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Nano News & Events
CRS Report on Science and Technology Issues in the 115th Congress Includes Nanotechnology and the NNI
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) prepared a March 14, 2017, report entitled Science and Technology Issues in the 115th Congress. The report outlines science and technology policy issues that may come before the 115th Congress. The report notes that, given the rapid pace of science and technology advancement and its importance in many diverse public policy issues, issues not discussed in this report may come before Congress. The selected issues are grouped into nine categories. The category Physical and Material Sciences includes the subcategory “Nanotechnology and the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).” The report states that development of this field has been fostered by “significant and sustained” public investments in nanotechnology research and development (R&D). In 2001, President Clinton launched the NNI to accelerate and focus nanotechnology R&D to achieve scientific breakthroughs and to enable the development of new materials, tools, and products. According to the report, more than 60 nations subsequently established programs similar to the NNI. Through fiscal year (FY) 2016, Congress appropriated approximately $21.8 billion for nanotechnology R&D; the President requested $1.4 billion in FY 2017 funding. In 2003, Congress enacted the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (P.L. 108-153), providing a legislative foundation for some of the activities of the NNI, establishing programs, assigning agency responsibilities, and setting authorization levels through FY 2008. The report notes that although legislation has been introduced in successive Congresses to amend and reauthorize the Act, none has been enacted into law. According to the report, Congress “has directed its attention primarily to three topics that may affect the realization of nanotechnology’s hoped-for potential: R&D funding; U.S. competitiveness; and environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns.”
SCCS Issues Final Opinion on Additional Coatings for Titanium Dioxide (Nano Form) as UV-Filter in Dermally Applied Cosmetic Products
On March 7, 2017, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) issued a final opinion on additional coatings for titanium dioxide (nano form) coated with cetyl phosphate, manganese dioxide, or triethoxycaprylylsilane as an ultraviolet (UV)-filter in dermally applied cosmetics. The conclusion states that given a general lack of dermal absorption and low general toxicity of nano-forms of titanium dioxide, SCCS considers that the use of the three titanium dioxide nanomaterials, coated with either cetyl phosphate, manganese dioxide, or triethoxycaprylylsilane, can be considered safe for use in cosmetic products intended for application on healthy, intact, or sunburned skin. SCCS notes that the ingredients used in some types of products (e.g., in lipsticks) may be incidentally ingested. The potential harmful effects of manganese dioxide should therefore be taken into account if the manganese dioxide-coated nanomaterials are to be used for applications that could lead to oral ingestion. The opinion does not apply to applications that might lead to exposure of the consumer’s lungs to the titanium dioxide nanoparticles through the inhalation route (such as powders or sprayable products). SCCS states that if any new evidence emerges in the future to show that the titanium dioxide nanoparticles used in a sunscreen formulation can penetrate skin to reach viable cells, then it may consider revising this assessment. SCCS notes that the opinion does not consider the potential ecotoxicological impacts of nano titanium dioxide when released into the environment. As reported in our March 14, 2017, blog item, SCCS has begun a public consultation on its opinion on titanium dioxide (nano form) as UV-filter in sprays. The public consultation will end May 14, 2017.
Freestanding hierarchical porous carbon film derived from hybrid nanocellulose for high-power supercapacitors
Abstract Nanocellulose is a sustainable and eco-friendly nanomaterial derived from renewable biomass. In this study, we utilized the structural advantages of two types of nanocellulose and fabricated freestanding carbonized hybrid nanocellulose films as electrode materials for supercapacitors. The long cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) formed a macroporous framework, and the short cellulose nanocrystals were assembled around the CNF framework and generated micro/mesopores. This two-level hierarchical porous structure was successfully preserved during carbonization because of a thin atomic layer deposited (ALD) Al2O3 conformal coating, which effectively prevented the aggregation of nanocellulose. These carbonized, partially graphitized nanocellulose fibers were interconnected, forming an integrated and highly conductive network with a large specific surface area of 1,244 m2·g–1. The two-level hierarchical porous structure facilitated fast ion transport in the film. When tested as an electrode material with a high mass loading of 4 mg·cm–2 for supercapacitors, the hierarchical porous carbon film derived from hybrid nanocellulose exhibited a specific capacitance of 170 F·g–1 and extraordinary performance at high current densities. Even at a very high current of 50 A·g–1, it retained 65% of its original specific capacitance, which makes it a promising electrode material for high-power applications.
