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Archive for the ‘nanotechnology’ category: Page 6

Sep 7, 2022

Light accelerates conductivity in nature’s ‘electric grid’

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology

The natural world possesses its own intrinsic electrical grid composed of a global web of tiny bacteria-generated nanowires in the soil and oceans that “breathe” by exhaling excess electrons.

In a new study, Yale University researchers discovered that is a surprising ally in fostering this electronic activity within biofilm bacteria. Exposing bacteria-produced nanowires to light, they found, yielded an up to a 100-fold increase in electrical conductivity.

The findings were published Sept. 7 in the journal Nature Communications.

Sep 5, 2022

House Runs 100% on DC Power — Purdue University Project

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, mobile phones, nanotechnology

Did you know there’s a silent war going on inside your home? Alternating current (AC) electricity comes in from the grid, but many of your appliances and lighting run on direct current (DC). Every time you plug in a TV, computer or cell phone charger, power must be individually converted from AC to DC — a costly and inefficient process. Purdue University researchers have proposed a solution to the problem by retrofitting an entire house to run on its own efficient DC-powered nano-grid.

The project to transform a 1920s-era West Lafayette home into the DC Nanogrid House began in 2017 under the direction of Eckhard Groll, the William E. and Florence E. Perry Head of Mechanical Engineering, and member of Purdue’s Center for High Performance Buildings. “We wanted to take a normal house and completely retrofit it with DC appliances and DC architecture,” Groll said. “To my knowledge, no other existing project has pursued an experimental demonstration of energy consumption improvements using DC power in a residential setting as extensively as we have.”

Sep 5, 2022

New Horizons Toward Supercapacitor Energy Devices

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, energy, nanotechnology

Because of their unique physical, photonic, thermal, and electronic capabilities, two-dimensional (2D) nanostructures have exhibited tremendous promise in the domains of bioengineering, sensing, and energy storage.

Study: Two Dimensional Silicene Nanosheets: A New Choice of Electrode Material for High-Performance Supercapacitor. Image Credit: Quardia/Shutterstock.com.

Nonetheless, combining silicon-based nanomaterials into high-performance power storage systems remains a largely undeveloped subject because of the complex manufacturing process. New work published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces hope to address this problem by effectively integrating silicene nanosheets into a high-voltage supercapacitor.

Sep 5, 2022

Nanoscale pillars as a building block for future information technology

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics, quantum physics

Researchers from Linköping University and the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden have proposed a new device concept that can efficiently transfer the information carried by electron spin to light at room temperature—a stepping stone toward future information technology. They present their approach in an article in Nature Communications.

Light and electron charge are the main media for information processing and transfer. In the search for information technology that is even faster, smaller and more energy-efficient, scientists around the globe are exploring another property of —their spin. Electronics that exploit both the spin and the charge of the electron are called “spintronics.”

Like the Earth, an electron spins around its own axis, either clockwise or counterclockwise. The handedness of the rotation is referred to as spin-up and spin-down states. In spintronics, the two states represent the binary bits and thus carry information. The information encoded by these can be converted by a -emitting device into light, which then carries the information over a long distance through fiber optics. The transfer of quantum information opens the possibility to exploit both and light, and the interaction between them, a technology known as “opto-spintronics.”

Sep 5, 2022

A new laser-based chlorination process to create high doping patterns in graphene

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology

In recent years, electronics and chemical engineers have devised different chemical doping techniques to control the sign and concentration of charge carriers in different material samples. Chemical doping methods essentially entail introducing impurities into materials or substances to change their electrical properties.

These promising methods have been successfully applied on several materials including van der Waals (vdW) materials. VdW materials are structures characterized by strongly bonded 2D layers, which are bound in the third dimension through weaker dispersion forces.

Researchers at University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), the Kavli Energy Nanosciences Institute, Beijing Institute of Technology, Shenzhen University, Tsinghua University recently introduced a new tunable and reversible approach to chemically dope graphene. Their approach, introduced in a paper published in Nature Electronics, is based on laser-assisted chlorination.

