforms for high-efficiency phase control—the single most important property for wavefront control.

Oct 28, 2019

Alert system for failing nuclear plant pipes uses thin films and sound vibrations

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, food, life extension, nanotechnology

A failing pipe can be tough to spot. It may cause a puddle, produce another sign of damage, or simply burst before detection. A flooded kitchen or laundry room is messy and inconvenient, but the stakes are much, much higher in nuclear power plants—which on average contain many miles of pipeline.

As concern about aging plants escalates, Vanderbilt engineers are working on an early warning system. They are using on the inside of the and 3D-printed polymer devices infused with nanoparticles as sensors to signal the changes on the outside of the pipe. And, they hope, sound.

A huge challenge is to detect the changes in the polymer film occurring inside the pipe. To create a useful and proactive technique, the team wants to use sound, or vibrometry, to identify these internal changes from outside the pipe.

Oct 27, 2019

New Drug-Delivery technology promises Efficient, Targeted Cancer Treatment

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

A precise and non-toxic treatment that targets lung cancer cells at the nanoscale is able to effectively kill the cells even at a low dose. Researchers from Washington State University and the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) used tiny tubes made from organic molecules called peptoids to deliver cancer-killing drugs in a targeted manner.

The biologically-inspired nanotubes, which are about a hundred thousand times thinner than a human hair, were rolled up from membrane-like nanosheets. The drug molecules, fluorescent dyes and cancer-targeting molecules were precisely placed within the nanotubes, enabling them to track the efficiency of drug delivery into the cancer cells.

The new technology allows the two drugs – one for chemotherapy and the other for a less-invasive photodynamic therapy treatment – to be delivered directly to the cancer cells. Photodynamic therapy uses a chemical that, when exposed to light, releases reactive oxygen species (ROS) that kill cancer cells. The researchers’ dual-drug approach enabled the use of a lower dose of the cancer drugs than using a single drug, leading to effective killing of cancer cells with low toxicity.

Oct 25, 2019

Researchers create blueprint for ‘quantum battery’ that doesn’t lose charge

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, quantum physics

Scientists from the universities of Alberta and Toronto developed a blueprint for a new quantum battery that doesn’t leak charge.

“A quantum is a tiny, nano-size battery meant to be used for applications on the nano scale,” explained U of A chemist Gabriel Hanna, who was principal investigator on the study.

He said the research provides a theoretical demonstration that creating a loss-free is possible—offering an advantage over previously proposed quantum batteries.

Oct 25, 2019

The Ouroboros Code: Bridging Advanced Science and Transcendental Metaphysics

Posted by in categories: biological, cosmology, ethics, existential risks, genetics, nanotechnology, neuroscience, quantum physics, robotics/AI, science, singularity, transhumanism, virtual reality

By contemplating the full spectrum of scenarios of the coming technological singularity many can place their bets in favor of the Cybernetic Singularity which is a sure path to digital immortality and godhood as opposed to the AI Singularity when Homo sapiens is retired as a senescent parent. This meta-system transition from the networked Global Brain to the Gaian Mind is all about evolution of our own individual minds, it’s all about our own Self-Transcendence. https://www.ecstadelic.net/top-stories/the-ouroboros-code-br…etaphysics #OuroborosCode

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Oct 18, 2019

Flexible, wearable supercapacitors based on porous nanocarbon nanocomposites

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, wearables

Evening gowns with interwoven LEDs may look extravagant, but the light sources need a constant power supply from devices that are as well wearable, durable, and lightweight. Chinese scientists have manufactured fibrous electrodes for wearable devices that are flexible and excel by their high energy density. Key for the preparation of the electrode material was a microfluidic technology, as shown in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

Dresses emitting sparkling light from hundreds of small LEDs may create eye-catching effects in ballrooms or on fashion shows. But wearable electronics can also mean sensors integrated in functional textiles to monitor, for example, water evaporation or temperature changes. Energy storage systems powering such must combine deformability with high capacity and durability. However, deformable electrodes often fail in long-term operation, and their capacity lags behind that of other state-of-the-art energy storage devices.

Electrode materials usually benefit from a fine balance of porosity, conductivity, and electrochemical activity. Material scientists Su Chen, Guan Wu, and their teams from Nanjing Tech University, China, have looked deeper into the material demands for flexible electrodes and developed a porous hybrid material synthesized from two carbon nanomaterials and a metal-organic framework. The nanocarbons provided the and excellent electrical conductivity, and the metal-organic framework gave the porous structure and the electrochemical activity.

Oct 15, 2019

Plastics that are Stronger than Steel

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology

Image Credits: Thinkstock

Materials scientists are constantly working on developing stronger and better materials for various industries. Spider silk, diamond, graphene, and nanotubes have all been proved to be stronger than steel in one respect or another. Now, certain types of plastics join this list.

The following article looks at three research findings in the field of plastics.

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