Abstract In the chemical vapor deposition growth of large-area graphene polycrystalline thin films, the coalescence of randomly oriented graphene domains results in a high density of uncertain grain boundaries (GBs). The structures and properties of various GBs are highly dependent on the misorientation angles between the graphene domains, which can significantly affect the performance of the graphene films and impede their industrial applications. Graphene bicrystals with a specific type of GB can be synthesized via the controllable growth of graphene domains with a predefined lattice orientation. Although the bicrystal has been widely investigated for traditional bulk materials, no successful synthesis strategy has been presented for growing two-dimensional graphene bicrystals. In this study, we demonstrate a simple approach for growing well-aligned large-domain graphene bicrystals with a confined tilt angle of 30° on a facilely recrystallized single-crystal Cu (100) substrate. Control of the density of the GBs with a misorientation angle of 30° was realized via the controllable rapid growth of subcentimeter graphene domains with the assistance of a cooperative catalytic surface-passivation treatment. The large-area production of graphene bicrystals consisting of the sole specific GBs with a tunable density provides a new material platform for fundamental studies and practical applications.
Abstract Curved Cu nanowire (CCN)-based high-performance flexible transparent conductive electrodes (FTCEs) were fabricated via a fully solution-processed approach, involving synthesis, coating, patterning, welding, and transfer. Each step involved an innovative technique for completing the all-solution processes. The high-quality and well-dispersed CCNs were synthesized using a multi-polyol method through the synergistic effect of specific polyol reduction. To precisely control the optoelectrical properties of the FTCEs, the CCNs were uniformly coated on a polyimide (PI) substrate via a simple meniscus-dragging deposition method by tuning several coating parameters. We also employed a polyurethane (PU)-stamped patterning method to effectively produce 20 μm patterns on CCN thin films. The CCN thin films exhibited high electrical performance, which is attributed to the deeply percolated CCN network formed via a solvent-dipped welding method. Finally, the CCN thin films on the PI substrate were partially embedded and transferred to the PU matrix to reduce their surface roughness. Through consecutive processes involving the proposed methods, a highly percolated CCN thin film on the PU matrix exhibited high optoelectrical performance (R s = 53.48 Ω/□ at T = 85.71%), excellent mechanical properties (R/R 0 < 1.10 after the 10th repetition of tape peeling or 1,000 bending cycles), and a low root-mean-square surface roughness (R rms = 14.36 nm).
With graphene, researchers have discovered a powerful way to cool tiny chips - key components of electronic devices with billions of transistors apiece.
Self-assembling thin films make it possible to produce flexible electronic devices using a single plastic transistor.
Research team discovers how to prepare high-quality crystals formed of gold nanoparticles.
In two new studies, researchers show that cement plants can have their carbon dioxide exhaust eliminated while co-producing carbon nanotubes. They demonstrate that with their C2CNT (carbon dioxide into carbon nanotubes) process, a wide portfolio of tailored carbon nanotubes, such as those with special shapes or conductivity can be made. C2CNT is a straightforward process that transforms CO2 to carbon nanotubes by molten electrolysis with inexpensive (nickel and steel) electrodes and low voltage. This synthesis consumes only CO2 and electricity, and is constrained only by the cost of electricity.
The thinnest, smoothest layer of silver that can survive air exposure has been laid down by scientists, and it could change the way touchscreens and flat or flexible displays are made.
Researchers optimize nanophotonic light trapping.
Materials scientists are imprinting nano-patterns in metals, a technology that could give metallic surfaces permanent functionality, like a lotus effect or reduced frictional properties.
Researchers have developed a new method which has the potential to revolutionize the way we search for, design and produce new materials.
Discovery could greatly improve energy-efficiency of separation and purification processes in the chemical and petrochemical industries.
Some day, your smartphone might completely conform to your wrist, and when it does, it might be covered in pure gold.
Researchers report a flexible approach to produce Fe nanocubes as building blocks for high-performance NO2 gas sensor devices, and hybrid FeAu nanocubes with magneto-plasmonic properties.
A recent study has evaluated frameworks and tools used in Europe to assess the potential health and environmental risks of manufactured nanomaterials. The study identifies a trend towards tools that provide protocols for conducting experiments, which enable more flexible and efficient hazard testing.
In a significant advance, particularly within the microelectronics realm, engineers have established electrical surface treatment of conducting thin films as a physical processing method to reduce surface roughness.
Scientists have demonstrated a new polysulfide entrapping strategy that greatly improves the cycle stability of Li-S batteries.
Scientists have perfected a technique based on the usage of graphene, that allows for terahertz waves to be controlled accurately, paving the way for numerous applications.