Ensuring future food supply: A review of silver-based nanoparticles to combat plant diseases

By Lisa McDonald / December 1, 2023

Agriculture and livestock management has relied largely on antimicrobial drugs to combat plant diseases, but this overreliance contributes to the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance. Silver-based nanoparticles could serve as an alternative method to protect plants from pathogens, as discussed in a recent review paper.

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Monolayer silicon carbide achieved with both top-down and bottom-up synthesis methods

By Lisa McDonald / November 3, 2023

Theoretical studies have predicted that 2D silicon carbide in a stable honeycomb structure is possible, but experimentally achieving this material has proven difficult. Two recent papers successfully synthesized monolayer silicon carbide using top-down and bottom-up synthesis methods, respectively.

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Nanoscale goldbeating: Ancient Egyptian technique adapted for fabricating 2D thin films

By Lisa McDonald / October 20, 2023

Two-dimensional thin films are often fabricated using bottom-up solution-based techniques, such as electrochemical deposition and atomic layer deposition. Now researchers have reported a top-down, solid-state method based on the age-old Egyptian craft of goldbeating that they say is generalizable to various metallic, polymeric, or ceramic nanoparticles.

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Quantum dots may lead to cost-effective mid-infrared light sources and sensors

By Lisa McDonald / October 6, 2023

Quantum dots are emerging as a cost-effective materials system for both emitting and detecting mid-infrared light. Philippe Guyot-Sionnest’s group at the University of Chicago is working on developing this technology, and their latest paper describes a quantum-dot-based light source that is as efficient as current commercial devices.

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Harnessing nature for nano design—glass-coated DNA scaffolds demonstrate potential as lightweight and high-strength materials

By Lisa McDonald / September 29, 2023

In recent decades, researchers have explored using deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) as a scaffold for programmable nanostructures. Now, researchers at Columbia University, the University of Connecticut, and Brookhaven National Laboratory collaborated to show that glass-coated DNA scaffolds have potential as lightweight and high-strength materials.

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Video: Silica, a common food additive, may be chemically reactive

By Lisa McDonald / September 27, 2023

The increasing use of nanoparticles across all sectors has led to some concerns within the food industry, as nanoparticles do not necessarily behave the same way as their larger counterparts. A new study by Stanford University researchers showed that mesoporous silica, a common food additive, can react with key biomolecules, which could lead to increased oxidative stress in the body.

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Reducing the environmental impacts of MXene synthesis: Life cycle assessment and production guide offer tips

By Lisa McDonald / September 15, 2023

Despite the meteoric rise of MXenes from discovery to commercial products in only a decade, the environmental impacts of MXene synthesis have not been assessed systematically. ACerS member Babak Anasori helped lead two recent studies that provided a life cycle assessment and step-by-step guide for synthesizing Ti3C2Tx MXenes, respectively.

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Compliant combustion: Nanocoating offers new way to control ‘runaway’ thermal reactions

By Lisa McDonald / September 8, 2023

Current methods for controlling “runaway” thermal reactions such as combustion and pyrolysis remain rather rudimentary. Researchers led by North Carolina State University developed a new nanocoating that, when applied to a material before combustion, allows for the reaction rate and direction of ignition propagation to be controlled.

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Foiled no more: A review of advancements in producing carbon nanotubes on flexible metal substrates

By Lisa McDonald / August 8, 2023

Growing carbon nanotubes on metal foils rather than traditional silicon or quartz substrates would allow the process to be easily integrated into large-scale manufacturing processes. But metal foils present other challenges, such as reactivity at high temperatures. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers published a review paper summarizing efforts to overcome these challenges.

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Discovery of ferroelectricity in elementary substance expands understanding of this property

By Lisa McDonald / April 14, 2023

Ferroelectricity traditionally is believed to only occur in compounds. However, in the past decade, some theoretical works suggested that ferroelectricity is possible in certain elementary substances. Now researchers in China and Singapore experimentally confirmed ferroelectricity in monolayer α-phase bismuth.

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