Sep 4, 2022

Making nanodiamonds out of bottle plastic

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, quantum physics, space

What goes on inside planets like Neptune and Uranus? To find out, an international team headed by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), the University of Rostock and France’s École Polytechnique conducted a novel experiment. They fired a laser at a thin film of simple PET plastic and investigated what happened using intensive laser flashes. One result was that the researchers were able to confirm their earlier thesis that it really does rain diamonds inside the ice giants at the periphery of our solar system. And another was that this method could establish a new way of producing nanodiamonds, which are needed, for example, for highly-sensitive quantum sensors. The group has presented its findings in the journal Science Advances.

The conditions in the interior of icy giant planets like Neptune and Uranus are extreme: temperatures reach several thousand degrees Celsius, and the pressure is millions of times greater than in the Earth’s atmosphere. Nonetheless, states like this can be simulated briefly in the lab: powerful laser flashes hit a film-like material sample, heat it up to 6,000 degrees Celsius for the blink of an eye and generate a shock wave that compresses the material for a few nanoseconds to a million times the atmospheric pressure.

“Up to now, we used hydrocarbon films for these kinds of experiment,” explains Dominik Kraus, physicist at HZDR and professor at the University of Rostock. “And we discovered that this produced tiny diamonds, known as nanodiamonds.”

Sep 3, 2022

Simple technique ushers in long-sought class of semiconductors

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology

Breakthroughs in modern microelectronics depend on understanding and manipulating the movement of electrons in metal. Reducing the thickness of metal sheets to the order of nanometers can enable exquisite control over how the metal’s electrons move. By doing so, one can impart properties that aren’t seen in bulk metals, such as ultrafast conduction of electricity. Now, researchers from Osaka University and collaborating partners have synthesized a novel class of nanostructured superlattices. This study enables an unusually high degree of control over the movement of electrons within metal semiconductors, which promises to enhance the functionality of everyday technologies.

Precisely tuning the architecture of metal nanosheets, and thus facilitating advanced microelectronic functionalities, remains an ongoing line of work worldwide. In fact, several Nobel prizes have been awarded on this topic. Researchers conventionally synthesize nanostructured superlattices—regularly alternating layers of metals, sandwiched together—from materials of the same dimension; for example, sandwiched 2D sheets. A key aspect of the present researchers’ work is its facile fabrication of hetero-dimensional superlattices; for example, 1D nanoparticle chains sandwiched within 2D nanosheets.

“Nanoscale hetero-dimensional superlattices are typically challenging to prepare, but can exhibit valuable physical properties, such as anisotropic electrical conductivity,” explains Yung-Chang Lin, senior author. “We developed a versatile means of preparing such structures, and in so doing we will inspire synthesis of a wide range of custom superstructures.”

Sep 3, 2022

Scientists create nanodiamonds from plastic bottles

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, space

The new research provides a more complete picture of how diamond rain forms on other planets.

Researchers have discovered that “diamond rain,” unique precipitation that has long been speculated to occur on icy giant planets, may occur more frequently than previously believed.

To learn more about the circumstances on the icy giant planets Neptune and Uranus, a group of researchers from Germany and France has created an intriguing experiment, according to an article published by Physic.org on Friday.

Continue reading “Scientists create nanodiamonds from plastic bottles” »

Sep 3, 2022

Aluminum-gallium powder bubbles hydrogen out of dirty water

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, nanotechnology

“We don’t need any energy input, and it bubbles hydrogen like crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it,” said UCSC Professor Scott Oliver, describing a new aluminum-gallium nanoparticle powder that generates H2 when placed in water – even seawater.

Aluminum by itself rapidly oxidizes in water, stripping the O out of H2O and releasing hydrogen as a byproduct. This is a short-lived reaction though, because in most cases the metal quickly attains a microscopically thin coating of aluminum oxide that seals it off and puts an end to the fun.

But chemistry researchers at UC Santa Cruz say they’ve found a cost-effective way to keep the ball rolling. Gallium has long been known to remove the aluminum oxide coating and keep the aluminum in contact with water to continue the reaction, but previous research had found that aluminum-heavy combinations had a limited effect.

Sep 3, 2022

Scientists Turn Plastic Into Diamonds In Breakthrough

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, space, sustainability

The production of nanodiamonds from PET plastic paves the way toward a new form of recycling, and even has implications for exoplanets that rain diamonds.

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