Nanomaterials

Video of the week – Nanotube speakers

By / November 19, 2008

We posted about this novel use of carbon nanotubes as audio speakers on Monday, but today we have a video of the real deal, courtesy of the American Chemical Society. The first part of the video shows the transparency of such a speaker. The second part is an illustration of the way the CNTs create…

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Nanotube speakers – The next “big” thin thing

By / November 17, 2008

What’s transparent, stretchable, nearly weightless, flexible enough to be sown onto a shirt and plugs into your iPod? Maybe, soon, this may describe one of the best and most durable audio speakers you’ll ever own. A group of Chinese researchers have discovered that, by zapping an audio-frequency current through a carbon nanotube thin film, it…

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Nanobamas – symbolic solutions to tough problems?

By / November 13, 2008

Perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into the microscopic faces of Barack Obama (shown above) that University of Michigan professor John Hart has created using carbon nanotubes, optical and scanning electron microscope. One has to wonder, however, if Hart’s creations are meant to convey a symbolic message – like the potential that both nanotechnology and the…

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Video of the week – aerogels

By / November 12, 2008

This week’s video is actually a three-in-one aerogel feature. Aerogel is wispy, translucent, highly insulating material often described as “solid smoke.” It’s worth noting that aerogel is not a new material and may date back to the 1930s. Many new applications and lower-cost production processes, however, are opening up. The first part of the video…

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Kyocera scores with online ‘Fine Ceramics World’

By / November 6, 2008

“Fine ceramics” – a.k.a. advanced ceramics – gets a great boost from a new website launched by Kyocera. If you are expecting an ad blitz from the company, think again. Yes, there are some links to the company’s applications, but  Fine Ceramics World is almost entirely about the ABCs and XYZs of cutting-edge ceramic technology.…

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Group thinks its ‘black silicon’ boosts photoconductive gain

By / November 3, 2008

Why settle for one photon when you can get 200-300? That’s the idea behind a new material being developed by SiOnyx, a new Massachusetts company. The company using a method to reshape the surface of silicon to create cones that it says makes the material effectively function as “sponge for light.” is making a new type of silicon…

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Thin film sandwich feeds hunger for superconductors

By / November 1, 2008

Though looking sort of glum at the time, Ivan Bozovic is successfully leading Brookhaven Labs’ thin-film superconductor project. Researchers at DOE’s Brookhaven National Lab have developed a sandwich of thin films that, at the point where the films touch, offers a nanometer-sized area of superconductivity. Moreover, as reported in the Oct. 9 edition of Nature magazine, the superconductivity…

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Hamburgers and hot lips – nano style!

By / October 31, 2008

The photo shown above captured first prize in a micro- and nanograph imaging competition at the 34th International Conference on Micro and Nano Engineering held recently in Athens, Greece. If you think nanotechnology and microscience don’t have their funny side, take a look at two more winning images: To view all the winners or to find out how to…

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Learning from lizards how to improve dry adhesives

By / October 28, 2008

What can a team of highly trained researchers from four different U.S. universities learn from the feet of a gecko lizard? According to the researchers, how to improve carbon nanotube-based material so that, for the first time, it demonstrates “directionally varied (anisotropic) adhesive force” and gripping power nearly three times the level of existing nanotube…

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Chinese academy reports ZnO nanorod FET breakthrough

By / October 25, 2008

The Chinese Academy of Science reports that scientists at its Institute of Microelectronics have successfully formed a zinc oxide nanorod field-effect transistor, the “first of its kind as a nano device.” The ZnO nano materials, such as nanowires, nanorods, nanobands and nanorings, attract intense worldwide attention for their unique optical, semiconducting and piezoelectric properties. At…

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